Tips for Choosing The Best Organic Baby Blanket or Quilt
What to look for when choosing the best organic baby blanket including what materials are the strongest, softest, and healthiest for you and your new baby.
As they transition from the safety of your belly to the outside world, babies love the feeling of being wrapped up snuggly in a cozy swaddle blanket. There is a reason the first three months of a baby’s life are often referred to as the “fourth trimester.”
The best baby blankets offer, not just comfort, but also security and peace of mind for those early months and beyond. With the amount of time your infant spends sleeping, choosing the right blanket becomes an important choice for you as a parent.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a baby blanket before, you’ve likely come across blankets labeled as “organic.” Wondering why organic fabrics make all the difference? Read on to find out everything you need to know about organic baby blankets and how to find the perfect option for your little one.
Why Organic Material?
Synthetic fabrics are often less expensive to produce, and non-organic materials will always be cheaper. But if it's soft, what difference does it make? Well, a baby's delicate skin is thinner, more porous, and more sensitive than an adult's, putting them at greater risk of absorbing residual pesticides, insecticides, growth hormones, or whatever else has been used during the manufacturing process.
When talking about baby food, an organic label indicates the food was produced without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. The same is true of natural fabric materials, like cotton, wool, and bamboo.
Organic blankets are made from fabric free from any of these dangers. The organic label means that a blanket does not contain any genetically engineered substances or synthetics - and the material it's made from has been grown without pesticides. Beyond that, it's more likely to come from a source where sustainability is a priority.
Choosing The Right Organic Fabric For Your Little One
A baby blanket should be made of gentle, breathable, and certified-safe materials to make sleep more comfortable on your baby’s sensitive skin - and give you peace of mind. With that in mind, as you look for a baby blanket for your little one, pay special attention to labels stating that the blanket is GOTS certified, which means that the fabric meets the Global Organic Textile Standard. Below are some of the gentlest and safest organic fabrics that parents love.
Organic Cotton Knit
With a soft weave, organic cotton is lightweight enough for the summer months and warm enough to work as a layer in the winter for multi-season use. Its range of options and gentle touch for baby's sensitive skin makes it the perfect choice for infants and toddlers alike. And, if you choose a dye-free fabric, the natural ivory cotton of a knit baby blanket makes a lovely background in photos and is just the right size to use in the stroller.
Organic cotton muslin blankets are excellent receiving blankets and organic swaddle blankets for little ones. Due to the loose weave used to make the muslin fabric, muslin swaddle blankets are uniquely breathable and offer a safer option than thick quilted blankets. Muslin is one of the softest fabrics available for organic cotton swaddles, so it’s an excellent choice for baby clothes, burp cloths, and many other baby products.
Organic Merino Wool
Merino is a breed of domestic sheep characterized by very fine, soft wool. It’s a gentle, breathable fabric that can help maintain temperature, making it a great choice for a blanket to use during cuddle time or solo sleep. Additionally, merino wool is 100% biodegradable, and its fibers have a protective outer layer that resists dirt and prevents stains from absorbing, making it much easier to machine wash.
Not only is “bamboo baby blanket” fun to say, but bamboo fibers tend to be even lighter and more breathable than cotton, perfect for your baby’s delicate skin. Bamboo fabric is also quite durable, hypoallergenic, and machine washable, and because bamboo is a sustainable material, bamboo blankets are also one of the most eco-friendly options. That said, some bamboo is processed in a way that introduces toxic chemicals to the material, so be sure to pick brands with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification.
Safety First! ...And Second, And Third...
Safety is essential when choosing a baby blanket. In addition to the obvious things to avoid, like blankets with loose tassels, fringes, or ribbons that can become choking hazards, safety also extends to buying an appropriate blanket for the season.
Infants are not yet able to regulate their body temperatures, so choose a heavier blanket for winter and a lighter one for summer to prevent overheating. When purchasing a winter blanket, do not get a quilt or anything soft and heavy. Even when made from a breathable fabric, the dense design can contribute to SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Instead, a knitted pattern offers ventilation and breathability.
As babies get bigger, they transition from a swaddle blanket to a sleep sack. The wearable blanket allows your little one to kick, wiggle, and move around without the risk of suffocation. Baby sleep sacks are also convenient for you as a parent, letting you slip one right over their baby clothes and pajamas, so you can keep it on as you feed and soothe them at night.
Other Things to Consider
The number-one concern when shopping for a soft baby blanket is, of course, making sure your baby is warm and comfortable. However, a few other factors can help narrow your choices down a little more.
If you're going to spend the time, effort, and resources to find the absolute best, high-quality blanket for your baby, you expect it to last. A good, well-made blanket can stand the transition from shower gift to nursing cover to stroller blanket, all the way to play mat for tummy time! The blanket they snuggle with as a baby eventually becomes their security blanket for naps during their toddler years and beyond. Take a close look at the blanket’s stitching to ensure it won't unravel within a year, and choose something machine washable. A good blanket will travel from the crib sheets to the car seats and back, withstanding any everyday mess.
If you're like me, you like to hold onto treasures from your baby's earliest days. Baby blankets become heirlooms that will forever remind us of when our children were tiny, and when you choose a blanket based on durability, there's a good chance it will have a life beyond your first baby's infancy. Picking a unisex or gender-neutral pattern is not as important as choosing a color and pattern that can go with any decor. A blanket with a gaudy design that's fun for a baby shower, in my experience, will not see as much use as a blanket with a softer color palette.
We all want to make sure that the world we leave for our children is better than we found it. One of the many small actions we can take is to choose eco-friendly baby products whenever possible. Choosing organic material is a good start, but you should also favor sustainable materials, like cotton or bamboo.
An OEKO-TEX label can be helpful for choosing the most eco-friendly options. If the blanket you're looking at is labeled STANDARD 100, every thread, weave, and button has been tested for harmful substances. Their STeP certification label shows that the manufacturing process included environmentally friendly production, sustainability, and socially responsible working conditions.
fawn & forest
fawn&forest's collection of organic cotton baby blankets and quilts has the perfect options for your little one's comfort. Find muslin baby blankets to keep your tot warm in their crib, cover their little face while running errands or taking a walk, or swaddle them for the comfiest sleep. Our baby swaddle blankets and sleep sacks offer that same comfort, with just the right amount of warmth to soothe your baby.
We picked our favorite baby and toddler blankets crafted with exceptional eco-friendly and organic cotton fabrics, durability, and beautiful patterns and colors. Explore our collection of blankets made with the highest quality materials, from organic cotton to fine merino wool with an extra-soft feel, all chosen to help your sweet pea drift off to sleep in comfort.
If you enjoyed this you may also be interesting in why you should get an organic mattress for your baby crib. You may also enjoy reading how to make your child's room feel safe and more.