Baby blankets are an essential part of your baby’s bedding, in spite of their aesthetic feature; they are needed for providing warmth when moving the baby from one place to another. That’s not all there is to it about baby blankets and their essentiality. In this article, we would cover all the aspects you need to consider before making your purchase.
A baby blanket is a piece of clothing made from wool or thick cotton used to cover up a baby, some call it to swaddle. For the first few months of your baby’s life, he or she would sleep as much as fourteen hours a day. This means that means that they would most of the time be wrapped in a baby blanket. This is because babies do not have the amount of fat that insulates us from cold in their tiny bodies; this makes it an absolute essential when purchasing items for baby care.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Baby Blankets
The climatic condition of your environment
Temperate environments are always cold, but being in the tropics does not mean that the weather will not get cold at any time. It could be early in the morning or late at night, all the same, a baby blanket cannot be overlooked. If you live in the tropics or in a place that is hot most of the day, the blanket you would need to purchase should not be thick. If you stay in really y temperate areas, your baby blanket should be thick enough to keep your baby warm
Avoid purchasing baby blankets that have too much fur on them
Most woolen blankets leave fur behind after being used. Such blankets should not be used on your baby because these furs can get into your baby’s nostrils or mouth while they are breathing and could cause a choking episode or accident.
The material of the baby blankets should be friendly with your baby’s skin
Most woolen materials have a tendency to itch when in use. Avoid using blankets with such material on your baby. When buying a blanket, take it out of the packet and place under your elbow. The bottom part of your elbow is soft, smooth and can be compared to your baby’s skin. Rub gently to feel for any form of irritation. If you feel it against your skin, then it is not suitable for use on your baby. The best type of material is the cotton material. When choosing, choose a blanket that is made fully of cotton or has a cotton layer underneath.
Make sure the blanket you want to buy is of breathable material
If you want to buy a heavy blanket, make sure it is the type that would let your baby breath when you swaddle him or her in it. How do you figure out if a blanket is of breathable material? Hold it against a fan to see if air is passing through it. If it is not, don’t consider buying it, no matter how beautiful it looks. Blankets that are not breathable could make your baby overheat, and develop a rash.
Baby blankets with holes in them are a no! no!
You might decide to go for a knitted blanket, and such blankets are known to come with holes in them. Choose knitted blankets with little holes in them. Babies could get their arms, legs or even heads caught up in those holes which can pose as a choking or strangling hazard. Go for tightly knit blankets.
Do not choose baby blankets with ribbons or strips of cloth hanging over the edges
We as women have an aesthetic eye for everything. We always want our babies to look cute all the time, which is okay. However, we should not let our love for aesthetics blind us to what is safe for our babies. If you must pick a blanket with ribbons hanging over the edges, the ribbons should not be more than an inch long. Blankets with long ribbons can cause a choking hazard or could cause you to trip while holding your baby or it could get stuck on a pointy object and make you lose control while holding your baby. These are accidents that can be easily avoided when picking out a blanket.
Baby blankets that come as quilts can cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Avoid blankets that come with hoods
Hooded blankets can be a source of suffocation for your baby. Your baby may decide to pull it down over his/her face and it can lead to him/her suffocating.
Ensure that you buy the right size of blankets
The right size of blankets depends on your needs and necessity. It is advisable to have as much as three to five blankets. You could decide to use some indoors, and the others outdoors. Invest in medium size blankets, the types that can wrap your baby twice with enough space for the baby to move his/her hands and feet. Baby blankets with dimensions of 65×75 cm are universal because it can be used in the crib, in a stroller or baby carrier.
Different Blankets have different uses
As I outlined in the earlier point, have as much as three to five blankets: Some would be used indoors while some could be used to keep the baby warm at night. Some are designed to help you breastfeed your baby discreetly while in public. Choose blankets for the right purpose.
Stay away from second-hand blankets
They could be cheap or called vintage, it is advisable to buy new blankets from the markets. Most old blankets could have micro-organisms that have bred in them, which could be harmful to your baby’s health and skin.
If you have blankets that do not meet safety standards, especially those that have long ribbons, you can use them when your baby is older.
Some mothers are great are creating knitted materials, and having to knit your baby’s blanket sort of creates a special bond between the mother and the unborn baby. If you are that type of mom, it is perfectly okay if you choose to make your baby’s blanket from knitted materials.
How To Choose The Best Type Of Wool For Your Baby’s Safety, Warmth, And Comfort
- When choosing the yarn for your baby blanket, go for wools that are not itchy. Choose cotton or acrylic wool.
- Check the washing instructions of the wool, if it should be hand washed or can be machine washed and tumble dried.
