Receiving Blankets – Something Every New Parent Should Have

Are you eagerly searching and adding things to add to your registry? You will see recommendations for both swaddles and receiving blankets..but what are they and is there a difference?

Of course you don’t want to buy things you don’t need, so do you actually need receiving blankets?

In this blog we will discuss uses for receiving blankets, how they are different from swaddles and different uses for them after your baby is older.


What Is A Receiving Blanket?

Receiving blankets are thin blankets used to wrap, swaddle or cover babies. These blankets are called “receiving blankets” because they are usually the blankets used when a baby is first delivered and received by mom and dad.

Although these blankets are thin, they are warm and serve a lot of differences which we will talk about below.

The Differences Between A Receiving Blanket And A Swaddle

Like we discussed above, a receiving blanket is a thin, small blanket used to receive babies after birth but overall has multiple uses.

Swaddle blankets on the other hand are much larger blankets, but can also come in a premade form.

The key difference between the two would be size and thickness. Swaddle blankets tend to be larger and thinner, while receiving blankets are smaller and thicker.

Which Is Better? A Receiving Blanket Or Swaddle?

Overall, I really have a love for receiving blankets. Their smaller size and thickness gives them a lot of versatility during babyhood and beyond.

Swaddle blankets are nice, however the thin material and large size does not make them as versatile in my opinion.

Truth be told, I am not the best swaddler so I prefer the premade swaddles that have velcro, ha!

Why You Need Receiving Blankets

Receiving blankets are so versatile! They can truly turn into almost anything you want them to be!

These blankets are designed for the parents to receive the baby after birth, so naturally they are a thicker material and soft. This design makes them useful and versatile for newborn babies and beyond.

20 Different Uses For A Receiving Blanket

You’ve heard me talk about how versatile receiving blankets are and I cannot wait to jump into all of the ways to use them! I wanted to share 20 different used for a receiving blanket other than a swaddle!

Keep scrolling to get all of the uses for a receiving blanket!

via Lovevery

Changing Blanket

Using a receiving as a changing blanket is a great idea! If you don’t have a changing mat, a receiving blanket is perfect for the back of your car, ground, public changing table, you name it!

Burp Cloth

Receiving blankets are my favorite burp cloths! I actually prefer them over regular burp cloths.

I prefer receiving over burp cloths because they are larger, and more absorbent. My kiddos spit up quite a bit, so having a larger burp cloth was a must!


Receiving blankets can be all fun and games! When I tell you they are versatile I mean it!

Playing peek-a-boo, tiny tug-o-war, and other fun games is super simple with a receiving blanket!

Nursing Cover


If you are in need of a nursing cover, look no further than your receiving blanket! Receiving blankets make for excellent nursing covers if you forget yours or just need a nursing cover!

Snuggly Blanket

If your baby needs a cuddly and warm blanket your receiving blanket if where you should look! Receiving make excellent blankets that aren’t too light or heavy and make sure to keep your baby nice and cozy warm!

Play Mat

Throw down a receiving blanket or two, scatter some toys and you’ve got a play mat! The cozy and soft blanket makes for a great play mat in a pinch!

Picnic Blanket

If you are out and about and find yourself in need of a picnic blanket and have a receiving blanket then you have all you need!

Receiving blankets are wonderful picnic blankets and great to clean up the mess after!

Tummy Time Mat

Receiving blankets make for a perfect tummy time mat! These blankets are nice because they are soft, but not overly plush so they do not pose the risk of suffocation like a plushier blanket would.

Photo Backdrop

If you are in need of a photo backdrop you can certainly use your receiving blanket! Receiving blankets usually have cute prints which you definitely want for pictures!

Car Seat Cover

via Happiest Baby

It is important to make sure that your baby is protected from the wind, cold weather, rain and bacteria during outings.

Receiving blankets are great for making sure that your baby is warm, dry and protected from unwanted touches while in their car seat.

Bath Towel

I love using receiving blankets as a bath towel is a great idea! Something I like to do is to throw the receiving blanket in the dryer when baby enters the bath and then wrap them up in the blanket when they get out!

This is a great way to keep them warm and use the blanket as a towel.

Large Bib

Once your baby starts eating, it’s as though they don’t stop no matter what the food is! My kiddos loved getting messy when they are first learning to eat!

Loosely pinning the receiving blanket around your baby can make a great bib that will prevent a lot of messes!

Car Window Cover

Have you ever been driving around the road and the sun was shining right in your face? That is the worst for sure!

As you can imagine, this is no fun for babies either! You can roll down the window a tad, put the receiving blanket in the gap and then roll up the window the rest of the way.

Bam! Car window shade in no time!

Side Play

Side play is important for developmental reasons, but sometimes it’s hard for your baby to stay on their side!

By rolling up a receiving blanket and placing it along your baby’s back as a support will greatly help with side play.

Emergency Diaper

Yep, I said it, emergency diaper! If you’ve never been there be glad!

There is noting worse than being out with your baby and being out of diapers. Luckily, receiving blankets are great emergency diapers because they are absorbent!

To make an emergency diaper fold the receiving blanket into a triangle and fit around your baby. There is no exact science to this, but just try to make sure there are no gaps around the thighs or stomach.

Positioning in the Car Seat

via Car Seat Blog

Have you ever peeked into your baby’s car seat and their head was flopped over to one side or the other? To me, it looks super uncomfortable!

Fold the receiving blanket in half and then half again. Next, roll up the blanket and position it around your baby’s head so they are comfortable.

Nursing Pillow

If you roll up a receiving blanket, it can be made into a nice little pillow that can be helpful for nursing or bottle feeding.

