Finding the Perfect-Sized Baby Blanket for Every Stage
Learn about the different types of baby blankets, what to look for, and how long a baby blanket should be based on the size and needs of your little one.
As a new parent, you have so many questions - and sifting through the endless information online can get overwhelming. Even when you've watched a YouTube tutorial on how to wrap up your newborn like a baby burrito and received an avalanche of advice from every friend and family member, some subjects remain mystifying. If you're like me, you didn't know where to start when it came to baby blankets. How many do you need? What type of blanket is appropriate? What size should they be? What is the best baby blanket material? Does any of this really make that much of a difference?!
Well, the answer to the last question is yes. Having the right blankets for the job can make naps and bedtime just a little more blissful, but using the wrong blankets can be dangerous for newborn babies. Choosing a well-sized baby blanket is essential.
This article will explore different kinds of blankets, how to find the perfect size, and what to look for when you're on the hunt for a new baby blanket. If you're interested in learning more about blanket materials, like how to decide between organic cotton vs. organic muslin fabric and other questions, check out our article on the best organic materials for baby blankets.
Beginner’s baby blanket briefing
What makes a blanket a baby blanket? In short, baby blankets are typically softer, thinner, and smaller than blankets made for adults. A baby’s skin is much more delicate and sensitive than an adult’s, making softer blankets essential! The different types of baby blankets you can find for your little one are all made with babies’ comfort and growth in mind, but each is crafted for a particular stage. Take a look at the most common types of baby blankets and when they come in handy for your little one.
Preemie blankets, also known as NICU blankets, are meant to cover and comfort the smallest of us. Infants born before a pregnancy’s 37th week are considered premature and can be as small as one pound! Having a blanket that can safely hold such a small newborn is incredibly important. Preemie blankets vary in size but are usually square or rectangular (ranging from 18 by 18 inches up to 30 by 30 inches) and must be very soft to the touch to care for their especially delicate skin. Preemies may spend most of their first days or even weeks away from their parents. A preemie blanket that mom or dad has held helps babies associate the comfort of the blanket with the smell of their parents, and can even lower baby’s stress levels and promote better sleep.
A receiving blanket is a thin blanket designed in a square or rectangular shape. You'll recognize these as the sturdy cotton blankets most hospitals use to swaddle your baby when they are first born. While still soft to the touch, receiving blankets are made for durability as they'll be used for everything from swaddling to burping. There's a reason these multi-use blankets are often sold in packs! They'll follow your baby from the bassinet to the stroller to the car seat. They’re also the perfect blanket to drape over your shoulder as you bounce and pat to work out those gas bubbles. As most experienced parents will attest, keeping several receiving blankets on hand at all times, from infancy all the way up until the toddling begins, makes life much easier!
A swaddle blanket is specially designed for swaddling your baby. Swaddling, or wrapping a newborn up securely so they are unable to wiggle out of the blanket, is a technique used for a few reasons. It provides comfort and security for new babies, but it also keeps them from scratching themselves in their sleep with tiny, surprisingly sharp fingernails. Swaddle blankets are traditionally smaller than receiving blankets. They typically have two winged sides, which do the wrapping part of a baby burrito, and a triangular, rectangular, or pocketed bottom to tuck up the baby’s feet. While you can use almost any type of blanket to swaddle your tot, having a blanket designed with that purpose in mind can be quite a help in the middle of a long, restless night.
Crib blankets, sometimes called toddler blankets, are larger blankets meant for covering older kiddos who are still sleeping in cribs. This type of blanket can be made in a variety of different sizes, shapes, and fabrics. The blanket dimensions of a crib blanket are often based on the typical sizes of crib mattresses, most commonly standard size and mini. Toddlers and older children sleeping in cribs still look for the same comfort as new babies, and a comfy, specially-chosen blanket can make bedtime a little bit less stressful.
Security Blankets & Loveys
A security blanket is a special type of blanket meant to be part blanket, part soft toy. They are usually made of fleece or plush material and may even have a stuffed animal attached. Security blankets should be durable as they will likely see a great deal of use, both from snuggling infants and from active toddlers who drag them along behind everywhere they go.
Similarly, the lovey is a very small blanket, usually 13 inches square, with a plush animal head attached to one end, as though the blanket was its body. While they make fun baby shower gifts and comforting soft toys, loveys do not provide much in the way of coverage and warmth.
