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How Many Receiving Blankets Do I Need?

If you’re expecting or have just had a baby you may find yourself surrounded by blankets from well-wishers and wondering how many receiving blankets do I need?

If you find yourself drowning in blankets, we have all the information you need to decide how many blankets are necessary.

Here we discuss what a receiving blanket is, as well as the different types and how many you really need. 

What Is A Receiving Blanket?

A receiving blanket is a name given to the blanket that is first used to wrap up your newborn as they are handed to their parents for the first time. These blankets are typically soft flannel or cotton and come in a variety of different styles and patterns that are sure to suit any nursery decor. 

They are definitely not a necessity, and you can make do without them, although they are a great addition to your collection of baby items. You can pick up a multipack for a few dollars, making them an easy item to have on hand. 

Do I Need A Receiving Blanket?

As we’ve said, you don’t necessarily need a receiving blanket, and you’ll manage just fine without them. However, as a relatively cheap baby item, they are useful to have in your arsenal.

Receiving blankets are generally smaller than other types of baby blankets, as they are intended for tiny newborns, and they are made to be regularly laundered, meaning they are very durable. 

They are slightly different from a swaddle blanket, which is designed to tightly wrap up a baby.

These may also come in different materials, intended for different temperatures and climates. They might also have special additions like velcro fastenings, to help make swaddling a breeze. 

While you can absolutely use a receiving blanket as a swaddle, it might be worth sticking to something intended for this purpose, as the special features of a swaddle might make it easier to use.

What Uses Does A Receiving Blanket Have?

Receiving blankets can be used for virtually any purpose, and are a great multi-functional item to have on hand for life’s unexpected moments – and there will be hundreds once you have kids. Here are some of our favorite uses for a receiving blanket. 


Swaddling is a great way to encourage your baby to sleep, as it helps them to feel calm. The tight swaddle reminds them of their time in the womb, helping them to feel comfortable and secure as they drift off to sleep. It is also a great way to cuddle your little angel.

Bath Time

If your baby dislikes the feel of toweling material, then a receiving blanket might be the perfect material to wrap them up after a bath. Receiving blankets also help to retain heat, meaning your little one is unlikely to become cold before you can get them dried and dressed after bathtime. 


If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you know that sometimes you just want a bit of privacy, and a receiving blanket can be a great tool for giving you that little bit of peace and quiet to feed your baby.

They make great cover-ups, and can also be used to clean up any dribbles or accidents that happen during feeding time. Their handy size means they can be easily packed, making them perfect for use on the go when you just want a bit of space. 


Your priority is making sure that your baby is happy and safe, which means changing time can be a nightmare. As you try to grab all your changing items, your baby may start wriggling and rolling all over the place.

You can use a receiving blanket as a makeshift changing mat, especially when you’re on the go.

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A receiving blanket is much easier to pack than a changing mat, and they work well to cover any surfaces that may be hard, cold, or just a bit awkward for changing your little one. 

They can also be used as a play mat when you’re out and about. If you’re at a friend’s place, or out with relatives, you may not have the playmats from home handy, and a receiving blanket is a great option to avoid sitting your baby on a hard surface or a cold floor.

Burp Cloth

If your baby is a messy eater, then a receiving blanket is a great thing to have on hand for cleaning up spit-ups quickly. They are also great if your baby is a little older or if you are on the go and want to avoid a mess at a restaurant or someone else’s house. 


If your little one has an attachment to a particular receiving blanket that they use as a blanky, or they like several for swaddling, then you may want to consider getting these made into a stuffed toy or a quilt once your baby has outgrown them.

This is an adorable keepsake that your child can use as they grow, and would make an excellent hand-me-down when your little one has children of their own.


If you’ve been gifted a lovely receiving blanket by a friend or relative that is simply too pretty to be covered in spit-up, you may consider using it as a decor piece.

Receiving blankets can be easily arranged into banners or garlands, or even framed for your little one’s nursery if it has a design that fits particularly well with your decor. 


Receiving blankets are great compact items that are always handy to keep around. It might be worth hiding a few in the glove compartment of your car or in a seat pocket for those unexpected emergencies.

When a half-used packet of tissues just won’t do, you’ll be glad you thought ahead and had some receiving blankets handy. 

So How Many Receiving Blankets Do I Really Need?

So now that you know what you can use a receiving blanket for, you may be wondering how many you should buy. You should probably hold off on purchasing any, as these are a staple among baby shower and newborn gifts.

But, if you’re getting to a few weeks before your due date and you don’t have any, consider investing in a couple of multipacks. Some moms swear by these, so it is worth starting off with 5-10.

You can always purchase more if you find that these are a staple in your new life as a new mom.


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How many receiving blankets do I need in a year?

This is going to very much depend on whether your little one has lots of instances of spit up and if you find them useful for other things as mentioned above.

These receiving blankets are very durable and are designed to be washed a lot so they should not need to be replaced very often. With this in mind, we would suggest you start off with around 5-10. Then replace as and when needed.

What age do you stop using receiving blankets?

Due to the fact that receiving blankets are so multi-functional you can probably use these for most of your baby’s life up until late toddler age.

Are receiving blankets and burp cloths the same?

They are very similar and can in fact be used interchangeably. You could easily throw a receiving blanket in your bag and let it double as a burp cloth.

Are receiving blankets 100% cotton?

Receiving blankets is not always 100% cotton. There are some that are made with a high bamboo content in order to help to keep the baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The Final Thought

With so many different baby items on the market, it is no wonder that you’re feeling confused about what is a must-have and what’s optional. Receiving blankets are a popular choice as they are so multi-use so it is definitely worth having a few handy for when your baby is born. 

If you find that receiving blankets become a must-have in your little one’s routine, then you can go ahead and make an additional purchase to stock up. 

And if you’re still not certain on the differences between a swaddle and a receiving blanket, check out Swaddling Blanket Vs Receiving Blanket