- Test to see if the wool would get damaged if washed in overly warm water. Because trust me, there would be days when your baby would spill poo or urine all over the blanket and a thorough wash in warm or water can destroy it.
- Avoid fluffy yarns because your baby could lick and suck a mouthful of such when they play with their blankets.
- Have the size of the blanket in mind, and then match the weight of the yarn to it. You may forget and when you are done, your result might be a blanket too heavy and too big for your baby.
- Last on the list is your color choice. Choose matching colors for the sex of your baby or matching colors for your nursery room design scheme.
The next thing on your mind would be the types of patterns for your baby blanket. We would share a few knitting patterns for you to choose from when knitting your baby’s blanket.
Knitting Patterns For Baby Blankets
- The first type of pattern people tend toward when knitting a baby blanket is the Garter Stitch: It is the first stitch you learn when commencing your knitting lessons. It involves the use of two colors from the beginning to the end. It is super easy and quick to knit.
- The second is the slip stitch blanket: To knit this type of blanket, you would need as much as two to three different colors of yarns. It gives your work more color and texture. One color is used in arrow when knitting.
- The third is the Eyelet blanket pattern, which is inspired by the famous washcloth pattern of the same name in which yarn overs are used to create the edging of the blanket. This edging is worked from one corner out and back again.
- The fourth is the ribbed baby blanket: The stitch pattern involved in this pattern would include knits and purls. Ribbed patterns look like elevated yarns from the woolen blanket, and it is used all over the side, not the edging.
- The patchwork pattern: You could decide to use as much as three to four different colors of complimentary wool to make a patchwork pattern. With carter stitches as a pattern, you can make squares from the different yarns you’ve chosen, and then join them all together.
There are so many patterns to choose from. For more knitting ideas, visit Pinterest!
Moving on now, we would talk about care tips to ensure that your baby blanket lasts long.
Tips For Caring For Your Baby Blankets
- Read the care instructions on the label of the blanket. If it is safe to put in a washer, it is perfectly safe, no matter how delicate it may look. But if you prefer to hand wash it, no problem, do what is best for you.
- If your baby blanket is white or made of bright soft colors, ensure that you do not wash it any fabric that could stain it, because the stain will never wash off.
- Always use the gentle cycle when washing with the washing machine.
- Use your preferred detergent. But ensure that such detergents will not hurt your baby’s skin. Use mild soaps to wash.
- If the fiber used to make the baby blanket is from natural fibers, wash in cold water because warm water will shrink it. If they are synthetic, wash in slightly warm water.
- Do not squeeze or wring woolen baby blankets. They would get frayed and weak. After washing, just spread the blanket on a flat surface to drip and dry.
Do not use a fabric softener when washing.
- Always dry the blanket properly, to avoid that distinct nauseating smell that comes with damp moldy woolen materials.
- Do not iron or dry clean a blanket.
- Do not wash with materials that have zippers, fastenings, and Velcro. This is to avoid ripping and snagging.
- Tumble dry on low.
- If your blanket has stubborn stains on then, do not wash with chlorine bleach or they would burn. Soak in water and chlorine –free bleach for at least one hour before washing. Rinse off in very clean water.
- Do not use perfumes on your baby’s blanket. The fragrance of these perfumes could stick and become irritating for your baby’s breathing.
- For even tougher stains, especially on dingy blankets, wash with a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda, then rinse properly.
As a mother, you may have a little problem with wrapping your baby up in a blanket; we have added a step by step procedure to produce the perfect swaddle.
How To Produce The Perfect Saddle
- First, you place the blanket on a flat surface.
- Fold the top corner of the blanket.
- Place the baby on the blanket, so that his/her neck is over the fold. If your baby is very young, make sure that the head and neck are properly supported.
- Move the baby’s arm into position at his or her side, starting with the left. Then wrap the left side with the left part of the blanket. Tuck it underneath his back. Make sure it is firm and not so tight.
- Repeat step D on the right side. Then cover the bottom of the blanket by pulling the bottom corner of the blanket up towards the center of the baby’s shoulders. Tuck it behind the baby’s left shoulder, so that it is between the shoulder and the bottom layer of the blanket. Leave plenty room for your baby’s leg to move in.
- Pull the right corner of the blanket over the baby such that it forms a V neck swaddle. Gently hold the right corner of the blanket over the baby’s chest, then flip over the corner down to somewhere near the baby’s feet behind, then tuck.
- You will need to lift the baby a bit to do this final tuck. There! Your baby is nicely swaddled and ready to go. Always make enough room for the baby to move his/her feet and hands. Also, do not use a pacifier when you have swaddled your baby.
There you have it! All you need to know about baby blankets, Enjoy your baby care!