How long should a baby blanket be?
When it comes to baby blankets, the size of the blanket makes a big difference for comfort and durability. You want one that is big enough to keep your baby warm, but not so big that the size overwhelms them. The standard baby blanket size is 45″ by 45″ to 60,” offering versatility and long-lasting use throughout the speedy development of little ones. A blanket of this average size can be used as bedding, a floor mat, a stroller blanket, or even as a wall hanging to decorate your baby’s nursery. You can also find blanket size charts online to reference when determining the size of baby blanket and type of blanket for whatever stage your little one is in.
As much as we'd like to build a cozy, squishy nest for baby, the extra floof can create a suffocation hazard, increasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is unsafe to keep blankets, soft toys, or pillows in a newborn baby's crib until they are at least 12 months of age. Likewise, when using swaddle blankets in a crib, be sure to use safe sleep practices. This includes putting a child on their back every time you lay them down, as it’s important that babies sleep on their backs. In addition, when babies are swaddled, they should be monitored to ensure they don’t roll over in their sleep. If they start rolling over while sleeping, it may be a sign that swaddling isn’t appropriate for them.
The blanket pattern can also make a difference. A blanket with a lovely crochet pattern looks beautiful and inviting, but the loose weave of a crochet baby blanket or knitted baby blanket can tangle and trap little fingers. It's best to avoid crochet in the crib until at least 12 months of age.
fawn & forest
fawn&forest's collection of organic cotton baby blankets and quilts are just the right size for your baby. Our swaddle blankets and sleep sacks soothe your little bundle of joy, keeping them comfortable and warm so you both can get a good night's rest.
Like all of our collections at fawn&forest, we've given particular care to find only the highest-quality materials, from organic cotton with an extra-soft feel to high-comfort merino wool. We choose our favorite organic baby and toddler blankets not only for their exceptional eco and organic fabrics but for durability and long-lasting comfort. Discover beautifully crafted blankets to swaddle your baby, keep them warm in their crib, and follow you on all your adventures.
Enabling Open-Ended Play for Your Preschooler
Preschool is a time of swift and significant development for children, from learning to toss a ball to using descriptive language to tell detailed stories, and reaching each milestone is a moment of joy and wonder for you as a parent. As your child grows into a preschooler and their curiosity grows with them, you’ll feel that same sense of awe each time they discover something new.
Play at this stage of your little one’s development seems simple enough, but it’s as essential as every other area of learning. Parents quickly discover that the cardboard box from the new dryer can entertain a kiddo for a day or longer, but what other ways are there to spark your child’s imagination and problem-solving while developing their fine motor skills? That’s where open-ended play steps in!
What Is Open-Ended Play?
Open-ended play, also called free play or unstructured play, happens when your child participates in activities that don’t have a specific goal or end result. This includes the open-ended activities with the cardboard box, yes, but also creative play with toys, household items, art supplies, or even just their imagination!
The play activities in an open-ended play session can vary quite a bit, but the one thing they all have in common is that your child chooses for themselves how to spend their playtime. Without instructions or rules to follow and no predetermined way to end their activity, children use their curiosity and individuality to make their own decisions on what path to take.
Benefits of Open-Ended Play
Play time for young children can often be highly structured, especially in settings where the little ones greatly outnumber the caregivers! Activities with clear instructions that guide children to a specific conclusion or objective, like a school lesson or a science experiment, will play a large role in developing their ability to focus, follow instructions, and think ahead. Even games can take on a rigid structure with strict rules and a concrete end goal. While these close-ended activities are clearly important, unstructured learning activities are equally valuable.
Creative, open-ended play with parents or other peers helps children learn social-emotional skills like bonding, respecting others, communicating, and balancing personal emotions with the emotions of others. Imaginative play can also improve academic skills, decrease destructive behavior, improve concentration and focus, and even have a calming effect on children. This type of play time is particularly important during early childhood, with children around 2-5 years old gaining the most benefit.
Examples of Open-Ended Play for Preschoolers
Below are some examples of unstructured activities and play ideas to help you encourage open-ended play for your preschooler. The suggestions here range in complexity and can be modified for children of any age. As you read through, think about your own unique child and what might inspire or encourage them the most.
Imaginative play occurs when a child role-plays experiences that are of interest to them. There are a number of benefits imaginative play contributes to a child’s development, including growth in their creativity and thinking skills.
