Some people are under the impression that, since safe sleep recommendations say not to place loose blankets in a baby’s crib for sleep, you don’t need any baby blankets. This simply isn’t true! Baby blankets are useful for so much more than sleeping, and many blankets can be used to tightly and safely swaddle your newborn. Baby blankets are so adorable, it’s hard not to want them all!
So, How Many Baby Blankets Do You Need?
How many blankets you need for your baby ultimately depends on your personal preferences, where you live, and your baby, but these guidelines can help you figure out how many you actually need.
Although the number of blankets you’ll need depends on all the factors discussed below, here’s a quick overview. If you have your own laundry facilities and do laundry several times a week, you’ll probably want at least:
- 4 swaddle blankets (these could be muslin blankets or wearable blankets)
- 1 warm blanket (warm weather) or 2-4 warm blankets (cold weather)
- 2-4 thick blankets for tummy time
- 1-2 blankets for changing pads
- 1-2 blankets for nursing covers and/or arm support while feeding
- Additional blankets for burp cloths, if your baby spits up a lot.
- A special blanket set for a newborn photo prop
Many moms find that they regularly use at least 10-12 baby blankets.
If you do laundry every day, you will need fewer blankets. If you do laundry less frequently or send your laundry out, you may need twice as many.
You won’t know exactly how many blankets you need until your baby is a few weeks old and you know their personality and habits, these guidelines can help you decide how many to buy before your baby arrives.
How will you use blankets for your baby?
What types of blankets you plan to use and how you intend to use them has a huge impact on how many blankets you need!
Although safe sleep recommendations say not to place loose bedding in your baby’s crib or bassinet, swaddling blankets and wearable blankets are helpful and safe for sleep. Most muslin blankets are good for swaddling, as is the blanket your baby will be given at the hospital.
Swaddling is an art form, in and of itself, that takes practice. There are a surprisingly large number of ways to swaddle, so make sure to read up on swaddling and ask your postpartum nurse for help! Most people like having at least four or five swaddling blankets on hand to begin with.
Our favorite way to use thick minky or sherpa blankets was for floor time and tummy time. Supervised tummy time while awake and with an adult nearby is important for your baby’s development. Using a thick blanket or two helps keep them off the cold, germy floor. If you want to use blankets for floor time, having 2-4 on hand is a good idea. Spit ups are common in tummy time!
If your baby is prone to spitting up, or has reflux, you’ll quickly learn that commercial burp cloths just aren’t adequate. Folded over blankets, especially fleece and muslin blankets, make great burp cloths! It depends on your baby and how often you do laundry, but if your baby spits up a lot you might need as many as 10 burp cloth blankets.
Blankets, especially lighter ones, can make great nursing covers! If you don’t reuse this blanket for burping or changing, just one or two should be fine.
If you’re nursing, you may also want one or two blankets to help you prop up your arm or your baby’s head. I like using “special” blankets, like ones knitted or crocheted by family members, that I don’t want spit up or poop on!
You may also want a special blanket, like a blanket and hat or blanket and headband set or a personalized blanket, for a newborn photo shoot. Unless you want lots of different “outfits,” just one or two special keepsake blankets should be enough.