Simply half the receiving blanket and then half it again. Next, roll up the blanket and place it under your baby’s head while you are positioning them.

This little set up will make nursing more comfortable for you and baby!


Lovey’s are important for little ones! Lovey’s are an object that little ones get attached to emotionally.

Under proper supervision, a receiving blanket can be a lovey for your little one!

Make Shift Paper Towel

If you are in need of paper towel while out and about or there is a big spill your receiving blanket is great to use! Receiving blankets are very absorbent and make for a great paper towel!

Liner for Mattress

Let’s face it, babies have spit ups episodes and blow outs at random times. This means major clean up at unpleasant times.

Receiving blankets make great fabric liners for mattresses, bassinets and bouncy chairs! With a receiving blanket blow outs are no big deal!

Some Of Our Top Picks For Receiving Blankets

These are our top picks for receiving blankets! I love that receiving blankets come in so many unique prints so you have a lot to choose from!

via Etsy

Receiving blankets are a great way to add some personality to your baby’s items.

Muslin Receiving Blanket

Soft silky, the Bamboo fabric, the best fabric for babies, is up to 3 times softer than regular cotton, and the cotton can maintain durability. If you are looking for something incredibly useful for your parenthood journey, these receiving blankets are adorable and sport a cute patterns for baby girls and boys.

Carter’s Swaddle Blanket

Flannel receiving blankets are some of my favorites. I love that the material is light weight, cozy and breathable.

The Carter’s brand receiving blankets are wonderful and always soft!

Little Jump Swaddles

These blankets are so versatile ,which can be used as a swaddle blanket, receiving blanket, nursing cover, stroller blanket, car seat cover, burp cloth, tummy time blanket.

So many possibilities for you and your baby to enjoy, and not to mention the adorable prints!

Konssy Baby Girl Receiving Blanket

This receiving blanket is perfect for an introduction picture and more! It comes with a little sign that you can fill out and an adorable bow!

Galabloomer Receiving Blanket

These Galabloomer receiving blankets are adorable, soft and come in many prints! I love that these receiving blankets have a little bit of stretch to them, and come in so many unique prints.

Northwoods Receiving Blankets

If you are looking for another flannel receiving blanket option, check these out! They are cozy, and come in multiple prints!

Luvable Friends Receiving Blanket

These blankets are yet another adorable flannel set of receiving blankets. This brand has lots of gender neutral options for you to choose from!

Burts Bees Receiving Blankets

Burts bees is one of my favorite brands, and I especially love their blankets. I love that they are made from super soft organic cotton which makes them cozy and breathable.

The softly ribbed cotton holds up beautifully through wash after wash, and the gentle stretch of these blankets make them ideal for cozy and easy swaddling

Gina Era Flannel Receiving Blanket

The unique print style receiving blankets can be loved by adults and babies alike! These blankets are made with 100% Organic Cotton and without harmful chemicals pesticides and herbicides!

They have lots of baby boy, baby girl and gender neutral prints which I love!

Giggle Angel Receiving Blanket

This newborn receiving blanket set is perfect for photo shooting, newborn swaddling, as a car seat or stroller blanket, and as baby grows, it can be used as a swaddle blanket. I love that this swaddle is made of a lightweight yet sturdy, stretchy fabric knit in an on-trend floral print.

Cute Ways To Repurpose Your Receiving Blankets When Your Baby Does Need Them Anymore

Receiving blankets can be very nostalgic and special to us as moms. If you are wanting to hang onto your baby’s receiving blankets as they get older, I wanted to share some cute ideas with you!


Making a quilt is such a cute way to repurpose those precious receiving blankets! There are lots of individuals out there that do this or, if you are up to it you can do it yourself!


How neat would a receiving blanket pillow be? I love the idea of this and it is such a special way to repurpose the receiving blankets and make something brand new yet special.

Stuffed Animal

Having your old receiving blankets made into a stuffed animal is such a cute way to repurpose the receiving blankets that you have! This stuffed animal is something they can snuggle for life!

Room Decor

Making a cute banner or framing your receiving blanket can be so cute and unique!

Reusable Wipes

This idea is a little sentimental, but old receiving blankets make great wash cloths or reusable wipes!

Shadow Box

Using an old receiving blanket to put into a shadow box is so special and a keepsake to last a lifetime! You can fold up the whole blanket in a cute way or just regularly and put it into the shadow box.

Frequently Asked Questions About Receiving Blankets

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about receiving blankets and swaddles! If I missed a question, please leave yours in the comments!

Do I need receiving blankets AND swaddles?

No, you certainly don’t need both. I always preferred to have both because I liked the versatility of receiving blankets and the larger size of the swaddle.

Swaddles and receiving blankets can be used pretty interchangeably during the newborn stage. As kiddos get older, you might like to use receiving blankets for bibs, burp cloths, etc because of their size.

I read that swaddling isn’t recommended anymore, is this true?

This is not necessarily true. Swaddling is recommended for newborns and up until the baby is rolling over. Once your baby starts showing signs of rolling over swaddling is no longer recommended.

While swaddled your little one cannot use their arms, so if they roll over while swaddled your baby could become stuck and suffocate.

So all in all, swaddling is safe AND recommended, just stop once they can roll over!

How many receiving blankets should I have?

I would recommend 5-10 receiving blankets. I was on the higher end of this because I used them for so many different things!

Keep in mind how often you plan on doing laundry too. If you do laundry less often, then you will need more receiving blankets right off the bat!

Receiving blankets and swaddle blankets are so similar! It’s easy to see why the terms are used so interchangeably, but now you know the difference!

I hope that you were able to see how important and versatile receiving blankets are and see the different ways they can be used from babyhood and beyond!

What is your favorite way to use receiving blankets? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

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