A blanket is a popular gift for new mums and babies. After all, babies sleep anywhere from 20 hours to 14 hours a day during their first year. Practical and versatile, baby blankets are available in a wide variety of designs, colours, and materials, making them stylish additions to a nursery. However, whether the shopper is choosing a gift for someone else or looking to stock his or her own nursery, buying a blanket for a baby requires some consideration. Buyers need to understand the types of blanket, their materials and durability, and the blanket’s purpose, as well a variety of safety issues.
Blankets can be made from natural fibres, as well as synthetic fleece, all of which have their own advantages. The material and size of a blanket also play a role in determining what purpose baby blankets serve. While department stores and baby supply shops stock baby blankets, many buyers may prefer to shop from the comfort of home on eBay.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Blanket for a Baby
Parents often acquires a stock pile of blankets for their baby so that there is always a clean one on hand in the event of reflux, a leaky nappy, or an assortment of other mishaps. A quick exchange when one blanket becomes dirty means a happier baby and parents who do not need to launder the blankets constantly. However, some materials can wear out quickly with frequent washing, so choose durable, resilient products.
A Blanket Must Be Kind to the Baby’s Skin
In addition, the skin of a baby is much more sensitive than that of adults, which makes a baby much more susceptible to skin irritation. It is possible for a baby to be allergic to wool, and to have reactions to fabric softener and detergent, as well as chemicals used in synthetic fibres. So, baby blankets should be chosen and washed with care. For parents who are conscious of their impact on the environment, it is possible to purchase baby blankets that are organic and chemical free. Not only are they kinder to a baby’s skin, but they are also sustainable. These blankets include cotton, wool, and bamboo varieties.
Types of Baby Blankets
Blankets for babies take a variety of shapes and forms. Common options are swaddling and receiving blankets, as well as cellular blankets. Cot bedding typically includes a duvet, and buyers can purchase coverlets.
Swaddling and Receiving Blankets
Swaddling and receiving blankets are some of the most versatile blankets for babies. Both are used to swaddle, or wrap, babies, but receiving blankets tend to be smaller and either rectangular or square, whereas swaddling blankets are square and large. Both swaddling and receiving blankets can be made from flannel or flannelette. Swaddling blankets can also be found in muslin.
In addition to swaddling, these blankets can be used in a variety of ways, from makeshift changing pads or burp cloths, as well as playmats. Larger swaddling blankets can be used as makeshift breast feeding covers. In addition, flannel receiving blankets can be cut up and sewn together to serve as cloth nappy wipes if parents choose to take the reusable route for nappies.
Some swaddling blankets may be designed with velcro fasteners, as well as flaps to secure a baby’s arms. While these are single-purpose blankets, they may also be more effective for swaddling because they feel snug and are difficult to wiggle free from.
Cellular baby blankets have a waffle weave in their construction that makes them breathable and allows the blankets to regulate temperature. Often used in hospitals, they can be made from cotton or wool, as well as acrylic, a synthetic fibre. Cellular blankets, like swaddling and receiving blankets, can be used in a variety of ways. A cellular blanket can swaddle a baby as well as serve as a playmat or breast feeding cover. It is also easy to care for, regardless of which material it is made from.
Most cot bedding sets include a duvet or quilt as well as sheets and an assortment of matching items. However, these blankets are too heavy for young babies and should not be used until they reach 12 months old. Instead, consider leaving the quilt hanging from one of the rails of the cot during the day, or even hang it on the wall if it is particularly decorative. As with any other blanket, pay attention to the materials used and look for a duvet or quilt that can stand up to repeated washing, because it will often become dirty.
Coverlets are decorative blankets, often made from fleece. Coverlets are good for using as a playmat and for casual use around the house. However, fleece blankets are not good for sleeping or swaddling because they are not as breathable as natural fibres. Instead, consider using the fleece blankets to line a pram or to use as a covering in a car seat, where it is not advisable that infants wear coats, because the extra padding that keeps them warm also creates too much slack in the straps.
