How Many Swaddles, Receiving, Muslin Blankets Do I Need?

Born baby in pink blanket

One of the questions I asked other parents when expecting our daughter was just how many swaddles do I need? Or how many receiving blankets do I need? And, how many muslin blankets do I need? It was hard enough figuring out what these different blankets were meant for but even harder deciding how many to have.

The big answer? How much laundry were we willing to do! This is why my fiancée and I thought having more of everything for our baby would save on having to do daily laundry. But, there’s surely a limit as to how many blankets you need?

Let’s talk about just how many blankets you do need and when you need them. Swaddles, receiving, and muslin blankets do have differences, and each plays a useful role. This is why you need more of some and less of others!

How Many Swaddle Blankets Do I Need?

How many swaddle blankets you need really depends on the purpose you’re using them for and what type or design you get. Some swaddle blankets such as the Comfy Cubs Swaddle Blanket are designed specifically for swaddling newborns. Mothers who use these products will recommend anything between 15 to 20 swaddle blankets. 

Comfy Cubs Swaddle Blanket Baby Girl Boy Easy Adjustable 3 Pack Infant Sleep Sack Wrap Newborn Babies (Small 0-3 Months, Grey)

Do I Need to Swaddle My Older Baby?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s recommended you stop swaddling your baby at 2 months old. If you continue with this practice beyond this age, your baby may battle with certain developmental issues.

Once your baby is over 2 months old, sleep sacks or blankets that don’t constrict your baby’s movements especially when they’re rolling over can be used. Which brings me to the question of how many receiving and muslin blankets do you need?

What should my baby wear under a Swaddle?

It’s not only the number of swaddles you’ll need to think about but also what your baby should wear underneath. This is a complex topic with many factors to consider and this is why I wrote a separate article on what your baby should wear under the swaddle. In short, when the weather is warm, just a diaper might be sufficient, however, when it’s cold, you might want to get a onesie for your little one.

This applies e.g. to HALO Swaddle or SwaddleMe, two popular products on the market today.

How Many Receiving Blankets Do I Need?

The number of receiving blankets can vary depending on whether you’re using them for swaddling your newborn as well. If you’re using specifically designed swaddle blankets as mentioned above then you’re safe to go with 3 to 4 receiving blankets. 

However, if you’re swaddling your baby, more than less is best. Mothers say a minimum of 5 but up to 20 (when you’re swaddling your newborn) saves you spending too much time at the washing machine.

Receiving blankets are soft and cozy. They’re versatile so you really can’t have too many.

Watch this video which talks about the difference between swaddle and receiving blankets.

Why Are Receiving Blankets Useful?

If you’re getting over the shock at the prospect of getting so many receiving blankets, rest assured they won’t go to waste! Good quality receiving blankets such as the Luvable Friends Unisex Baby Cotton Flannel Receiving Blankets will last you for many years once your newborn grows out of swaddling.

Luvable Friends Unisex Baby Cotton Flannel Receiving Blankets, Basic Elephant 4-Pack, One Size

Receiving blankets can be used to:

  • Clean up your baby’s burps and spit-ups while protecting your baby’s clothing against spills during feeding.
  • Make your baby’s tummy time more comfortable.
  • Cover yourself while breastfeeding your baby in public.
  • Place your baby on while doing a diaper change.
  • Cover your baby while traveling in the car seat or in the stroller.
  • Give your baby a place to lie on or play on when you’re visiting friends or spending an afternoon in the park.
  • Reassure your toddler when they’re transitioning to their own cot or room. Toddlers love to have their own “security blanket”.

So, having more than fewer receiving blankets can’t go to waste!

How Many Muslin Blankets Do I Need?

Calculating how many muslin blankets you need gets a bit easier when you decide what you’re going to use them for. According to a U.K. company that makes muslin blankets and carried out a survey with mothers, the number of muslin blankets ranged between 5 and 15 with 35% of respondents saying you can never have too many!

Why Do I Need So Many Muslin Blankets?

