So, you’re ready to knit your first baby blanket. You’ve oohed and aah-ed over pictures of sweet, soft, and comfy blankets that are perfect to snuggle a sweet little baby. You’ve walked the aisles of your favorite yarn store and felt every pastel yarn there is, testing the softness. You’ve fantasized about holding your precious bundle in a blanket you handcrafted with your own two hands or you’ve basked in the admiration you’ll receive as your friend opens your gift at the next baby shower.
Then reality hits. You have an idea of the perfect hand-knit blanket but a few ‘minor details’ are missing — like what size this blanket should be. This is a good question and unless you have a great deal of experience with knitting or babies or both, you’re probably at a loss as to what to do next.
When it comes to baby blankets, there are three main sizes — crib blankets, swaddling blankets, and receiving blankets. You may not have known it, but each of these has a specific purpose.
· Crib Blankets — These blankets do exactly what the name says — they are for the crib. Think of this blanket as a bedspread for the baby crib. This blanket is usually around 36″ x 52″ and while it’s perfect for making the crib look nice and keeping an older baby warm at night, it is too big to swaddle a small baby. If you want to knit a blanket to decorate the baby’s room, this is it.
· Swaddling Blankets — This blanket is the small blanket you use when the baby first comes home from the hospital. Usually lightweight, it is about 30″ square and is perfect to wrap tightly around a baby to give them that ‘in the womb’ feeling. This is a good blanket to swaddle a baby and give her a sense of security when putting her down for a nap.
· Receiving Blankets — If you want to get the most use possible, knit a blanket, knit a receiving blanket that is 34″ x 36″ is perfect. This size is works best because it’s small enough to snuggle a small baby but also perfect for the baby to carry around when he reaches toddler age. This size works great in baby carriers and car seats and is pretty much an all-purpose blanket.
Now that you know the standard sizes, all you have to do is decide on the baby blanket that best suits your needs. Once you’ve made that decision, choose your favorite pattern, buy your yarn and get those knitting needles clicking.