The Best Baby Blanket
The Best Baby Blanket. A blanket is a blanket right? Well, when it comes to blankets for babies, there are three main types: swaddling, wearable and receiving. After testing and comparing 17 different blanket brands, here are our picks:
Best Swaddling Blanket
Babies love snug places, especially for the first six to eight weeks of life. At the hospital, a nurse will most likely show you the burrito wrap swaddle method—in a nutshell, babies arms are snugly wrapped, but the legs are loose enough for movement. Why keep the legs loose? This is to prevent the bones in the hip from not forming correctly (also called hip dysplasia).
In our testing, these blankets made of muslin by Aden + Anais were judged the best for swaddling and overall quality.
One important point: STOP swaddling your baby after eight weeks. From that point on, they need the freedom of movement to correctly develop! And no, you don’t need any of those “swaddle transition” products . . . babies can quit cold turkey from swaddling at eight weeks of age. No need for a transition.
Best Wearable Blanket
Wearable blankets are designed for sleep, keeping babies warm without the risk of sleep safety issues. Also called sleep sacks, these blankets zip up the front and are designed to keep baby warm.
Why can’t you just use a swaddle or receiving blanket for sleep? Well, those can be become unsecured during sleep . . . and that poses a hazard to baby.
HALO popularized the wearable blanket concept when they launched the SleepSack in the mid 1990’s after founder Bill Schmid lost his eight week old daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. His goal was to create a safer sleep environment for babies by eliminating loose blankets in a crib.
The SleepSack won top honors in our testing of nine other “wearable blankets” for its overall design, durability and quality. Our readers also name HALO as a fave, saying it was easier to use and washed well even after multiple wearings.
Best Receiving Blanket
The receiving blanket is the utility infielder in your baby care cache—it can be used to swaddle a baby in case your regular swaddling blankets are in the wash, clean up a spit-up mess, serve as a burp cloth and more. In a pinch, you can also use a receiving blanket as a changing pad.
Our top choice, Simple Choice by Carter’s, scored the best for quality and durability in our tests. They stood up to multiple washings well. Some of our testers complained they are too small to correctly swaddle an infant . . . but that’s why we recommend specific swaddling blankets (see above) for that task.