We can all agree that baby blankets are cute, cuddly and make ideal new baby gifts. There are few things quite as adorable as a beautiful baby wrapped up in a security blanket, contently snuggled up and warm, which is why the majority of parents will have a baby blanket (or two!) on hand for their little one to cuddle with. When it’s a little bit chilly outside, you can wrap your baby up in a baby blanket. When you want your baby to feel snug and ready for a nap, you can place a blanket over them to signal it’s time to sleep. When your baby needs drying and there are no towels to hand, you can grab the closest blanket and get the job done. However, there is more to baby blankets than you might think.
Whether you have a loved one who has kindly handmade a baby blanket or you received one along with other Scandinavian baby gifts, or you are purchasing one yourself, you will be interested to know just how many benefits they have. Regardless of the type of baby blanket that you have - colour, design, size and style do not matter - your baby will benefit in a number of ways.
Here’s Why a Baby Blanket is So Important
There are endless lists online of newborn essentials and ‘must have’ items for a baby. They are a helpful starting point for anyone who is preparing for the birth of a child. Though these lists do vary slightly depending on who compiled them - what one person considers a baby essential may be different to what someone else considers a baby essential - you are sure to find baby blankets mentioned somewhere. This is because baby blankets are useful, beneficial and hard for parents to do without. To highlight just how important baby blankets are, we have detailed five of the key benefits.
It Acts a Security Blanket - Having spent nine months feeling safe and secure in the womb, suddenly being out in the big wide world can come as a shock to babies, but one of the benefits of a baby blanket is the feeling of security it creates. Wrapping a baby up in a security blanket creates a sense of safety, helping a baby to feel relaxed and calmed regardless of where they are. A swaddling blanket is particularly good for this, as they combine the comfort of a standard baby blanket with the ability to hold a baby tightly.
It Aids Sleep - Using a swaddling blanket can actually help with getting a baby to sleep, which is a vital part of their development. Swaddling encourages a baby to relax and feel calm, which helps them to drift off to sleep peacefully. Not only is sleep very important for a baby’s growth and mental development, but having a baby that falls asleep easily significantly reduces stress for parents. Simply, everyone is a lot happier when a baby is sleeping well and a swaddling blanket can help you to achieve this.
It Provides Sense Stimulation - A baby blanket can provide visual stimulation and tactile stimulation, both of which are very important for a little one’s development. Baby blankets are available in a wide range of colours, many of which have patterns or pictures, and these provide immediate visual stimulation. This is especially true for baby blankets that boast bright and bold colours, things that a baby is likely to notice and pay attention to. Baby blankets are made using soft and textured materials, which offer tactile stimulation when they touch it or feel it on their skin when it’s wrapped around. Though a baby blanket may seem like a simple thing to have, it actually appeals to the senses and encourages them to develop in a big way.
It Offers Warmth - Babies are unable to regulate their own temperatures until they are around 18 months to two years old, meaning the job of doing so falls to the parents. This is why baby blankets are a key part of ensuring that a little one is warm enough when it’s cold outside. A baby blanket is the perfect way to add more layers to ensure your baby is not too cold. The same goes for when it’s warm outside, a baby blanket is quick and easy to remove if your baby gets too hot. It’s a lot easier than adding or removing a layer of clothing. You can simply add or remove the blanket as you need to.
It’s a Meaningful Keepsake - Babies don’t stay babies for very long and the toddler stage can feel even shorter. This is why, as a parent, you will probably want to keep things that remind you of certain ages and milestones. A baby blanket is a really good keepsake to have, as it’s the perfect reminder of the first few years of your child’s life. Whether your baby has a favourite security blanket or you simply keep one of many blankets, it’s one of the easiest meaningful keepsakes to hold on to.
It doesn’t matter whether you are expecting your first baby or you have been a parent for a while, you cannot go wrong with a stockpile of baby blankets. Luckily, these are always considered an affordable newborn essential and there are many available online. So, you will not struggle to find the baby blankets you need.
Different Types of Baby Blankets
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that all baby blankets are the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Though baby blankets all tend to look somewhat similar - unless you opt for one with a specific design or pattern - they generally have a specific use or function. For example, some baby blankets are designed to offer a sense of security whereas others are designed to keep a baby warm. Understanding the different types of baby blankets will help you to gauge which type of blanket you should be using, and when.
Swaddling Blanket - As the name suggests, a swaddling blanket is a baby blanket that has been specifically designed with swaddling in mind. This is the practice of securely wrapping a baby for security and comfort, and involves securing their arms and legs tightly against their body. They are large and thin, making them ideal for regulating a baby’s temperature during the night. Whereas receiving blankets tend to be square in shape, a lot of swaddling blankets have two winged sides to make it easier to swaddle your baby. Swaddling a baby can help with sleeping, reducing stress and making them feel safe.
Receiving Blanket - When it comes to versatility, a receiving blanket is arguably the most useful of the different types of baby blanket available. They are thin blankets that are usually sold in multipacks, at a reasonable cost, and they are designed to be used for a range of different tasks. You can use a receiving blanket for swaddling, burping, drying and warming a baby. If you need to quickly wipe up a mess, you can use a receiving blanket. They are smaller than standard swaddling blankets, making them convenient and easy to carry with you. A lot of people choose to stock up on receiving blankets to ensure they always have a few handy. After all, you never know when a baby is going to need an extra layer.
Security Blanket - A lot of babies and toddlers use a security blanket as a source of comfort, a familiar ‘friend’ to rely upon should they feel worried or upset. A lot of babies experience separation anxiety when they spend time away from their parents and though this is completely natural, it can cause sleepless nights and anxiety for the little one. However, a security blanket gives them something tangible to form an attachment with. They will recognise their security blanket as something comforting, familiar and safe. When the baby is somewhere new or unfamiliar, a security blanket is a constant. Though you may not be there, their blanket will. The bond between a baby and their security blanket can be so strong that many people keep theirs well into adulthood because they are used to always having it close by.
As you can see, there are a huge number of benefits that come with having a baby blanket for your child. It doesn’t matter whether you have one or two baby blankets to rely on or an impressive collection to wade through, there is no denying the importance of having a baby blanket to hand whenever your little one needs it. It’s a good idea to have a range of different types of baby blanket, to ensure you always have the correct one to use.