Support imaginative play by asking open-ended questions or offering prompts such as, “Tell me about the toy you’re using.” Open-ended prompts like this are an excellent tool for guiding a child to use their language in a situation where there is no right or wrong answer. Your child can be successful just by telling you what’s on their mind!
Beyond that, you can use pretend play toys as prompts. These toys show the simplicity of imaginative play. Only a few props are needed, like a doll buggy or field tent, to light that creative spark. Whether they like to cook and clean with a kitchen set, put on a show with a magic kit, or play dress up, there’s something for everyone. When you provide that spark, your child's imagination will burn all the brighter.
Most children’s toys you see are specifically designed plastic pieces with all the bells and whistles included. While these toys certainly play a role in your child’s creative play, more often, you spend a lot of money without receiving much educational value, as the concrete design inhibits children from expanding their play. Wooden toys, however, offer more benefits than the latest trendy toys.
While they aren’t always as flashy as plastic, battery-operated toys, one of the primary advantages of wooden toys is that they require your child to use their own imagination to play. Open-ended toys like wood building blocks, play silks, or magnetic tiles help them develop those essential fine motor skills. The possibilities contained within even a simple set of building toys are nearly limitless and allow your little one to stretch their imagination, conjuring entire worlds of their own.
Another thing to consider is that thoughtfully designed toys like those made from wood can withstand loads of use and still look brand new. Because natural toys are so durable, they can be used by multiple children in your family and still be handed down for generations after.
Art Projects and Music
Children are creative, unhindered little beings and often need little more than basic art and music supplies to design endless masterpieces. Finger paints and pint-sized musical instruments might be the first things that come to mind, but there is a much wider range of open-ended materials that can inspire artistic thought in children. Playdough, crayons, printables to color in, pom-poms, stickers, and paint brushes are a great start.
Wooden art and musical toys are amazing for a preschooler's development. Research shows that playing and learning environments featuring natural elements like wood can help a child concentrate, focus, and even calm down more effectively than ones with electronic toys. Musical toys have been shown to support everything from creativity and language development to memory and emotional intelligence.
Having an art or music area with lots of options gives your child the chance to make their own DIY art without the structure that often comes with learning a craft. It’s important that they know, you can’t mess up in art!
The sense of touch is a meaningful way your preschooler learns. While babies experience the world by putting as much of it as they can in their mouths, preschoolers use their hands to explore. Ensuring they have a safe environment to interact with is one of the challenges that every parent faces. You want your child to have the freedom to investigate while also preventing them from putting little fingers where they could get hurt.
Sensory play activities are an excellent way to achieve this. You can set up a sensory bin: a large container full of sand, uncooked rice, dried beans, or even water, to which you add household items like scoops, cups, funnels, kitchen utensils, or open-ended toys. Your kiddo can touch, pour, pinch, move and sort to their heart’s delight.
Water tables and sandboxes are also options if you have the space. This type of open-ended play gives your child the chance to learn through hands-on, tactile play, engaging their senses. Sensory bins can even have themes for different seasons and holidays!
As your child grows, they will naturally want to explore their surroundings. For preschoolers, it’s an adventure!
One option to encourage their sense of exploration and discovery is a push and ride toy. Ride-on toys have numerous benefits parents will love, from developing gross and fine motor skills to supporting critical thinking. Options with fully-functional components, like dashboards, give kiddos the chance to manipulate the materials and practice fine motor skills. And as they push themselves around, young children also get to build gross motor skills and critical thinking skills, experimenting with different surfaces while staying atop their toy. They’re the perfect explorative toys for naturally-curious preschoolers and 2-3 year-olds.
You can further feed their love of adventure with a nature walk and scavenger hunt. Take a walk with your child through a park or even your own backyard and encourage them to look for objects or creatures by using open-ended questions and prompts. You may be surprised by what they find!
Designing Spaces for Open-Ended Play with Fawn&Forest
As you design your child’s play area, focus on using the space to give them visual cues of what type of play is where. A table set-up suggests they should sit and play with small blocks, puzzles, and drawing tools. A cozy tent with soft throw pillows in one corner might suggest a place to read or play with a truck. Another corner may hold a workshop outfitted with pretend play tools or a pretend kitchen complete with the accessories needed for creative play. By setting up these separate play areas, you give boundaries while supporting their use of imagination and creativity.
