Receiving blankets are simple and indispensable rectangles or squares of soft flannel used for just about every imaginable purpose a new mother can think up on a whim. Luckily, just about everyone who shows up at your baby shower will come with a few in tow.
Originally, baby receiving blankets were intended to be soft and light weight so you could layer your baby to avoid over-heating. They have become so popular that the idea of a receiving blanket has expanded outside the original one-sided flannel square. They now include double-sided, 100% brushed cotton, or cotton knit in a variety of weights and sizes.
Receiving blankets are typically 30" by 40": large enough to wrap each finger and toe without getting bulky. They are perfect for layering to compensate for heat and cold and typically come in packages of four, with a variety of patterns. Many sets are available in pink and blue themes or gender-neutral colors like light yellows and sage greens.
Simplicity is important, so all receiving blankets have finished edges, are typically pre-shrunk, and are machine washable and dryable.
Receiving blankets are not only used to wrap or swaddle your baby. Many parents use them as burp cloths to protect their clothes from spit up when burping their baby during a feeding. They are used to wipe up spills of breastmilk, baby formula, or infant cereal. They are usually large enough to cover your baby when breastfeeding on the bench at the local mall, if you want a little privacy.
The uses of receiving blankets are wide and varied. Most parents have a healthy supply in their change table, diaper bags, and generally scatter them around the house, always having one within reach.
You can either purchase them or make them yourself if you have the time and find yourself nesting without a project. If you have a sewing machine and an itch to sew, you can whip up one in about 20 minutes. All you need is a meter of 45" wide flannel, sewing thread, and a sewing machine to make a large, square blanket. If your idea of a fun nesting project does not include a sewing machine and a homemade receiving blanket, no worries, your baby shower is just around the corner.
- Just about any receiving blanket will suit your needs – they are a simple square of flannel. Aside from the homemade receiving blankets I made and received from my mother-in-law, my favorites were the Kushies 100% Cotton Flannel Receiving Blankets. They are a generous size and incredibly soft – perfect for swaddling. They wash easily, they don't tend to shrink, but they do seem to seem to get softer with each wash. They really are quite luxurious as far as receiving blankets go.