Is There a Difference Between Swaddling and Receiving Blankets?

Muslin Swaddling BlanketsThe shortest, simplest and truest answer is ‘No’. Quite simply, the term ‘receiving blanket for baby’ refers to the original use of these blankets as receiving blankets for newborn babies as soon as they are born. However, their use goes far beyond that moment. These same blankets, which can also be called swaddle blankets (especially when used in swaddling), have always been used, throughout the times and in different societies, in different parts of the world, as very special blankets that bring a very particular kind of comfort to babies. After having spent months in their mothers’ wombs, babies come out to an entirely different world, which can be an immediate shock. The warmth, quiet and protected environment of the womb is lost and a world full of different stimuli, and varying temperatures, introduces babies to a suddenly very different universe.

Swaddle blankets are perfect to smoothen this transition, since they are used to wrap babies in a very particular way (which has many different methods to it, actually). Their purpose is to mimic the tightly protected, warm and quite environment of the womb. It is acknowledged that swaddled babies sleep better, feel more restful and are generally kept from moving too much, namely from dangerously turning over their stomachs. So the use of these receiving or swaddling blankets for babies definitely goes far past the first moments of outside life of the baby. Swaddling babies can generally be done up to when the baby is 3 or even 6 months old, depending on each baby and his growth experience.

And, to be even clearer about how the receiving blanket designation can be misleading (which is why the ‘swaddling’ term is increasingly replacing it), many parents use these fine multi-purpose blankets for a number of other ends. From offering breathable shading to babies in their cribs, to using them as burp cloths or play mats, among a number of other uses, these receiving blankets are actually about giving so much to babies and their parents for a very long time.