Teaching your child that everything has its place will help you both maintain a safe and organized home. A good storage system in the form of shelves, cubbies, or toy boxes is essential in a child’s play area design. Find dual-purpose furniture in our collection like multi-size cubbies, perfect to let kids view play options and learn where to put their toys away, even in small spaces.
At fawn&forest, we’ve gathered our favorite modern toys for infants and kids to keep your child entertained and kick off their development through open play. You’ll also find all the furniture you need to design a safe, comfortable play space for everyone. Our focus on healthy growth and development is an essential part of what drives us, and our collection of playroom products was chosen with that same care.
Glider vs. Rocker: Choosing the Right Nursery Chair for You
The perfect nursery chair does more than simply let you create a gentle rocking motion to soothe a tired little one. Whether you use it for cuddles, breastfeeding, or storytime with your new baby or toddler, your nursery chair should offer comfort and security to you both.
Rockers and gliders have withstood the test of time with parents around the world. Still, many new parents, and those redecorating their homes, struggle to decide between a glider or a rocker. If that sounds like you, consider the benefits of each outlined here - and how a new nursery chair will fit in your home.
What Is the Difference Between a Glider and a Rocker?
Both rocking chairs and gliders can provide the swaying motion trusted to comfort a fussy baby and a worn-out new parent, but each offers a unique set of styles and benefits for your family and your home.
The arched legs of a rocker or rocking chair offer soft, limited movement from front to back, allowing you to rock your baby to sleep gently. Rocking chairs typically have a larger footprint in the room than a standard chair due to the length of the arc, as well as a more intense rocking motion.
Historically, rocking chairs were made of wood and wicker and unpadded or only lightly padded. Modern rockers, however, come in a range of well-crafted materials and unique styles to match the aesthetic of any living room or nursery with comfort and coziness.
A compact glider fits neatly in smaller spaces while offering the same comfort and aesthetic appeal as a rocker. Gliders also have a wide range of designs and styles but are most often padded for comfort. In contrast to the intense motion of the rocker, glider chairs operate on a fixed track, creating a level gliding motion.
The best nursery gliders have other features such as a recliner, a locking mechanism for the gliding track, or a functional ottoman. Additionally, modern options like swivel gliders can offer a larger range of motion when needed.
Considering Style, Space, and Function for Your Nursery Chair
Regardless of the nursery chair you choose for your space, there are important features to look for before you make your decision. When deciding on a nursery chair, consider these factors to ensure you find a piece that best matches your needs.
Comfort for You Both
The nursery chair you chose will be a place for you and your baby to relax, whether for breastfeeding, napping, or just sharing some quiet time. With that in mind, you should choose a chair that not only feels comfy, but gives you the room you need to move around, adjust a nursing pillow, or hold your baby in a position that helps them feel secure.
Look for cushioned arms, a back high enough to support your head, a seat cushioned with dense foam or springs, and that extra room to move around and get comfortable.
A proper nursery chair is built to last. You’ll want a piece of furniture that will stand up to decades of use. Look for fray-resistant upholstery that will endure months of spit-ups, spills, and squirmy infants, and easy-to-clean chairs with or without machine-washable covers. Your nursery chair should function in your home long after your babies become toddlers and the quiet of your baby’s room becomes a playroom filled with excitement and energy.
Safety and Security
Speaking of the transition from nursery to playroom, you’ll also want a chair that will be safe for little fingers and toes once your new baby becomes a not-so-little one and wants to explore every nook and cranny of the nursery. Find gliders with a locking mechanism that halts the gliding motion when the chair isn’t in use. A lock can also keep you from struggling to stand up in the middle of the night while holding your sleeping child.
Fitting Your Unique Space
Every home is unique, thoughtfully filled with furniture and decor that fits your style and space - and your nursery is no exception. The amount of space available in the nursery or set aside in your living room will be important for your decision.
Rockers typically take up more space than gliders, which tend to be more compact. However, adding extra features, like a matching ottoman so your glider can function as a recliner, may require more space. Proper measurement of the room - with at least some idea of the placement of the rest of the nursery furniture - is essential.
Modern rocking chairs and gliders often offer additional features beyond a recliner function, swivel, or footrest. Some have built-in USB ports you can use for charging your phone or plugging in a pump or white noise machine. Others feature side tables or cup holders and have adjustable options to fit your growing family. For those who are tight on space, some nursery chairs even have storage for baby gear, toys, diapers, and nursing supplies.
