There are several types of baby blankets and swaddles available. If you’re a new parent or unfamiliar with the different types of blankets, you might feel overwhelmed by all the options. Two of the most popular types of blankets are receiving blankets and swaddles.
It’s helpful to know the difference between receiving blankets and swaddles, especially when shopping for items your baby will need.
Knowing the difference will also help you use a receiving blanket or swaddle correctly.Now, time to review the basics.
What is a Receiving Blanket?
Receiving blankets are generally used for a variety of purposes including as burp cloths and swaddling. They make for excellent lightweight nursing covers too. It’s good to have them handy for a variety of uses for babies. They’re a popular item to use with infants.
Receiving blankets are the basic pink and blue striped blankets babies are swaddled in at the hospital. They are frequently used with infants, and you can find a variety of options online.
Receiving blankets are typically 30 inches by 30 inches with some blankets being smaller or larger. Because there are so many receiving blankets on the market, you should be able to find the perfect size for your needs.
Some parents end up using receiving blankets beyond their child’s first few months. They are useful for nap time. Some parents also like their child to have a receiving blanket with them in the car seat.
What is a Swaddle?
Swaddle blankets are typically made for wrapping babies up like a burrito, keeping your baby feeling safe and secure. Parents also swaddle their babies to soothe them.
Swaddling is especially popular in newborn babies. It allows babies to feel more comfortable as if they’re still in the womb.
Muslin swaddle blankets are available too if you like the breathability of muslin receiving blankets.
Types of Swaddle Blankets
The swaddle blanket market is expanding, so there is a variety of swaddle blankets available. What your purchase comes down to is your personal preference.
These swaddle blankets are generally designed to make swaddling easier. If you don’t buy blankets explicitly made for swaddling purposes, you might find that the swaddle comes undone easily.
The main types of swaddle blankets include wraps and suits. Some swaddling blankets have wings to help parents get a tighter swaddle. Wraps allow you to wrap your baby up like a burrito.
Suits are different from standard swaddle wraps. They may have zippers, Velcro, or buttons.
In general, suits are easier to use. Plus, there are more and more swaddle suits coming out so you can find the perfect one for your baby.
Both wraps and suits are worth trying. One may work better for your family than others.
Tips for Proper Swaddling
There are a few tips to keep in mind that can help swaddling go smoothly. First, you should make sure you’re swaddling safely.
Your baby should be wrapped snugly, but you don’t want to overdo it. Make sure two or three fingers can fit between the baby’s chest and the swaddle blanket.
When your baby is swaddled, they should still be able to bend their legs and have their legs flared out.
Even if you’re not swaddling, your baby should sleep on their back to help reduce the risks of SIDS. Another way to reduce the chances of SIDS is by keeping your baby at a comfortable temperature.
Their bedroom should be at 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Though it can be tempting, do not bundle your baby up, especially if your baby is in a swaddle. SIDS risks increase if your baby is overheating.
Don’t expect your baby to love swaddling. You might need to try several different swaddling techniques. You might also have a baby who dislikes swaddling.
Should You Buy Receiving Blankets or Swaddle Blankets?
It’s a good idea to have a variety of baby blankets and swaddles. Then, you can use the ones your baby prefers or the ones that are easiest for you to use. You may need to buy more if your baby prefers a specific type of blanket.
As mentioned, each type of blanket does have a different use. This is one of the reasons it’s essential to have both. As your baby grows, you may find that certain types of blankets or swaddles get more use than others.
You might choose to buy just a couple of receiving blankets and a couple of swaddle blankets. Then, you can buy more of whichever you use more often. How many you purchase also depends on how often you plan on washing laundry.
Fewer swaddles and receiving blankets means more frequent washings. Having more swaddles and receiving blankets reduces the loads of laundry you have to clean.
If you’re not planning on swaddling your baby, you don’t need to buy swaddles. Receiving blankets are the more versatile option, while swaddles can only be used for swaddling.
How Many Receiving Blankets Do You Need?
As mentioned, receiving blankets have a variety of different uses. For this reason, parents think it’s important to buy a lot of receiving blankets.
If you’re using receiving blankets for a variety of purposes, I would suggest having more than two on hand. Many parents have between 4 and 8 receiving blankets.
Some parents end up going through one receiving blanket per day. You can use this as a general guideline and buy more or fewer, depending on how often you plan to wash laundry.
It can’t hurt to have a few extras in case you need them. Many parents end up using them beyond their child’s infant months.
How Many Swaddles Do You Need?
Two swaddles are an excellent place to start. This will allow you to have an extra in case of any messes. Some parents choose to buy up to seven or eight. I would suggest starting with just a few swaddles and see how often you use them for your baby.
Receiving blankets and swaddles are also popular baby gifts. If you’re having a baby shower or anticipate many gifts from friends and family, you may not need to buy any yourself. Plus, they are typically sold in multi-packs and are relatively affordable.
Safety Precautions for Using Receiving Blankets or Swaddles
If you are using receiving blankets, it’s important to use them safely. You don’t want to put your child in danger by merely trying to keep them warm and cozy.
When shopping for receiving blankets, it’s essential to buy thin blankets. If you purchase thicker blankets and place them in your little one’s crib, your child will be at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Additionally, overheating puts your baby at a higher risk of SIDS.
Fortunately, most receiving blankets are made of thin material, so they are generally safe. It’s always important to keep any extra items out of your baby’s crib, especially when they are under one year old.
Swaddles come with the risk of SIDS too. When your baby can roll over, it is recommended to stop swaddling. Babies who are swaddled over the age of six months are more likely to die of SIDS.
Shopping for Receiving Blankets and Swaddles
When you’re shopping for receiving blankets and swaddles, you will find that there are a lot of different types available. Take a look at each blanket’s material and size. Do some research to ensure you get the right kind of blanket or swaddle for your needs.
It can also be helpful to ask fellow parents for recommendations. Reading reviews online can help you to know whether a particular swaddle or receiving blanket is worth your money.
It’s a good idea to buy swaddles and receiving blankets that have simple washing instructions. You should also look for any information on their durability. How sad would you be if the blanket shrunk so much it’s now unusable!
Note that this article is for educational purposes only. If you have questions about the safety of swaddles or receiving blankets, ask your medical professional or your child’s pediatrician at your next visit.