Is someone in your life expecting a new arrival? Or perhaps you’re interested in crafting for children’s charities. Maybe you simply don’t have the equipment, or the desire, to embark on a larger project. A baby blanket can be a great compromise.
But first you have to decide what size of baby blanket to make.
What Are Baby Blankets?
A baby blanket is a smaller blanket made for infants. It sounds simple, but baby blanket size often isn’t.
The term “baby blanket” covers a wide variety of products, including:
- Crib or stroller blankets
- Car blankets
- Swaddling blankets
- Security blankets
- Receiving blankets
- “Lovies” (smaller security blankets)
- Larger blankets for floor play or tummy time
- Preemie blankets
- Burp cloths
- Nursing cover-up blankets
- And more
And each of these is a different size? You bet. We’ll discuss each of these in detail in a bit.
What Size Should a Baby Blanket Be?
What size is a baby blanket?
The short answer is that the average baby blanket dimensions for a blanket you might buy in a store or online is around 30 inches by 40 inches (76 centimeters by 107 centimeters). This is a good, all-purpose size that goes well in a crib, car seat, or stroller.
But there’s more to baby blanket dimensions than this.
A swaddle blanket may be around this size (it could also be larger), but that’s way too large for a burp cloth. If you’re spreading a blanket on the ground for tummy time, you’ll probably want something even larger.
And security blankets are typically square, while a crib blanket is often rectangular.
Here are a few average baby blanket sizes for different types of baby blankets.
Please note that these are guidelines only.
Also, if you’re crafting for charity, specific organizations often give exact instructions for blanket sizes, materials, safety features, and more. So check with them before you start crafting.
Why Selecting the Right Size for Your Baby Blanket is so Important
Babies need a lot of equipment. This means that carers need to figure out the most efficient way to store this equipment, and, in many cases, to carry it with them.
Every carer learns quickly which things are useful, and which will go quickly into the “donate” pile.
You want your gift to be one of the useful ones.
One of the best ways to ensure that your gift is used and appreciated is to make sure that it’s the right size and fit for purpose.
We’ll talk more about materials and craftsmanship later. For now, lets talk a bit more about size.
Baby Blanket Dimensions Explained
Here are some common types of baby blankets, their dimensions, and special features.
Crib Blanket Size
As you might guess, a crib blanket (or crib quilt) goes in a baby’s crib. It may lie decoratively like a bedspread. You might also use it as a swaddle blanket.
Crib blankets are often a bit wider (but not longer) than the crib mattress, so they can hang over the sides or be tucked under.
The average crib mattress measures around 27.25 inches by 51.25 inches (69.2 centimeters by 130 centimeters), with a thickness of about six inches (15.24 centimeters). A mini crib mattress is slightly smaller: 24 inches by 38 inches (61 centimeters by 96.5 centimeters).
Crib blankets measuring the average size of 30 inches by 40 inches can be tucked under either mattress at the sides.
Some people prefer larger crib blankets, though. Other common sizes include 36 inches by 54 inches (91.4 centimeters by 137 centimeters) and 40 inches by 60 inches (101.6 centimeters by 152.4 centimeters).
Car Seat Blanket Size
A car seat is much smaller than a crib, and, let’s face it: room in a family car is limited. You also don’t want a blanket that will interfere with a car seat’s safety belts.
The average size blanket for a car seat is around 30 inches by 17 inches (76 centimeters by 43 centimeters).
Security Blanket Size
A security blanket, or blankie, can be any size. Children generally choose their own favorites.
Ideally, a security blanket should be large enough to snuggle, but small enough that a toddler won’t trip over it while carrying it around. A 15 inch (38 centimeter) square is a good size blanket for a blankie.
Swaddle Blanket Size
Swaddling is a time honored practice of wrapping a baby in a blanket so that its limbs are cuddled close. This keeps a baby warm, and also gives them a feeling of security. This video from UC San Diego Health shows the correct technique for making a “burrito wrap.”
Swaddle blankets should be large enough to wrap a newborn baby securely, but not so large or fluffy that they keep a baby from lying flat on its back. Simple muslin or soft cotton are popular choices for a swaddle blanket.
You can use a receiving blanket to swaddle a newborn baby, but larger babies may be more comfortable with a larger blanket, for example 47 inches (119.4 centimeters) square.
Receiving Blanket Size
Newborn babies may be wrapped in receiving blankets at the hospital. They also make popular baby shower gifts. A receiving blanket is often square in shape and made from a soft, breathable cotton that is gentle on a baby’s sensitive skin.
A common size for receiving blankets is a 36 inch (91.4 centimeter) square.
Stroller Blanket Size
If you’re taking baby out for a walk on a cool day, a stroller blanket can help to keep them warm. Many stroller blankets measure 30 inches by 40 inches (76 centimeters by 107 centimeters), though this can vary.
Bassinet Blanket size
A bassinet is a smaller crib for newborn babies to around four months of age. A bassinet often sits by the side of the parents’ bed. Unlike a cradle, which rocks, a bassinet stays still.
A bassinet blanket generally measures around 22 inches by 25 inches (56 centimeters by 64 centimeters).
Coverlet Blanket Size
A coverlet is a blanket for older babies, so it’s a bit larger than a receiving blanket or a bassinet blanket.
