Monday, January 14, 2008

The Monday M.o.M. Review : Receiving Blankets

As previously mentioned, I thought I would start writing some reviews of baby products I've tried, liked/disliked, essential items, etc. You never know when one of these may pop up... but I think I'll try to post one on every Monday.

I thought I would start with Receiving Blankets. This must seem like any awfully strange item to review.. but I think that they're are one of the most important items a mom should plenty of on hand.

Receiving blankets are very versatile. Besides swaddling a baby (which every new parent should be shown how to do, most fussy babies will quiet right down when swaddled), I use them for burp cloths. They are far more efficient than a tiny rectangle on your shoulder, especially after having 2 babies with Acid Reflux that spit up volumes.

They are also useful for nursing in public as they are so light that mom & baby won't get overheated while trying to nurse discreetly. I know there are specialty items made for nursing in public, but they don't double for use as receiving blankets do.

On top of which, a receiving blanket will fold up nice and compactly to fit in your diaper bag/purse.

You should always have an extra on hand in your diaper bag if you should have to change a diaper in a less than desirable place. I like to put one down over public changing stations if I have to use one - and if we change in the van or stroller I don't worry about getting it messy!

It's a very small piece of laundry to go through many of. Which is why I also like to fold one in half to make a long rectangle. I will lay it just below my pillow, so it is under my upper back/shoulders. Should I drift off to sleep while nursing baby any milk or spit up doesn't mean I need to change the sheets the next morning.

Now with all that being said, I had a hard time finding receiving blankets that were worth keeping around. I use 2 blankets when swaddling a baby, which means that the second blanket usually has to be a bit bigger to stay wrapped. Also since our babies are bigger than average, we need good size blankets. Blankets that are a square are not going to work for you. I found after Isaac was born that the receiving blankets from the hospital were the best to come by! A well meaning nursing student asked if I had any at home and I said I thought I had a few - she sent me home with about a dozen. Just to find out with my second baby as I asked if I could have a few more (since I couldn't find any other blankets decent in size) that it was illegal for her to give them away to me! Oops!

Carter's was the very best I had found. Generously sized, as well as very, snuggly soft and cute prints to boot. Although pricey, they were worth it to be able to wrap baby well and have a decent blanket to work with while nursing. Gerber blankets were WAY too small, as were Circo Baby (Target's brand), and Walmart's brand.

However, I just received a gift with the birth of my last baby containing Koala Kids receiving blankets. These are several inches longer than even the Carter's Blankets. And I think they even give the hospital receiving blankets a run for their money!

And speaking of money.. Koala Kids is a Babies 'R Us brand, which means that it's going to be a better cost savings on top of it! Sorry Carters.... cute and snuggly doesn't beat cute, snuggly, and cheaper!

Now, these type of swaddling blankets are becoming increasingly popular. I have one. It's decent. I'll tell you that I like it as the outer blanket when using 2 blankets to swaddle the baby. As many blankets weren't long enough to wrap around a bigger baby, that blanket would hold the wrapping job of the first blanket used.

I have to say - I'm not that big of a fan. You can't get the baby quite as securely wrapped, their legs aren't snug the same way. I think that old fashioned swaddling is the best. However, if you absolutely cannot get the hang of swaddling your baby I would see that as your next best option. Seriously though, find a mom with a bunch of kids and have her teach you how to swaddle your baby. You'll be glad you did.


Tara said...

Most receiving blankets that we tried were a joke. Size wise, that is! They worked for Shea (another 9 pounder) for about a week or two. My sister in law was nice enough to make me a couple of double-sided big flannel receiving blankets which worked great.

The kiddopotomus thing actually worked decently for us. Even though we were pretty good at swaddling, our fiesty girl somehow managed to get out of everything! At one point we considered putting duct tape around the blanket. Well, almost. ;-)

Carole said...

I'm a huge fan of swaddling as well. :)
How are you feeling?