Baby Sleep Safety

How to Use Receiving Blankets

Layer several receiving blankets over a baby when the temperature is such that your baby may need more or less covering to stay comfortable. If your baby becomes too warm, remove a receiving blanket. If your baby is not warm enough, add a receiving blanket.

Wrap a receiving blanket around a baby for swaddling. Place the baby's head near one of the corners. Fold the left corner over the baby. Bring the bottom corner up over the baby. Fold the remaining right corner over the baby and wrap the baby up tightly in the receiving blanket.

Use a receiving blanket as a burp cloth. Receiving blankets make great burp cloths because they are larger than a typical burp cloth. For this reason, they are great to place over your shoulder to protect your clothes from messes when you are burping a baby.

Wipe up accidental spills of formula or breast milk when you are feeding your baby.

Drape a receiving blanket over mother and baby for privacy when breastfeeding in a public place.

Cover your baby with a light receiving blanket when the weather is warm but you still want the baby to have a blanket.

Cover the baby with a receiving blanket to protect the baby from sun and bugs when the baby is in a stroller.

Place a receiving blanket onto any public surface you need to place your baby, like a public changing table or a public infant seat in a shopping cart. The receiving blanket will keep your baby comfortable and help protect the baby from germs.

Lay a receiving blanket onto a carpeted floor when you want to place the baby onto the floor for play time.

Use a receiving blanket to line your changing table pad. The receiving blanket can easily be thrown into the washing machine and replaced with a new one when soiling occurs.

Roll receiving blankets up and use them to help position a baby in both a car seat or a crib. A rolled receiving blanket can be placed on each side of the baby's head to make sure that the baby's head stays straight and upright in the car seat. A rolled receiving blanket can be place on either side of a baby in a crib to prevent rolling onto the side or tummy.

Types of Baby Blankets

Security Blanket

When sold specifically for this purpose, security blankets are soft -- often plush or fleece -- and often have a stuffed animal attached. Security blankets are not designed to wrap a baby in or cover him with, but rather as a symbolic form of comfort. A security blanket should be durable, as a baby often holds onto it well into his toddler stage. However, a child may become attached to any blanket and use it for security or comfort.

Receiving Blanket

A receiving blanket is a simple and lightweight, and measures about one square yard. The blanket is multifunctional and can be used for swaddling, to catch drool or spit up, to lay a baby down on top of on the floor or anything else you can think of. Because receiving blankets have many purposes, they're very useful and most parents find it helpful to have a large supply of them on hand.

Swaddling Blanket

Many people suggest that keeping a baby swaddled helps him stay calm and relaxed. Swaddling blankets, as the name suggests, are specifically designed to swaddle a baby with. Swaddling blankets come with fastenings that make it quicker and easier to swaddle a baby in compared with a receiving blanket. Some varieties of these blankets let you change a diaper and keep the baby's top half wrapped up.

Sleep Sack

Sleep sacks are a relatively new concept. It's a wearable blanket that lets a baby be fully covered while sleeping without using a traditional blanket. Babies under 12 months old have an increased risk of dying as a result of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) if you use regular blankets in their cribs because they can get tangled in the bedding and pull it over their faces. Therefore, sleep sacks are a safe alternative if it's too cold for the child to sleep with no blanket.

Sleep Sack Safety

Benefits

Blankets can be dangerous for your baby to use during her first year. If the blanket gets pulled too close to her face, she can have a hard time breathing, which is one cause of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that sleep sacks and other wearable blankets are a better alternative than regular blankets to keep your baby warm.

Temperature

Although sleep sacks are useful for keeping your baby warm, they can become dangerous if your baby is too warm while sleeping, which is also a contributing factor to SIDS. Remove the sleep sack if your baby shows signs of being too warm, such as sweating or flushed cheeks and rapid breathing. Avoid using the sleep sack in a room where the temperature is already comfortable or warm and only put it on your baby in situations where you think a regular blanket would be necessary.

Cleaning

Keep the sleep sack safe for your baby to use by washing it regularly to remove dust and allergens that your little one could breathe in while sleeping. Use a gentle detergent that is less likely to irritate your baby's skin, such as one with no added fragrances or dyes. Keep the sleep sack stored in a clean area away from pets or cigarette smoke.

Recommendations

To maximize your baby's safety while sleeping, always put him to sleep on his back. MayoClinic.com also recommends that your baby always sleep alone. Avoid the use of additional blankets and bedding other than the sleep sack, and make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows how to use the sleep sack safely.

How to Make a Baby Cake From Towels and Blankets

Lay out a baby blanket on a flat surface. Fold the blanket in half lengthwise to make a thinner, long blanket. Fold the blanket in half lengthwise once more. Repeat this step to fold a total of three baby blankets.

Place two blankets side by side with the short ends touching each other. Use two safety pins to connect the ends of the two blankets that are touching. Place another blanket beside the joined blankets with the short ends touching. Attach this blanket with safety pins as well.

Begin at one end of the joined blankets and roll up the blankets like a jellyroll. Insert a safety pin to keep the outside end of the last blanket attached to the roll. Wrap a 2-inch-wide ribbon around the roll and tie the ribbon ends in a bow to hide the safety pin.

Lay a baby towel on a flat surface and fold it in half lengthwise. Fold it in half again. Repeat this step with three more baby towels. (If the towels are made of a thick, plush material, only fold two more towels.)

Place the folded towels end to end with the short ends touching and pin the edges together. Roll the joined towels into a jellyroll shape and pin the outside end in place with a safety pin. Wrap a 2-inch-wide ribbon around the roll and tie it in a bow to hide the pin.

Fold a baby receiving blanket in half lengthwise and then in half lengthwise again. Repeat this step with two more receiving blankets.

Lay the blankets end to end and attach the short ends with safety pins. Roll the blankets up like a Swiss roll and pin the end of the last towel to the roll. Wrap a 2-inch-wide ribbon around the roll. Tie the ribbon in a bow over the safety pin.

Place the baby blanket roll on a cake tray and stack the baby towel roll on top of the baby blanket roll. Stack the receiving blanket roll on top of the baby towel roll.

Top the cake with a silk flower or stuffed animal.

Wrap the entire cake in tulle netting and tie the netting closed with a 2-inch-wide ribbon.

Tip

For extra decoration, you can add small baby items, such as teething rings and pacifiers to the edges of the tiers.