From my first child nearly 14 years ago to my 3 baby Bella, I’ve loved my swaddle blankets more than any of the other baby item circus mess collected. They are just amazingly versatile – seriously the duct tape of baby items. You’ll find that everyone and their mother (ha, pun intended) has a stash of organic cotton muslin swaddling blankets in an array of colors and patterns. And it is not an accident, I could just as easily title this blog post “How to Ditch the Diaper Bag” for all the ways you can use these beauties.
1) The Obvious…Swaddling Your Precious Baby for Comfort
Infants have spastic arm and leg movements that can be startling, By swaddling, in addition to keeping them warm, you provide comfort by keeping their spastic movements down and their bodies wrapped tight like they were in your womb. I found this especially helpful with my son who suffered rom colic. For more on how to swaddle, there’s a blog for that!
2) A Light Blanket for Warm Days
Not every outing needs a think, warm blanket. Sometimes you just need something to keep the chill off that is thin and easy to carry. Use at night for older babies and they will quickly become ‘wooby’. The XL muslin blanket below in the feather and cheetah print are by our sponsor, Margaux and May.
3) Carseat Cover for Keeping Out Wind, Light Rain and Overly Touchy Strangers
When you have your infant in the infant car seat, situated in the stroller, with the handle up, gently drape the blacket over the top. Keeps out breezes, sun light, dust and creepy strangers who think they have a right to touch and get close to your precious infant.
4) Nursing Cover
Not to start a mommy war over whether or not you should have to cover your baby while breastfeeding, but if you do prefer modesty, using a light and airy muslin blacket makes the perfect cover. Especially considering most ‘official’ nursing covers cost $30+ and become just one more thing you have to tote around. Just drape over or you can tie two adjacent corners together and drape around your neck.
5) Infant Insert for Baby Carriers
Most Baby Carriers like a Baby Bjorn fit babies 12 pounds or more. They make an infant insert that helps a newborn and infants fit correctly and safely in the seat. Or you can use your handy dandy 100% Organic Cotton Muslin Wrap and roll it up (just like in the package) and place under the baby’s bum, between their legs, to add height. Take another rolled blanket and place behind their neck for added support.
6) Traveling Diaper Station
Have you ever used the “Koala Care” changing stations in restrooms? Gross. Lay your muslin blanket down folded in half prior to laying your little one down to change their diaper. This works everywhere including your car. Yes, they make diaper changing travel pads BUT again, one more item in your baby bag.
7) Swaddling Blanket AKA Couture Fashion Scarf
If you have been lucky enough to purchase a grown up, fun print on your swaddling blanket, feel free to hae it double as a scarf! This has a dual use. For one, new scarf. Two, one less thing you have to carry that you might need. Wear as a scarf and use throughout the day as a nursing cover, blanket…and all the other wonderful uses on the list. This nifty trick helps me travel light with just a purse, a baby, and a toddler hopping trolleys and running errands!
8) Burp Cloth
Not the most glamorous use for your beautiful swaddle cloth, but a mom needs what a mom needs.
9) Impromptu Picnic Blanket
A jumbo large swaddle cloth can be laid to rest on the grass for an impromptu picnic with your favorite little ones.
10) Light as Air Hair towel
In a pinch when laundry was piling up, I have been known to grab a blanket to swaddle and twist my hair up after a late night shower. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t be proud of this, but you know what, it works. The cotton is quite absorbant.
11) Cover a Boring Baby Carrier
One day when I was wearing my blanket as a scarf and my baby Bella in a Seven Sling, I fulled the fabric out and around the baby for a little extra support. Not only did it add additional support, but added some fun color to our wardrobe.
12) Toddler Superman Cape
Tie two adjacent corners together and voila! You have one dashing super hero cape for your toddler to run around in with some underwear pulled up on the outside of his pants.
13) Dry Towel at the Splash Park
On several occasions my baby’s blanky has ended up as my son’s towel after a tumble in the splash pad at Flyde Warren Park. It works.
14) In a Bind Car Sun Shade
I wouldn’t advise doing this all the time, but when needed, roll the window down a bit stuf a little blanket out and roll the window back up to secure. Window covered and the sun out of little ones eyes. This does not work with toddlers who will just rip it right out and turn it into a game of tug of war.
15) A Cloth Diaper
Once, in a very desperate situation at the Dallas DMV better known as Hell on earth, my son had a stage 5 diaper accident. The mess was unbelievable and ruined his second outfit and all his diapers in the diaper bag. In tears and heavily invested in time to get my renewal, I needed to cover son. The blanket was the only sanitary thing I had left ans their were zero other parents in the room. A few folds and knots later, he was wearing a delightful, large, cloth diaper with toilet paper as an “insert”. It was a long day, but this got me through the final 45 minutes till I could rush out to get a real diaper.