Different Types of Baby Blankets
There are three primary types of baby blanket on the market:
- Baby blankets or stroller blankets are usually rectangular and two to three feet in length. They are available in a wide range of fabrics, weights, and styles, and are ideal for older babies and toddlers to sleep beneath.
- Security blankets are intended as transitional objects and are usually much smaller than other styles. Many have an attached plush animal for cuddling and are made of teething-safe material.
- Swaddling blankets can be anything from an ordinary baby blanket which is the right size for swaddling, or a specialized swaddling blanket with velcro or ties. Most are made from thinner, cooler materials than other baby blankets.
Depending on your needs, you may want one or more of these styles. While there is some overlap (particularly between baby and swaddling blankets), each offers different features and serves a different purpose.
Materials and Construction
As with blankets for adults, there are two types of material used in baby blankets.
- Synthetic materials include fleece, microfiber, and plush
- Natural materials include cotton, hemp, bamboo, and wool
Only natural materials can be organic. If you’re interested in an organic blanket, look for one with GOTS certification. Not all organic products have this certification, but it does allow for peace of mind.
Regardless of the material, an ideal baby blanket will always be well-constructed. Babies are notorious for picking at loose weaving or threads, and regular washing ensures that a poorly constructed blanket may fall apart quickly.
Baby Blanket Care and Maintenance
Like all other baby textiles, baby blankets are always in danger of needing a wash. Most manufacturers are well aware of this and offer blankets that can be machine-washed as required. However, some higher-end blankets, particularly plush or ultra-soft varieties, must be washed separately and only with cool water in order to preserve their texture.
While some blankets can be machine-dried, most will last longer in good condition by being air-dried. As baby blankets are smaller and lighter than those used by adults, this rarely takes long. A second copy of the blanket can keep your baby company during this process.
What Else Should You Consider When Buying Baby Blankets?
Most baby blankets can be used for years after purchase, and many children still love their blanket long after it covers their entire body at night. However, some baby blankets — particularly specialized swaddling blankets — are designed for specific age ranges and cannot age up with a child.
Babies and toddlers can also have strong fabric preferences. If they dislike the feel of a textile in other contexts, they are unlikely to enjoy it in the form of a blanket. Weight can also be a concern, with some preferring lighter or heavier fabrics.