Materials for a Baby Blanket
One big choice buyers must make when choosing a baby blanket is the material. Baby blankets are available in both natural and synthetic fibres. Natural fabrics are an ideal choice for a baby’s extra delicate skin, but synthetics are typically less expensive and easier to care for. Common materials used in baby blankets include cotton, bamboo, wool, and fleece.
Cotton Baby Blankets
Cotton has long been a staple in clothing and bedding. Is is a natural fibre that can take many forms, each with its own distinct qualities. Cotton is highly breathable, absorbs moisture, and helps to regulate body temperature to keep a baby cool in warmer weather and warm in cooler weather. Muslin is a woven form of cotton that is soft to the touch and inexpensive, making it a good choice for numerous applications, including swaddling blankets. Cotton may also take the form of flannel or flannelette, which are woven fabrics with a brushed surface to increase their softness. Another variation of cotton is organic cotton. Organic baby blankets are typically not treated with chemicals or pesticides, but it is always a good idea to research the manufacturer to learn more about them and how the blanket was made.
Bamboo Baby Blankets
Bamboo is another natural fibre found in baby blankets. It is very soft to the touch, making it comfortable for the baby. It is thought to have antimicrobial properties, as well. Bamboo is renewable as well as biodegradable. As an added bonus, it can be as affordable as some cotton products.
Wool Baby Blankets
Wool has many of the same traits as cotton. It is breathable, helps to regulate temperature, and absorbs moisture. One type of wool, merino, is especially suited to baby products because it is extremely soft to the touch. Wool also has the added benefit of greater UV protection than most other fibres, including cotton and synthetic materials. It is also available in organic varieties.
Fleece Baby Blankets
Fleece is a synthetic fabric made from polyester fibres. It is napped to create a soft, fuzzy surface and comes in several varieties and textures. It is easy to wash. However, fleece is generally not as breathable as natural fabrics, so baby blankets made from this material have limited uses. In addition, fleece is not flame retardant unless it is treated with chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin.
Buying a Blanket for a Baby on eBay
While you do not have to have an account to browse eBay, creating one before you shop can help to simplify the process. You can enter a keyword, such as "girl's wool baby blanket" or "boy's receiving blanket" into the search box found on every page of the eBay site. From there you can filter results by the price range and other features. When browsing for items, it is always a good idea to research the sellers that you are interested in buying from. Checking their feedback history gives you a good idea of what the buying experience will be like.
Additional Tips for Using eBay
eBay accepts a variety of payment methods, including PayPal. PayPal is a convenient and secure option, that is widely accepted by sellers. You can adjust your payment methods at any time by logging into your eBay account.
In addition, you can use eBay to manage a variety of other tasks. For example, you can watch items that you are interested in, send and receive messages, and review your purchase history. You can also keep a list of saved sellers. Using eBay’s advanced search function, you can choose to display items only from the sellers on your list, which can simplify the search process.
Baby blankets are a common gift for new parents and an essential item. In many cases, parents may keep several types of blanket on hand. However, when shopping for baby blankets, buyers need to be aware of several issues. First, consider the type of blanket that is required and pay attention to the material used. Natural fibres, such as cotton, wool, and bamboo are used frequently and tend to be better for babies. Some blankets are made using synthetic materials, such as fleece or acrylic. Many natural fibres can be found in organic varieties, which is ideal for anyone concerned with his or her impact on the environment.
Baby blankets are available in several types, such as swaddling, receiving, and cellular blankets, which are meant for wrapping babies, but are also useful as playmats and breast feeding covers. Coverlets are not meant to be used for swaddling, but they are useful in a variety of other situations, such as covering a baby in a pram or car seat. In addition, many cot bedding sets include a duvet or quilt that matches the sheets, but these are more for decoration until the baby is at least 12 months old. Whatever type of blanket shoppers are looking for, though, eBay is an excellent place to start the search.