Baby blankets are important pieces of fabric accessories that provide optimum warmth and comfort for very young children. These also provide a sense of safety and security while aiding children in their sensory and cognitive development. There are at least 4 types of infant coverlets that we can choose for our respective little angels. To help you better decide on which type of infant mantle to purchase, we are sharing with you this essential buying guide to help simplify the process of selection. We have also evaluated a number of the best baby blankets in the market and will be sharing 12 of them here.
What to Look for When Choosing a Baby Blanket
Baby blankets are excellent when it comes to providing young infants the comfort and warmth that they need since they don’t have a fully functioning thermoregulatory center yet. While they will eventually learn to regulate their body temperatures as they grow older, our main focus as parents will be in making sure that their physiologic needs are fully supported. A more important issue is how to choose the right blankie for our babies. Here are some of the things you need to look for when choosing a baby blanket.
- Fabric material
One of the most important considerations in choosing an infant mantle is the fabric material. There are many options when it comes to the best fabric for baby blankets. Aside from the usual and very popular fleece, there is cashmere, wool, and the ever-reliable cotton, too. Fleece may provide for the softest blankie in the world for the simple fact that it has the uncanny ability to retain its luxurious super-softness for a very long time regardless of the number of washes it has undergone. These types of infant wraps are best personalized so they grow with your kids.
Wool is best known for its exceptional warmth and the ability to absorb moisture like no other fabric can. Cashmere is best reserved for very special occasions since these are truly luxurious commodities. Cashmere has exceptional warmth while being super-lightweight and incredibly soft, too. They’re more expensive, though. On the other hand, cotton is your go-to fabric if you want something that is really comfortable, thanks to the breathability of the fabric as well as exceptional durability.
- Type of blanket
There are many types of infant blankets often related to their purpose or primary use. You can choose a very versatile, lightweight, and simple receiving infant blankie or even an infant coverlet that is specifically designed to comfort your baby, known as security blankets. If you’re looking for better security, calm, relaxation, and comfort for your little angel, then a swaddle cloth might do the trick. If you need something specifically for your baby’s crib, then a crib blankie is in the offing. The important thing that needs to be understood at the very outset is for you to choose something that your young child will be using for a very specific purpose. If you don’t want to have a variety of coverlets in your nursery, then getting a general purpose item should make more sense.
- Design or style
Infant coverlets come in a variety of styles or designs. While it’s not absolutely necessary, going for solid yet gentle shades of color is deemed as more appropriate. Some would also consider matching the style or design of the covers with their existing nursery motif.
- Safety features
Safety is a very important parameter for any pediatric product. Know that blankets can be particularly dangerous for very young children, especially preemies, as these can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome secondary to suffocation. That’s why there’s a standing policy regarding the use of such fabrics never to leave young children especially if they’re sleeping and with blankets wrapped around their bodies. Additionally, it is a must never to get a newborn blankie that has small ribbons or attachments that might break or fall off easily. There should also be no large holes upon which babies can slip their arms or legs or even their heads through. If it is a must that you have to choose a knit type of blankie, make sure that it is very tightly knit.
Benefits of Using a Baby Blanket
Aside from the fact that infant coverlets are excellent pieces of fabric that help provide warmth and comfort to babies in the same way as our blankets help us feel a lot better and fall asleep sounder, there are other benefits of using these blankets for the youngest angels in our lives.
- Provides sense of security
Infant coverlets provide an exceptional sense of security for very young children because they are especially wrapped in an enclosure. While this sense of safety and security slowly develops over time, it often begins with the introduction of a coverlet that your child will associate with a sense of relief, comfort, trust, and dependability. Every time they feel or even see their mantles, they will feel warmth and a sense of calmness. This helps young children to develop their emotional skills in a more positive manner.
- Helps with sensory development
Depending on the type of infant cover that you choose, the different colors, print designs, and even texture of the fabric can provide for sensory stimulation that is essential for optimizing the development of the young brain. These sensory inputs are crucial to laying the foundation for a fully functioning infant brain and lay the groundwork for other cognitive processes such as learning, memory, thinking, and even language.
- Promotes healthy and optimal brain development
There’s a scientific explanation why younger children love being swaddled. It gives them the opportunity to feel more secure in a particular curled up position, mimicking their 9-month long position growing up inside mommy’s womb. Their brains inherently “remember” this position and its associated effects such as comfort, calmness, and relaxation. They associate it with security and safety, too. Because kids are able to feel more relaxed and calm, they are easily soothed into sleeping. Sleep is very important among growing children as it gives them the much-needed opportunity to facilitate the synthesis and secretion of tissue-building growth hormones and other substances. More importantly, sleep can help optimize the growth and development of the infant brain, laying the groundwork for more fascinating things in the future.
Types of Baby Blankets
As we have already pointed out earlier, the type of the baby blanket is one of the things you need to consider when buying one for your child. It is thus, important to look closer into these different types.
- Receiving blanket
Receiving blankets are, as the name implies, primarily used to “receive” or hold an infant in various circumstances. It is one of the most versatile coverlets built specifically for infants. It can be used for laying an infant on a surface, especially one that is unfamiliar to you. It also acts as a buffer or a shield between your baby and his or her immediate surroundings. These types of infant coverlets are very simple and lightweight and can be used for swaddling and catching baby spit-ups and drool as well as many other uses.
- Security blanket
These types of infant mantles are mostly made of ultra-soft fleece or other extra-soft fabric materials since the idea is to encourage the young child to associate the material with something that can be trusted and depended on. These are those types of blankets that our children will grow in that even if they are already adults, they will still be using these or will have exceptionally fond memories of its use. It is thus, important to apply some form of personalization or customization for these types of blankets as they are the ones we hold on to as we grow old.
- Swaddling blanket
A swaddle wrap is often called snuggle blanket for baby. These types of infant coverlets are superb for enveloping an infant’s body, keeping him or her relaxed, calm, and comfy. Many of these mantles come with a variety of attachments for various purposes. For instance, some come with a unique flap that allows the swaddling coverlet to be opened at the bottom for instant diaper changes while keeping the upper body fully wrapped.
- Crib blanket
Crib bedding and crib sheets are just two examples of this type of infant blanket. These are primarily intended for providing a more comfortable surface for the young infant while he or she is in his or her crib. However, safety is a very important concern so as not to leave your baby’s side should he or she fall asleep with a crib blanket underneath him or her.
The Bottom Line
Baby blankets are essential pieces of fabric designed to keep young children warm, comfortable, and help in the development of security and the formation of fond memories for cognitive development. Choosing the right blankie for your little angel requires an understanding of the materials, uses, and types of these fabrics.