Muslin blankets are great as a lightweight option for swaddling, covering your baby while out and about, cleaning up spills, wiping away the spit-ups, and covering up during nursing.

They’re just as versatile as receiving blankets but they’re not as warm and cozy. So, whether it’s 5, 7, or even 20 you’re opting for, once again, you can never have too many especially if you’re only doing laundry once or twice a week.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets – Soft Pure Cotton Muslin Blankets – 4 Pack of Breathable Swaddle Blankets – Unisex Baby Swaddle Blanket Set in Grey/White Designs – Multi Use Muslin Blankets – 47 x 47 inches

Know How to Pick the Best Blanket – Swaddle, Receiving, or Muslin Blanket?

You may realize by now that there’s no definitive answer to how many blankets you need. My research has been based on what other parents have recommended and what my fiancée and I have experienced. But, there are a few factors to consider when deciding how many you need such as:

  • How often do you plan to do the laundry?
  • If you have twins or even triplets (doubling and even tripling up will be required in this situation!).
  • What you’re using the blankets for.
  • If you’re starting off with swaddle blankets designed for your newborn’s first 2 months.

How to pick the best blanket for you and your baby’s needs is also something you need to think about. You’ll find my article on Muslin vs Swaddle vs Receiving Blankets invaluable as I discussed the key differences and purpose of these blankets.

Ask yourself the following questions when deciding how to pick the best blanket:

  • Is it easier to swaddle my newborn with a swaddle blanket? Many hospitals will show you how to swaddle your newborn with a receiving or muslin blanket. However, some swaddle blankets are designed to make swaddling less of a hassle, keeping the process simple and convenient.
  • Do I need a warmer blanket for my baby? Receiving blankets are softer and thicker than muslin blankets. Which makes them a better option for colder days and nights.
  • Do I need an all-purpose blanket? If you’re looking for a blanket that’ll swaddle, serve as a burp cloth, act as a cover while in a car seat or stroller, and even while you’re nursing, then a muslin blanket is perfect.
  • Does quality matter? Spending a bit more on a good quality 100% cotton blanket will give you a longer lifespan of the product. It will also mean that once you’ve got the number of blankets you need, you shouldn’t need to buy more in the near future. It also matters if you’re planning to have fewer blankets and do more laundry. A good quality blanket handles frequent washing compared to a lower quality blanket.

Once you’ve got the right answers, you can calculate how many blankets you need and whether you’re going to get a mix of different blankets.

The Numbers at a Glance – Swaddle, Receiving, Muslin Blankets Quantities

To make it simple, I’ve put all the information shared in this article into a table so you can see the numbers at a glance and the reasoning behind these quantities.

Blanket TypeNumber of needed blanketsReasons
Swaddle blankets- 15 - 20 (for first 2 months)- Save on laundry days
- Newborns can be messy so you’ll be changing their blankets up to 5 times a day.
Receiving blankets- 3-4 (if you’re not swaddling)
- Up to 20 (if you’re swaddling)
- Save on laundry days.
- Newborns are messy.
- Versatile.
Muslin blankets- 5-15 (more if you’re swaddling)- Save on laundry days.
- Newborns are messy.
- Versatile.

Yes, you can go with the minimum number of blankets as long as you’re doing laundry every day. However, I believe in keeping parenting as simple as possible which is why more is better in the long run. What’s more, you’ll be saving on electricity and water by cutting down the number of laundry days.

Final Thoughts

How many swaddle, receiving, and muslin blankets you need depends on a number of factors. These include how often you want to do the laundry, whether you’re swaddling a newborn with swaddle blankets or not, and if you’re looking for a blanket that’s versatile.

Take the advice of a father who’s been there (and is still there!) and get more blankets than fewer. To this day, I’m still using the receiving and muslin blankets we were given when my daughter was born. She’s now a toddler and has even commandeered some for her own purposes!

What’s your take on how many swaddles, receiving, or muslin blankets a parent should have? I would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave your comments in the comments section below.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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