Finding a the Perfect Rocker or Glider
Grandma's rocking chair is still fresh in our imaginations with all the precious memories wrapped up in it. Our collection of nursery chairs combines modern comfort, durability, and elegance with that classic design we remember. We want you to love whichever rocker or glider you choose - because it will become more than just a piece of furniture. It will be an heirloom that forever holds the memories of those special moments shared between you and your little one.
If you’re looking for the simple beauty and gentle but intense movement of a rocking chair, our selection of rockers offers balanced, visually appealing silhouettes. Discover adjustable rocking chairs to ease transitions as your child grows, with modular designs like convertible bassinet placements or double seat options.
If you feel that a glider chair's smooth movement, safety features, and compact nature are a better fit, consider the stylish statement pieces and comfort-friendly glider options in our collection. Explore recliners and modern wingbacks offering smooth swaying motions, 360-degree swivels, and ottomans that perfectly complement the pieces in style and comfort.
At fawn&forest, we value not just wholesome, simple living but also modern comfort and functionality. Your baby’s nursery deserves original, unique furniture designs made from the highest quality natural materials available, and we are dedicated to bringing you only the best-in-class nursery furniture. Find pieces that will help you design your baby’s nursery to be a place of beauty, comfort, and healthy, happy development.
How to Make a Child's Room Safe So They Can Explore and Grow
Home is a sanctuary for you and your family, and your child's room should be a safe space for them. Designing your child's bedroom with unique and carefully crafted decor helps create a special space for your little one while giving you peace of mind. With thoughtfully chosen products, you can make a room everyone will feel excited to spend time in.
Children's rooms are used for more than sleeping, but your child will spend a great deal of time resting in their bed. Choosing a crib or bed that feels secure can give you both a good night's sleep.
For young children transitioning from a crib to their own bed, a convertible crib or a toddler bed with security rails is essential. Many of our toddler beds pair calming colors and sturdy builds that can ease the transition to a big kid bed. We’re particularly fond of Oeuf’s 2022 Classic Toddler Bed, offering a safe, sleek design.
Bunk beds are another great choice for siblings, giving them the chance to sleep near each other.
Like any other room in the house, a color scheme defines a kid's room. Painting with soothing shades, muted hues, or colors your child loves can make their bedroom design perfect for playtime and bedtime.
Pastel blues, light greens, muted purples and pinks, and soft whites all offer tranquility and safety. You can also go with a patterned wallpaper like this favorite safari print from Ferm Living:
A secret reading nook, hiding space, or pretend play toy gives your child a place they can use to take some quiet time or enjoy imaginative play, allowing them to feel protected in their bedroom. Play tents are one of the best and most space-saving options that offer your child an area to play and feel snug. You can read more ab
Little ones will take tumbles, and the best way to prevent more tears is to lay a soft, cushioned rug on the floor. Floor coverings are especially useful in nurseries with hardwood or tile to give children floor space to comfortably play with legos, explore their bookcase, or cuddle with a favorite stuffed animal. Try a colorful option like this Monstera leaf-shaped rug from Lorena Canals, perfect for your nature lover.
There are a million and one ways to incorporate calming lighting into your bedroom ideas. From nightlights that make your bedtime routine less stressful to overhead lighting that helps your little one wake up in the morning, adding extra light can make a room feel secure for you and your child.
Making your child's bedroom safe isn't just about baby proofing. It's also about developing an interior design that matches their personality. Including art like mobiles, wall art, and home décor that fits their interests is a thoughtful way to ensure your child feels safe and at home in their own room.
Adding a comfortable chair for you to use during read-alouds, cuddles before bed, or visits during playtime reminds your child that you're always nearby. Rockers like our Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner let you spend time in your child's room without needing to crouch on the floor.
A relaxing chair also gives other family members a place to come play or read with your little one. As their love of reading develops, older children can even enjoy the chair as their own reading nook.
When your child's bedroom also doubles as a place for play, including opportunities for creativity is essential. Whether it's a chalkboard for drawing, a tub of clay for modeling, or a box of dress-ups, giving your child the chance to express themselves can make their room feel even safer.
Furnish Your Child's Room with Natural, Sustainable ProductsAt fawn&forest, we choose our product collections based on safety and quality. Explore our selection of furniture, décor, and other nursery products to design a secure space for your child to safely play, sleep, explore, and grow.
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