*This article has been updated in July 2020
Snug as a bug in a rug.
An ASE reader asked me to find the best baby blankets and I have turned to my panel of experts – my daughters.
What to know about baby blankets in 2018:
- Babies need different blankets at different stages:
- Ages 0-3+ months: Swaddle blankets. Swaddling is back in a big way. Babies in the “Fourth Trimester” (first three months of life) will feel soothed by being wrapped up like a baby burrito. For swaddling, you can use conventional swaddle blankets, or ones that have Velcro closures.
- Ages 3 months to 24 months+: Wearable blankets. Once a baby can roll over, the swaddle is out, and the wearable blanket is in. These are great because they keep a baby’s arms free but keep the baby’s trunk and legs toasty warm without the danger of suffocation.
- All ages: Stroller Blankets. Particularly if your baby is a city baby, the stroller is a second home. Stroller blankets come in a few categories: a heavy blanket to go over baby’s legs; a “sleeping bag” for the cold months, to keep baby snug; a breathable swaddle blanket that can be draped over the stroller to act as a sunshield and privacy screen for naps.
- All ages: Picnic Blankets. A heavier blanket perfect for the park, and for tummy time!
- All ages: Security Blankets. When baby is young, this should be a small “lovey” blanket that cannot inadvertently be wrapped around baby’s head. When baby grows, it can be a larger blanket for crib time.
Treasured blankets, security blankets.
My mother gave each of my daughters a special blanket. These blankets were their comfort of choice in childhood and are still slightly faded reminders of their early lives. They had grandmothers and great grandmothers who knitted them blankets – those are treasures.
Nantucket Looms handwoven heirloom quality blankets are woven from cotton flake yarn and will stand up to generations of washes. 45” x 36”. Each blanket is unique. Machine wash, tumble dry. Lots of colors. $260
Artisans make heirloom quality baby blankets from the organic wool from the sheep on beautiful Gum Tree Farm in VA. Franny Kansteiner created Gum Tree Farm and Francis Dean is the designer. Stroller blankets are 35” square, or choose the crib blanket which is 45” square and makes a nice lap robe for grown-ups. You choose the trim. Blankets begin at $225.
This 14” x 14” Little Giraffe security blanket (lovey) has a satin edge for little fingers. Made of plush Chenille fabric, these are ultra-soft classics. 100% Polyester/ Satin: 43% Acetate 57% Rayon. $33
Receiving blankets & Swaddle Blankets
Receiving blankets were originally named because they ‘received’ the baby at birth. They are typically made of washable cotton flannel and can swaddle an infant, serve as a mat on the floor, be used as a burp cloth and tucked in as a light layer in a stroller or car seat.
Aden + Anais Muslin swaddle blankets. Light and easy to wash. Appealing graphics. 47” x47. Breathable cotton muslin stays soft wash after wash. Sets of four blankets for $49.95.
Loulou Lollipop first created whimsical teethers for babies. They have now launched blankets. Loulou Lollipop lightweight, breathable, bamboo rayon muslin blankets have appealing, original designs. Artists have created designs with cityscapes, a field of robots and outer space. 47” x 47”. $25 each
SwaddleMe blankets are a specialized receiving blanket, shaped with Velcro attached to make swaddling easy (think burrito). $23 – $29 for a set of three swaddles.
Stroller blankets, tummy time
Stroller blankets are heavy and warm, but they are small enough to avoid dragging on the ground when tucked into a baby in a stroller. They double as a floor mat for ‘tummy time’ and play. They can be wool, fleece or chenille.
Serena and Lily makes these soft cotton flannel ‘safari’ blankets with reversible sides. Machine washable. Air dry to keep them soft. 32” square. On sale for $58.99.
Serena and Lily offers these striped eco-friendly, soft flannel baby blankets. 32” square. Washable. On sale for $58.99.
These cozy Little Giraffe chenille stroller blankets are the perfect size to cover strollers or car seats without dragging. 29” x 35”. Machine washable, air dry to keep it soft. $72.
These 30” x 40 chamois blankets can be personalized. $31-$39.50.
Tweed Sherpa Baby Blanket from West Elm. These are tweed on one side and extra soft synthetic fleece on the other. 30” x 40”. 52% cotton, 48% polyester. $49.50, but on sale for 25% off with code: INTHEBAG. They can be monogrammed.
Wearable blankets, also known as sleep sacks, keep babies safe when they sleep. For the first three months, they sleep swaddled without blankets in which they could get tangled. Sleep sacks can be cotton knit or fleece and they come sleeveless or long-sleeved, depending on how much warmth the baby needs.
This Nested Bean ZenSack is lightly weighted. Adults report feeling comforted by ‘weighted’ blankets, these lightly weighted sleep sacks are said to comfort some babies. $52.99.
Carters Long-sleeve Microfleece Sleepbag. Two pack for $19.98.
Now that you know about swaddles and sleep sacks – here is the swaddle sleep sack by Halo. 100% cotton. $21.99.
ASE subscriber Debbie L. highly recommends these Merino Kids sleeping bags for babies – newborn to 2 years. Made from superfine merino wool with an organic cotton outer layer, these bags absorb and release moisture and keep the baby warm, but not overheated. It has earned the prestigious UK BSI (British Standards Institution) standard for safety. It has a zipper at the bottom for diaper changes and opens flat for easy dressing. It comes in 13 colors and patterns. Machine washable. Available in the U.S. $119.99.
Merino Kids offers an online tool to give parents confidence that their baby is sleeping at the right temperature. Merino Kids online sleep bag selector tool.
Warm wearable and Outdoor blankets
Patagonia Infant Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting is filled with down and lined with a soft polyester fabric. Zippers make it easy to get on and off and the hood is warm. $149.
The 7AM Enfant Blanket is the ultimate, outside, wearable blanket – really a sleeping bag to keep a baby warm even in winter weather. $159.00
Outdoor blankets do not need to be specific to babies, but it is helpful for parents if they are easy to carry, easy to fold up and machine washable and dryable.
This SkipHop Central Park Outdoor Blanket folds into a small bag, has a water-resistant back and an insulated bag for drinks and snacks. $44.99
Monkey Mat folds into a tiny package, so it can stay in a stroller and be on hand to provide protection for the baby in a park. It is water and sand repellant and is a clean space for your baby to play on the grass. $19.99.