Selecting a Baby Blanket

So you are trying to choose a baby blanket and don’t know what options to consider. We looked at a lot of baby blanket pages online and came up with this list of things to possibly consider. We’re not weighing in here on what’s most important or who’s good at this or bad at that. It’s just a list to help you think your decision through!

Material – Cotton or wool percentage (100% mixed with something else, often acrylic). Here’s a useful page comparing durability of different fibers. You’ll see a lot of “microfiber” and “polymicrofiber” blankets – these are 100% synthetic and often called “chamois” or “minky” – you can easily search about their environmental impact. If you see “polyamide,” that’s nylon. 100% cotton is generally not soft if it’s a knitted item. Both 100% cotton and 100% wool knitted items generally do not hold their shape well.

Organic – This could be wool, cotton, bamboo, or something else natural. Generally they’re 100% organic, however we have one that’s 45% organic cotton, 45 organic wool, and 10% nylon (the nylon adds strength and durability – see the link above).

Uniqueness – Stylistic preferences aside, this comes down to the likelihood that your recipient receives the same item, or same type of item, from another giver. If you purchase from Target or even Amazon, there’s a realistic chance of this happening. Another aspect is having something truly unique about the gift, like how beautiful it is (in a unique way) or how somebody was helped.

Size – Most blankets are more or less square, or slightly rectangular. Ours are about 2 feet x 2 feet. Some are a bit larger. What’s the purpose of your blanket? To cover a baby sleeping in a crib? In a stroller or car seat? When the baby becomes a toddler and is beginning to walk around with the blanket, is he or she at risk of stepping on it, tripping, and falling?

How Made – Is it handmade or was it assembled in a factory? If the blanket looks like it was cut from a roll of fabric and sewn together, it was almost certainly cut out and sewn together by machine in a factory or large production facility.

Where Made – For some, this comes down to whether the blanket was “Made in the USA” or not. But these days, due to various issues many people prefer not to receive items made in China. In our case, we take yarn from the US to Nicaragua because the women our non-profit is helping live there (the poorest country in Central America). If you only see the word “imported,” it was probably made in China.

Cause – A few outfits arrange their businesses so they can specifically help people in need. This might mean employing very poor people, or “giving back” to the production community in some way. Everyone can claim to provide employment since people do generally get paid for their work, but most offshoring involves paying a supplier, with no contact with or relationship with the people actually doing the work. In our case, we personally hired and trained our knitters, and they work in our home in Nicaragua. It’s comfortable and safe, and they’re friends who work together to help everyone complete a blanket each week.

Packaging – It’s usually not possible to see how your blanket will arrive, unless a gift box option is offered, typically for about $5. But if you are having the blanket sent directly to someone, a nice box with a silky bow might be of interest. Here’s how we package.

Shipping – Some suppliers always ship for free, but usually there’s a minimum purchase value needed to trigger free shipping. Very often one needs to purchase 2 or more items to hit it. Sometimes the free shipping option “disappears” from the site if another promotion is on. If you are in a rush, delivery time frame is often something to consider if possible. In our case, we offer a USPS Priority Mail option for $3 extra and if a gift box is ordered we upgrade to Priority Mail at no extra charge.

Colors – You’ll want to give a blanket that you believe is beautiful in design, color, and pattern. Many people (but not all) have moved on from the traditional baby blues and pinks, so take your time and explore all of your options. We offer an eGift that lets someone choose their own blanket from our site, and we throw in free shipping to boot.

Reviews – It’s always good to read what other people have said, but it’s hard to tell how “curated” the reviews are (less-than-stellar ones excluded).

Customization & Personalization – Embroidery of a name and/or birth date (or other text) may be an option for additional cost. Of course this removes the option of returning the blanket if multiple are received. In our case, we regularly make custom blankets in requested colors, esp. of sports teams.

Allergies – Some people think a lot about this when they choose a baby blanket, but for different reasons. Some want to avoid non-organic materials like acrylic and microfibers; others want (or need) to avoid an organic material like wool. Production in a smoke- and pet-free environment may be desired. It can all get very complicated and might be a good reason to give a gift certificate/eGift and let them choose their own blanket!

Price – Of course you will factor this in when you choose a baby blanket. We all understand this criterion, so enough said.

Care – Depending on the material, a blanket may or may not be machine-washable. Most people prefer easier care, but those who insist on organic are probably accustomed to the extra hassle. Most of our blankets are “machine wash cold or gentle cycle, tumble dry on low heat” but there a few exceptions, noted on the labels and here.

We hope that our list will help you to choose a baby blanket, one that will generate that “wow factor” and also yield a useful gift that might just end up as a treasured family heirloom. We think that Sheep Dreamzzz does pretty well in most of these areas, but we can always improve and love to receive feedback and questions.

She agrees that a Sheep Dreamzzz blanket is a wonderful grandchild baby gift and the way to go when you need to choose a baby blanket

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