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Baby Blankets – Warm, Cozy and Durable

Baby blankets aren’t just an appropriate gift, but a wonderful addition to the arsenal of comfort for a newborn. And you have more choices than ever as to what and even how you’re going to provide a blanket for the little one.

To begin with, think about the babies themselves. A blanket that they can wrap up in tightly will offer a sense of security – think Linus from the old Peanut’s cartoon. That’s the standard to keep in mind as you buy the baby blanket.

Ask around and see if the newborn has any allergies that may preclude one type of blanket – for example, wool allergies may limit the type of blanket that will work for the newborn. The new parents will be glad to tell you or, if you can’t get a hold of them, consider playing it safe with a hypoallergenic blanket.

Fleece is a common choice that comes in a range of prices, styles and colors. It’s soft and durable and is a good basic choice for newborns. There are even fleece kits that will allow crafty baby shower guests to create their own blankets. And even though they’re known for their softness, the modern blend of fibers in fleece blankets makes them hardy and washable.

But let’s say that you want something a bit more special – perhaps even a bit exotic – that’s more eco-friendly. How about bamboo? Don’t worry – it isn’t at all woody or harsh. The fibers are treated, both mechanically and chemically, to soften them and allow them to be woven into a fabric that’s soft, durable and environmentally friendly.

There’s also cotton, another renewable resource and a fine option for baby blankets. Also, if you go with an organically-grown cotton, you’ll be as green as you are with the harder-to-find bamboo. And there’s nothing that breathes as well as cotton.

These natural fibers are going to breathe and be comfortable for the baby and the mother, so they should be a first choice. However, if you want to increase the durability and lower the price a bit, look at the many blends that are out there. Blanket manufacturers today choose from a variety of compositions and materials – each of which bring different characteristics. For example, a cotton and wool blend would be an excellent choice. There are some more exotic blends, too – there’s even an online supplier for a bamboo and wool blend if you’re feeling adventurous.

If durability is a primary concern – and with the demands of a new baby, it is a real concern – look for a label that says “machine washable.” The new parents will thank you for it.

Finally – here’s a special tip that will endear you to the new parents. Purchase two identical blankets. Favorite blankets get dirty and need frequent washing. If there are two identical blankets, then baby has one while the other one is in the wash. Trauma averted – and you look like a hero. Rotating the two blankets also means that if – heaven forbid – one is lost, there's one that looks the same that can take its place. Try to replace a well loved, often washed blanket with a new one, and you'll be very unsuccessful. Just tell the parents why you’re giving them two identical blankets and they'll think you are the wisest person on the planet.

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