Coverlet blankets are typically around 36 inches by 45 inches (91 centimeters by 114 centimeters).
Preemie Blanket Size
On the opposite end of the scale, preemie blankets are made for premature babies, and are thus a smaller blanket. A popular size for preemie blankets is 18 inches by 24 inches (45 centimeters by 61 centimeters).
Please note that hospitals and charities often have very strict rules about preemie blanket size, materials, and other features. This is for the safety of the babies, so check carefully before you start to work.
Lovey Blanket Size
A lovey blanket is a small blanket that a toddler may take to bed with them. It may rest on the pillow beside them, and during the day, they may carry it around or tuck it into a pocket. You might also want to make more than one, in case it gets lost.
Many loveys are square, and measure between 12 inches and 14 inches (30.5 centimeters and 35.5 centimeters) on all sides.
Cradle Blanket Size
A cradle bed is smaller than a crib, but larger than a bassinet. It’s made for newborns and small babies.
Unlike a crib, a cradle doesn’t have high walls. It’s also often closer to the ground than a crib. Unlike a stationary bassinet, a cradle often rocks gently.
A standard cradle mattress is 18 inches by 36 inches (45.7 centimeters by 91.4 centimeters). The typical cradle blanket is 14 inches by 30 inches (35.5 centimeters by 76.2 centimeters).
Floor / Tummy Time Blanket
“Tummy time” is when a baby is placed, awake, on its tummy for a short, supervised period of time. This helps a baby to strengthen the muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, and arms. 
Naturally, most people won’t want to put a baby directly onto the floor, so a lovely blanket can give them a soft, clean surface for their activity. A soft baby quilt with contrasting colors can make an excellent tummy time mat.
A generous size for a tummy time blanket is 50 inches (127 centimeters) square.
Round Baby Blanket Size
A round baby blanket is another option for tummy time. Look for a diameter of around 50 inches (127 centimeters).
You can also use a small round baby blanket for making a burrito wrap.
Baby Quilt Blanket Size
A quilt is a three layer blanket: a “sandwich” of two outside layers with fluffy batting stitched in between. A baby quilt is any baby blanket that’s made by this process.
How large should it be? It depends on the purpose of the blanket.
Burp Cloth Size
Parents use burp cloths to clean up during or after a baby eats. They may put a burp cloth over one shoulder to protect their clothing while burping baby after a meal.
Burp cloths are small, typically measuring around six inches by nine inches (15.25 centimeters by 23 centimeters). If you’re going to make burp cloths, make several, and make them easily machine washable.
Nursing Cover Up Blanket Size
Many women like to use a cover-up blanket while nursing in public. A common size for a cover-up blanket is 28 inches by 39 inches (100 centimeters by 70 centimeters).
A cover-up should be made from a lightweight, breathable fabric.
Toddler Blanket Size
Many toddlers sleep in their big-kid beds, which means you’re going to need a bigger blanket.
Toddler bed mattresses may be the same size as a crib mattress, or parents may opt for a standard twin sized bed. A twin sized blanket typically measures 65 inches by 90 inches (165 cm by 229 cm).
Sew, Crochet, Knit, or Quilt?
Let’s start with the obvious: few of us can do it all. Which craft you’ll use to make a baby blanket will depend on which craft or crafts you’re comfortable with. But some crafts lend themselves better to some types of blankets than others.
Knit / Crochet
Crochet is one of my favorite crafts, because it’s simple — just a single hook and your yarn — and with the right crochet pattern, you can make something gorgeous.
Knitting can be slightly more complicated, depending on your pattern. But it’s also a classic craft for making baby quilts.
At the same time, when making blankets for babies, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, use the right fiber.
Expensive exotic fibers like alpaca may catch the eye, and they’re delightfully soft. But baby and toddler items get dirty. You can’t machine wash alpaca, and few new parents have the time or inclination to hand wash expensive fibers.
Wool can be luxurious and warm, but it can also be scratchy.
A soft acrylic is comfortable, washable, and inexpensive.
It’s also important to use the right pattern.
Avoid any pattern with holes that can catch and injure little fingers.
If quilting is your thing, we recommend soft, washable cotton in fun colors. Natural batting is always a good choice, but synthetic batting is easy to launder.
Avoid any sort of add-ons, like buttons or ties, which could be choking hazards.
No-Sew Baby Blankets
Even if you’re not a crafter, you can still make a baby blanket.
You can cut washable fleece into any shape or size you like. The edges won’t fray, and you can even fringe them.
Soft Minky fabric is cold-water washable, non-fray, and oh-so-lovely to touch.
No-sew baby blankets make a great project to do with kids or service clubs.
What Fabrics Work Best for Baby Blankets?
Baby blankets need to be durable, soft, and washable.
Some fabrics that work well include:
- Quilting cotton
It’s also a good idea to ask parents if there are any allergies in the house.
Baby Blanket Sizes…Done!
Whether there’s a baby in your life, or you want to make baby blankets for charity, it’s important to know your blanket sizes.
What’s your favorite baby blanket to make? Tell us all about it!
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- Healthline | Tummy Time: When to Start and How to Make Tummy Time Fun | https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/tummy-time