When we think newborn, we immediately think about that baby blanket... that cherished item that will wrap that brand new baby in warmth, love, and security. In those early hours, days, and months, that baby blanket is what will act in the place of the mother's womb. It has to be right. And that's why it's often the first thing we look to purchase with the news of a new baby.
Whether it's a gift for first-time expecting parents, or you're looking for something special for your own baby, it's helpful to keep in mind some guiding principles of choosing an heirloom baby blanket.
What is an heirloom baby blanket?
In the traditional sense, an heirloom is something of value that is passed down from one generation to the next. In a more contemporary context, however, there is less emphasis on handing down to the next generation, but more emphasis on something of value. A modern heirloom is something that is infused with meaning because it was loved and cherished.
So in the context of baby blankets, a modern heirloom is a blanket that is used and loved, one that forms a special attachment with the baby and family, and one that is of premium quality that you can be proud of.
Baby blankets that you will use.
When choosing a baby blanket, it's important to understand your lifestyle and ensure that the blanket will actually be practical for you and your family. Traditional receiving blankets for babies were square and sized for only the smallest newborn babies. If you want a baby blanket that will be used for the long haul, it's helpful to go for a size that will go from the hospital to bassinet, as well as to stroller and crib.
Also pay attention to the care label. Many knit baby blankets require dry cleaning or a "hand wash and lay flat to dry" treatment. And most modern families don't have the time, patience (or space) for such elaborate care rituals for a baby blanket. Opt for a high quality cotton knit blanket that can be machine washed and dried so that you can rely on it everyday.
Baby blankets that babies love.
Babies form attachments to blankets. We all know of someone who grew up relying on their baby blankie for comfort. And it's truly a magical, wonderful thing to witness that sort of attachment to a loved item.
What leads to such an attachment? For one, it's consistent use (refer to the point above). And for another, it's softness. It's that plush, soft touch that is warm and comforting. Our blankets are knit with the finest, softest cotton yarn, which makes them easy to form an attachment to. It explains why so many parents tell us they need to buy a duplicate just in case they somehow lose their first blanket -- babies and toddlers form a strong attachment to them!
Baby blankets of quality and integrity.
Decades from now, when you look back at photos of your little one in those early days, you will want to feel good about those items that wrapped around those little arms and filled your memories of rocking them to sleep in the middle of the night. You will want to be selective about your baby blanket because if you choose wisely and with intention, it will be a truly cherished item in your family for years to come.
In many ways, choosing a baby blanket is one of the first choices you make for that baby, even before they arrive. Choose one that is sustainable, safe, and made with integrity. Your choices matter, for your baby and for your family.