If you’re a first time mom, you may be wondering how many baby blankets you need. Learn all about the different types of baby blankets and how many you need for your newborn!
Some people are under the impression that, since safe sleep recommendations say not to place loose blankets in a baby’s crib for sleep, you don’t need any baby blankets.
This simply isn’t true! Baby blankets are useful for so much more than sleeping, and many blankets can be used to tightly and safely swaddle your newborn.
Baby blankets are so adorable, it’s hard not to want them all!
How many blankets you need for your baby ultimately depends on your personal preferences, where you live, and your baby, but these guidelines can help you figure out how many you actually need.
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So how many baby blankets do you need?
Although the number of blankets you’ll need depends on all the factors discussed below, here’s a quick overview:
If you have your own laundry facilities and do laundry several times a week, you’ll probably want at least:
- 4 swaddle blankets (these could be muslin blankets or wearable blankets)
- 1 warm blanket (warm weather) or 2-4 warm blankets (cold weather)
- 2-4 thick blankets for tummy time
- 1-2 blankets for changing pads
- 1-2 blankets for nursing covers and/or arm support while feeding
- Additional blankets for burp cloths, if your baby spits up a lot.
- A special blanket set for a newborn photo prop
Many moms find that they regularly use at least 10-12 baby blankets.
If you do laundry every day, you will need fewer blankets. If you do laundry less frequently or send your laundry out, you may need twice as many.
You won’t know exactly how many blankets you need until your baby is a few weeks old and you know their personality and habits, these guidelines can help you decide how many to buy before your baby arrives.
Questions to help you decide how many blankets you need for a newborn
How often do you do laundry?
How often you do, or plan to do, laundry has a huge impact on how many baby blankets you need. If you do laundry literally every day, then you’ll need far fewer blankets than if you do laundry once a week!
Many people in larger cities send their washing to a laundry service, which also increases the number of blankets you need.
If you visit a laundromat, or have coin operated laundry in an apartment building, instead of laundry within your home, this will also up your blanket requirement!
If you want to do laundry literally every time your baby spits up or has a leak, you’d need a minimum of two blankets of each type: one for Baby to use and one in the wash.
This just isn’t realistic, though! Quite honestly, it also isn’t realistic to expect to wash and dry a blanket before your baby needs a fresh one. I’m not exaggerating when I say my baby pooped 10+ times some days as a newborn! Although they didn’t all leak, even a fresh diaper can leak on a tiny newborn bum.
If you do laundry in your home regularly, try starting with four of each type of blanket you intend to use.
For example you might want, four muslin blankets for swaddling, four plush blankets for tummy time, four blankets for use in the car or stroller, and four blankets to use as changing pads or burp cloths.
If you do laundry less frequently, you may need more than four of each type of blanket, especially swaddle blankets.
What’s the weather like where you live?
If you live in Hawaii, your blanket needs will be very different than if you live in Alaska! Knowing the normal weather where you live at the time of year when your baby will be born can help you decide how many blankets, and what kind of blankets, you need.
If you live somewhere warm, you may only need one thick, plush or minky blanket for bundling up when you go to doctor’s appointments. However, you may want more light muslin blankets to help protect your baby’s skin when you’re outside. Even trips through the parking lot into a store can be harsh on a newborn’s sensitive skin.
If you live somewhere cold or your baby will be born during a colder time of year, you may need multiple warm blankets for the car or stroller.
How will you use blankets for your baby?
What types of blankets you plan to use and how you intend to use them has a huge impact on how many blankets you need!
Although safe sleep recommendations say not to place loose bedding in your baby’s crib or bassinet, swaddling blankets and wearable blankets are helpful and safe for sleep. Most muslin blankets are good for swaddling, as is the blanket your baby will be given at the hospital.
Swaddling is an art form, in and of itself, that takes practice. There are a surprisingly large number of ways to swaddle, so make sure to read up on swaddling and ask your postpartum nurse for help! Most people like having at least four or five swaddling blankets on hand to begin with.
Our favorite way to use thick minky or sherpa blankets was for floor time and tummy time. Supervised tummy time while awake and with an adult nearby is important for your baby’s development. Using a thick blanket or two helps keep them off the cold, germy floor.
If you want to use blankets for floor time, having 2-4 on hand is a good idea. Spit ups are common in tummy time!
Childhood development Rachel of Can Do Kiddo has a fantastic video showing tummy time with a newborn that's very helpful for new parents.
You can make tummy time more fun for your little one by grabbing these free printable high contrast cards for newborns!
Newborns are so soft and little - a folded over blanket makes a great changing pad when you’re out and about!
My daughter has never liked public changing tables (I can’t blame her!). Layering a blanket between a hard changing table and a waterproof mat helps make the experience more comfortable. You can also use a blanket alone in a pinch. If you go out every day, you may need several blankets for changing. I personally don’t feel comfortable reusing a blanket after it’s been on a public changing table! If you don’t go out as much, just one or two should suffice.
If your baby is prone to spitting up, or has reflux, you’ll quickly learn that commercial burp cloths just aren’t adequate. Folded over blankets, especially fleece and muslin blankets, make great burp cloths! It depends on your baby and how often you do laundry, but if your baby spits up a lot you might need as many as 10 burp cloth blankets.
Blankets, especially lighter ones, can make great nursing covers! If you don’t reuse this blanket for burping or changing, just one or two should be fine.
If you’re nursing, you may also want one or two blankets to help you prop up your arm or your baby’s head. I like using “special” blankets, like ones knitted or crocheted by family members, that I don’t want spit up or poop on!
You may also want a special blanket, like a blanket and hat or blanket and headband set or a personalized blanket, for a newborn photo shoot. Unless you want lots of different “outfits,” just one or two special keepsake blankets should be enough.