Keeping your baby warm and safe is an important part of being a parent. A significant factor is that your baby will likely spend around 14 hours each day sleeping. It is important to make sure that baby is comfortable, so consider a number of factors before purchasing baby blankets.
The correct material is one important aspect. The best choice is generally 100% natural fiber such as cotton, since this material allows the air to circulate freely and prevents the baby becoming too hot. This is an important factor since overheating has been identified as one of the risk factors in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The material should also be tightly woven to avoid any strands unraveling and providing a choking risk to the little one. Remember also that mishaps are common at this age and therefore the blanket should be capable of being washed thoroughly. A nice silk print may appear to be beautiful but cleaning it if it is heavily soiled will be expensive and may be impossible.
Cotton remains the most popular choice, and more recently organic cotton has found favor. This is cotton produced without pesticides and some studies have shown that this is an important factor because pesticides can cause allergic reactions and also skin problems in infants. Another popular choice is faux fur, like the Little Giraffe baby blanket. These are very warm and being made from a polyester nylon mix, they can be washed easily at quite an elevated temperature. Children also appear to like the feel of the material since it is very soft and comforting.
Children seem to get attracted to particular blankets (think of Linus in Charlie Brown!) for no apparent reason. Research has suggested this could be a specific odor or even specific color patterns but either way try and buy baby blankets in pairs to ensure you have a backup if one is damaged or cannot be effectively cleaned. This will also be cheaper since many manufacturers sell them in pairs.
Baby blankets are also one of the most popular items to personalize. Personalized baby blankets can provide a valued heirloom which can be passed from generation to generation. Some people even add each baby’s name to the blankets as a permanent reminder of each owner throughout the years. If you want to buy such a keepsake then be prepared to spend a little money. They are often edged with real silk or satin around the borders and this inflates the price substantially over the common cotton variety.
Baby blankets are also commonly used to swaddle a baby. This means that the baby is wrapped quite tightly in the blanket and this appears to make them feel more secure, which in turn makes them sleep more soundly. It is thought that this is because the tight-bound feeling is indicative of the sensations in the womb. Some babies do prefer their arms and legs to be kept free of the swaddle but this is much rarer than those who feel secure by being completely enveloped.