For a baby blanket, cotton may be an obvious choice, but it's worth pointing out why cotton is a top choice, even among other natural fibers.
Cotton is low maintenance.
Babies are high maintenance. Baby blankets don't need to be. When you're perpetually sleep deprived with a new baby that seems to soil everything around the clock, you do NOT have to "hand wash" and "lay flat to dry" a cotton blanket like our Baby's First Blanket. If you live in an urban environment like NYC, for example, sinks are for bathing your newborn, not your baby blanket, and you barely have square footage to "lay flat" your baby to play, let alone a wet blanket to dry overnight. With a cotton baby blanket, you can toss it into a washing machine and dry in the dryer.
Cotton is warm AND breathable.
One common obsession when it comes to caring for a new baby is regulating their temperature. Babies had nine months essentially hangin' out in a sealed container of warm fluid, but once in the real world, they're exposed to frigid Nor'easters, uncontrollable sauna-like heaters, blasting A/C, frigid or overheated car seats, etc. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) generally advises that newborns, for instance, need an extra layer than what we would be wearing in order to stay warm enough (unless it is over 75 degrees F).* Cotton is a great fiber for a baby blanket because it can provide warmth without bulk and ensure breathability through all those layers!
Cotton is soft. Especially Egyptian Cotton.
The cotton in our Baby's First Blanket is 100% Egyptian Cotton. The cotton plants grow predominantly in Egypt. This type of cotton is called Gossypium Barbadense and is known for its extra long fibers, which make the cotton especially soft, fine, and durable. The cotton is grown and manually harvested in Egypt; then the fibers are processed and spun into the finest yarn in Italy. (More about our sources in a later post in the series!)
Once knit into our Baby's First Blanket, it is soft and plush enough for a newborn's sensitive skin. In short, it leads to face smush-able moments you'll cherish forever.
Cotton is right. All year round.
During especially the early months and years, a baby experiences not only the normal seasons at home, but may also need to travel to very different climates. Cotton is just as useful as a cover-up on a tropical beach as it is to snuggle with inside by the fire through a Buffalo winter storm. If your baby is going to get attached to a blanket, might as well be one that looks and feels right for most of the year.
Cotton is smooth.
Full disclosure: We love wool and wool blankets (and maybe we'll develop a wool baby blanket in the future?) But for everyday use and in terms of versatility, we believe cotton is generally preferable.
Aside from all the other benefits listed above, cotton is a relatively smooth fiber that is less likely to pill than many types of wool. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, it also means that you won't get long, loose fibers coming off the blanket that end up in your newborn's throat. 'Cause at some point, blankets will end up in your baby's mouth.
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From our family to yours,
* healthychildren.org, Dressing Your Newborn [healthychildren.org is a great resource for nesting families because it is powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)]