Before I had kids, I couldn’t tell the difference between one baby blanket and another. Now that I’ve spent some major QT with babies and blankets, I can tell you that – hands down – muslin blankets are the best (Can I get an “Amen!”?!). Yes, that’s right; they are even better than the flannel footprint blanket new babies come home from the hospital in (and those blankets are so iconic).
Here are seven reasons why muslin blankets are my go-to recommendation for pretty much any baby registry:
- They are versatile. You can use a muslin blanket as a swaddle, a blanket, a nursing cover, a shawl, a scarf, a baby tent, a stroller shade, a burp cloth, a towel, and potentially as emergency clothing for yourself. It can even be used for older kids as an impromptu cape or as a doll blanket. Since muslin blankets have as many uses for Mama as they do for baby, I recommend picking up a few that have adult-friendly colors or prints. This way, when Babycakes spits up on your blouse while you are eating lunch out, you can knot up the baby blanket as if it were a scarf and continue enjoying your meal with just a minor interruption. These blankets are minimalism at its finest.
- Muslin is extremely packable. You can shove 3 of these puppies into the space that 1 traditional baby blanket takes. Their airy feel also means your diaper bag will weigh less. This is clearly a victory.
- They are breathable. You are a (new?) parent. You are paranoid. Sometimes, you think you hear your kid crying and hurriedly run over to check on them only to find them sleeping peacefully. (“Wait a minute, sleeping peacefully? Something must be wrong!”) You apprehensively place your finger under their nose to ensure they’re still breathing (but not too closely, otherwise they will wake up and make you atone for your helicopter parenting). Cut yourself some parenting slack and use a blanket that is breathable when you swaddle your baby or nap your toddler. You will also feel better if and when you leave your little one with a sitter or at a daycare center. I have seen my share of attentive and inattentive babysitting, and I feel a little bit better just knowing that if (G-d forbid) my toddler kicks his blanket off during naptime, he will not die* under a mountain* of fleece.
(*Yes, I am being dramatic here.)
- Muslin blankets are incredibly durable. Don’t let their soft, airy look fool you; these blankets know how to run defense. Our kids have dragged them through the dirt, grass, and wood chips. They have played tug of war with them. They have stepped on them. They have brought them everywhere. No rips. No tears. No hanging threads. This. is. amazing.
- They are made out of natural fibers, which means that they are soft, sustainable (especially if they’re organic), and gentle on baby’s skin. It also means that if they end up being beyond repair (which will probably be in 50 years), you can repurpose them or recycle them. Brilliant!
- Muslin blankets can fit any budget. Want to splurge on a color-coordinated set? Grab a box of Aden and Anais swaddles. Want to DIY your own for a few bucks? Check out this video on how to make some from double gauze fabric. And since these puppies get softer the more they are laundered, you can grab some beautifully soft ones second hand.
- Last but not least: My little ones love them. Need I say more?
And that, my friends, sums up why I heart muslin blankets.
If you have a favorite muslin pattern or have DIYed one yourself, feel free to tell us about it in the comments.