I never had a muslin baby blanket for Alexie. Don’t get me wrong, we had lots of blankets. We had receiving blankets, and Swaddlers, Minky blankets and hand-made knits blankets for winter. We even had a play blanket, made for tummy time. But we never had a muslin blanket. I saw them, but considering how many blankets we had already, I never bought one. When Zoé was born, we received one as a gift.
It changed my life.
Over the next month or so, I ended up buying a few more, because they are so versatile. I honestly used them every single day. But their versatility of these blankets didn’t hit me until I went on vacation with a toddler and a newborn.
A few weeks ago, we headed to my sister’s wedding 6 hours away. She was getting married in a small rural town in southern Ontario. We had decided to make a whole vacation out of it, stopping at various attractions on our way down to and back from the wedding. It ended up being 8 days of travelling and living out of suitcases with 2 very young children. If all that travelling wasn’t enough, we were going to spend 4 nights in a cabin with 6 other family members; my parents, my brother, his wife and their two young kids who are only a few months older than mine. Oh, and my parents’ dog. Basically, it was going to be a very full house during a very busy few days.
As I planned and packed, and repacked and reorganized, it became apparent that I was going to have to be really smart about what we would be bringing. Our packing space was limited in my hatchback and with so many people in one cabin, I didn’t’ want crowd the cabin too many bags. I knew I was going to need a few blankets, especially for our little Zoé who was only 7 weeks old. I packed 2 receiving blankets and 2 muslin blankets.
Over the next 8 days, I never touched the receiving blankets. I exclusively used the muslin blankets I had brought mainly because of their versatility. While travelling, they became an essential item to have with me at all times. I found so many ways to use these blankets that they have become one of my favourite baby product.
1. Swaddler and blanket
Well, duh! Of course, you can use a muslin blanket as a blanket. But they are honestly a life saver if you have a baby in the summer. Many Swaddlers and receiving blankets are too hot and thick for higher summer temperatures. But when you have a newborn who needs and loves to be swaddled, this is the perfect blanket for that.
One thing I love about the muslin blankets is their size. They are usually much larger than a typical receiving blanket. These are great blankets to have on hand if you have a bigger baby and as your baby grows. They are a favourite with my toddler too. Since we spent so much time driving during our trip, she took many naps in the car. A muslin blanket was perfect since she could cover up and cuddle with it, but it wouldn’t make her too hot in the vehicle.
2. Nursing cover
I love to use a muslin blanket as a nursing cover. It’s huge, which means I get a lot of coverage but it’s also light so the baby doesn’t get too hot. If you are a mother who likes to cover up while nursing in public, this is a great option. Just tie corners together and you’ve got a great, light-weight nursing poncho. I’ve got two under 2 which means I’ve got my hands full of stuff (diapers, toys, snacks, etc). Since this blanket is so versatile, it serves double-duty and means I’ve got less to carry. Bonus!
3. Car Seat Cover
Sometimes you need to cover your car seat. Whether the wind is a little nippy, the sun’s a little too bright or the baby is sleeping and you don’t want anyone to bother them, a cover is a great thing. And a muslin blanket is perfect.
It’s light weight and breathable but will still block some UV rays and cut the wind. It obviously won’t be enough during a winter storm but from spring to fall, it’s a great option.I personally like to tie 2 corners together (like I do for my poncho) and use the gather to hook over the backside of my car seat. I find it helps keep the blanket in place while travelling around.
4. Shopping Cart Cover
Shopping carts are dirty. I used to work at a grocery store for many years, and I can tell you that the charts are rarely, if ever, cleaned. And I have seen people cough, sneeze, spit and even vomit on them. Basically, they are gross. It’s nice to be able to cover the part that will come into contact with your child. The great thing about muslin is that it’s thin and easy to tie with. To make a cover just tie either side of the handle of the cart, so it’s covered and then put it underneath your baby’s bum and over the back of the seat. It’s simple but it really does the trick.
5. Outdoor/Picnic Blanket
During the warmer months, it’s not only nice to spend time outside with your little one, its good for you. A Muslin blanket makes a great blanket to spread on the grass before placing your baby down. It’s a great opportunity to do a little tummy time too. Or you can serve a little picnic lunch for your toddler. Either way, it’s a handy blanket on hand when you’re headed outside.
6. Blanket scarf
Yep! I wear mines as a blanket scarf all the time! It’s one of the easiest ways to have it with me and accessible for whatever I might need it for. Look for a cute print that you wouldn’t mind wearing when you purchase one. I just fold it in half diagonally and wrap it around like a scarf. It’s easy and it means less for you to carry around.
7. Monthly Baby Pictures
Babies grow so fast. Monthly photos are a great way to remember how little they were and how much they’ve grown. There are several blankets out there that make finding a backdrop for these pictures super easy and cute. Just spread it out on the ground, lie baby down, label the appropriate month and take a picture. You really can’t make it much easier than that. And because you are always using the same background, you can see the growth of a baby in comparison to the patterns and pictures month by month!
As you can see, muslin blankets are a must in your baby arsenal. And there are so many beautiful options in great fabrics like organic bamboo and super soft cotton. Since these blankets come in so many gorgeous prints, they make a fashionable as well as a practical baby product. A muslin blanket has become one of my favourite items to give as a baby shower gift. So don’t be surprised if I show up at your shower with a muslin blanket in hand.