All mamas want to keep their little babes as comfortable as possible especially when they are sleeping. Little ones nap a lot and when preparing for your baby to arrive, you may have come across the terms receiving blankets, swaddle blankets, and muslin blankets.
This is when you might be confused as to which one you should opt for. Let’s take a look at the difference between the three so that you get a clearer picture.
What is a Receiving Blanket?
As the term suggests, a receiving blanket is a loose cloth blanket that is usually used to wrap around your baby just after they are born. They are typically smaller compared to other blankets but are suited for more variety of applications like swaddling, wiping, as well as burping.
Most hospitals use receiving blankets to dry and wrap newborns as soon as they are delivered. Since receiving blankets are more functional they can be used for a longer period. You may have got baby receiving blankets as gifts if you had a baby shower.
What is a Muslin Blanket?
Muslin blankets are very similar to receiving blankets, but they are slightly bigger. Muslin refers to muslin cloth or muslin fabric which is woven using cotton threads in a particular way (plain weave).
Muslin fabric can have different ranges of thinness or thickness but because it is made of cotton and is woven in a particular way, it allows the garment to have more breathability.
What is a Swaddle Blanket?
Swaddle blankets are used to swaddle and create a snug fit around the baby. Most newborns like to be swaddled as this reminds them of their time in the womb. Swaddle blankets are also typically made of muslin but they are much larger. They are not as versatile as receiving blankets in the sense that they cannot be used as burp cloths or for wiping the baby.
However, these days there are plenty of different types of swaddle blankets that have Velcro, buttons, or zippers that make it very easy to swaddle a baby. Some of the best baby swaddles are The Ollie Swaddle and Love to Dream swaddles.
How to swaddle a baby
Swaddling is an age-old practice and most moms swear by this technique for calming their baby. It helps to keep your baby calm by providing a sense of security. Swaddling is also great for keeping your baby warm and cozy, and it prevents their arms from flailing which can trigger the startle reflex.
Here are some easy steps that you can follow to create the perfect swaddle for your baby:
- Use a flat surface- First you need to spread out the blanket in the shape of a diamond with one of the points facing upwards. Then bring the top corner down about 6 to 7 inches.
- Please your baby on the swaddle – Your baby’s head should be above the folded edge of the blanket (top corner which you just fold down) and the baby’s body should extend towards the bottom corner of the blanket.
- Straighten the left arm - Wrap the left side of the swaddle over your baby’s left arm. This will also cover the chest and you can tuck the blanket under the right arm and part of the back. Your baby’s left arm will be covered and the right arm will be free.
- Bring the bottom up - Then fold the bottom corner over the baby’s body and tuck it under the fold on top. Straighten your baby’s right arm and bring the right side of the blanket over the body and tuck it under the left side. You can tuck the bottom of the blanket underneath your baby.
Tips to keep in mind while swaddling a baby
- Make sure that the swaddle is snug but not too tight. The blanket should be loose enough around the hips so that baby can move his or her legs freely. If your baby does not like the arms to be in the swaddle, it is alright to leave them out.
- Some babies don’t like swaddling and that’s fine. You can try swaddling your baby with a zipper enclosure or Velcro enclosure.
- Swaddling is perfect as long as it is done correctly and as long as it is not too loose. Loose swaddles can become unwrapped while your baby sleeps, causing a hazard. Do not leave loose blankets in your baby’s crib as it could cause suffocation.
- Always place your baby to sleep on their back. This is the safest position for a baby to sleep whether they like swaddling or not.
- Since swaddling can cause overheating it can increase the risk of SIDS. If you find your baby sweating with flushed cheeks, rapid breathing, and damp hair, it might mean that your baby is too hot.
- When you get up at night to feed your baby always check the swaddle and make sure that it is alright and your baby is comfortable.
Whether you decide to use a swaddle, or a receiving blanket, or a muslin blanket, you need to see what is best and most comfortable for your baby. As long as your baby is warm and comfortable, your little one should be just fine!