Receiving Blankets vs Swaddle


Being a new parent can be very overwhelming. As you enter the initial phases of parenthood, you’re confronted with a plethora of baby product terminologies and needs that come with no proper explanations.

Something even as basic as a baby blanket can become very confusing because as you go on a venture to find the perfect baby blanket to tuck your little one in, you’re presented with two possible choices: receiving blankets and swaddles. Both oddly similar, used for the same purpose with just minute differences yet leaving the parents anxious on what to get.

So, if you by any chance are facing a similar situation then don’t worry ‘cause you’ve come to the right place! From explaining the differences between a receiving blanket and a swaddle blanket to advising which one is better, we’re here to answer all your possible questions!!

Baby in Swaddle Blanket

What is a Receiving Blanket?

A receiving blanket is a soft, thin blanket used for wrapping newborns or babies till they turn one year old. The purpose may be to provide warmth or simply secure the baby by wrapping them in a way that avoids unnecessary movements that may prove dangerous. It is usually made from cotton, muslin or flannel to make sure the baby doesn’t overheat, and its light weight does not exert a lot of pressure on the baby either. Receiving blankets are typically rectangles or 30 by 30-inch squares and come in packs of 2-4.

The name has been carried along from the traditional old days, when nurses in the delivery room would use these blankets to swaddle the babies before they were received by the parents. These are still widely used in hospitals nowadays. Even though their main purpose is for swaddling babies however, they can still be used for many other related tasks, which we will discuss below.


What is a Swaddle Blanket? 

A swaddle blanket is a specifically designed for swaddling newborn babies. Now that we’ve used the term swaddling quite a bit, it’s better to clarify what it is.

Swaddling is the practice of gently wrapping up a baby in a light, thin and breathable blanket to help them feel cozy and relaxed. The entire body other than the face is covered with the blanket, the snuggly feeling resembles the feeling of a mother’s womb and promotes peaceful sleeping infants.

Hence, swaddles are made for this very purpose and vary from traditional rectangular blankets to zippers, Velcro, wings and multiple different features. Swaddles are a great way of keeping your newborn comfy and safe. The swaddle blanket size is big and accommodating. Moreover, not only are they soft and light like receiving blankets but they also come in cute, funky patterns. Thus, if you’re looking for some adorable, goofy or panda patterned swaddles, we’ve got you covered! You can check out our insanely adorable and amazing collection here.


Difference Between a Receiving Blanket and Swaddle

Simply put, they’re very similar but the interesting thing is that all receiving blankets can be swaddles but not all swaddles can be receiving blankets.

This is because the receiving blankets fit under the category of traditional swaddles as both are just thin rectangular pieces of cloth. However, the other types of swaddles such as zippers, wings and others cannot be receiving blankets. These new swaddle designs are articulated in a way to make the entire process of swaddling easier, shorter and hassle free.

Another difference is that swaddles are bigger in size than receiving blankets making them much better and safe.

The third difference is that receiving blankets can be used for other purposes unlike swaddles.

 Baby Swaddle

Other Uses of Receiving Blankets

Don’t confine yourself to using these for swaddling only. Here are some other ways you can make these receiving blankets more useful:

  • For warmth (For extra layer of covering at night)
  • Changing mats (For any natural accidents while diaper change or accidental leakages during nighttime)
  • Burp/Spit Wiping Cloth
  • Nursing Cover (For indoor/outdoor breastfeeding)
  • Car seat cover for your little one
  • Playing mat (spread it out on the floor with your baby seated on it. A great way to remain dirt-free as well as enjoy playing with toys)
  • Tummy Time Blanket (a safe space for your baby as he/she rolls and explores)
  • Mealtime cover (can be used as a napkin to clean all the messy left overs on the face)


How Many Receiving Blankets Do I Need? 

The most ideal amount of receiving blankets would be 4 to 5. Especially if you’re considering using them for other purposes as well. Newborns are very likely to undergo accidents every now and then. Hence, it is always a better idea to have backups for such mishaps.


How Many Swaddle Blankets Do I Need?

Swaddle blankets are without a doubt a much better option than receiving blankets. Especially if you’re considering buying the new easier options such as zippers which take very less effort. So, it is advisable to have 3 to 4 swaddles at least.



Both receiving blankets and swaddles are used for the same purpose of swaddling or in other words, wrapping up the baby to provide comfort and safety. While swaddles provide a variety of features and cute designs, receiving blankets on the other hand offer different purposes hence, the best way to go about it would be to have a mixture of both. 2-3 swaddles combined with 3-4 receiving blankets. As these blankets are washable and hence, reusable they’ll easily last you for a year!

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