With so much baby gear out there, who doesn’t love a multi-purpose baby item? Whether you are at home or traveling with your baby, the amount of baby items required to take care of your baby can be overwhelming, so the more multi-use baby items you can own, the better!
One of our favorite multi-use baby items is a muslin swaddle blanket, especially Aden & Anais muslin cotton blankets. We love these swaddle blankets so much, we’ve included them in our essentials for travel with babies.
You know those products that you finally just buy, and then wonder why you waited so long? These swaddle blankets are one of mine. I recall when a photograph was released of Prince George swaddled in an Aden & Anais muslin cotton blanket. Aden & Anais swaddle blankets became all the rage and you couldn’t even find the specific blanket pattern that he was swaddled in.
I think this may have been the beginning of my obsession with these swaddle blankets. I started picking them up every time I saw them when out shopping. I’d look at Aden & Anais swaddle blankets on Amazon, add them to my cart, and then remove them. I just couldn’t justify that price for a simple swaddle blanket, no matter how adorable they were!
When we planned our first family vacation to Barcelona, our baby was 3 months old and was too young to wear sunscreen. I finally broke down and just bought some Aden & Anais swaddle blankets.
I wanted something light and airy that I could use to cover baby on sunny days either when in her baby travel carrier or for extra protection over her travel stroller. We often used them as a warm blanket on cooler mornings then to block sun from entering the stroller on warm afternoons.
Here we are years after our first trip with baby, and our house is still full of swaddle blankets. We found a tremendous number of uses for muslin swaddle blankets at home and on the road. Now that our kids are too old to be swaddled, we still have our collection of swaddle blankets as our daughter uses them to swaddle her dolls!
Note: Baby Can Travel did not receive any free products or payment to write this post. All Aden and Anais blankets pictured were purchased by us.
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10 Creative Uses for Muslin Swaddle Blankets
At home, we always have lots of muslin swaddle blankets around the house as they have so many uses in everyday life. When we travel with a baby, we typically bring two muslin swaddle blankets with us, one in our carry-on luggage and an extra in our packed luggage. Here is a list of all the different ways to use a muslin swaddle blanket:
1. Use a Swaddle Blanket for Shade on a Stroller
Most baby strollers will have a sun shade on them, but there are many times when the stroller canopy just doesn’t cut it. Using the blanket as an extra sun shade on my our baby stroller while out for walks is one of the best and our most common uses for a muslin swaddle blanket.
2. Cover Tender Skin in Intense Heat
Whether you live in a hot location or are traveling with your baby to one, new parents must take infant sun safety very seriously. On a recent vacation with our baby to New Mexico, we visited the White Sands National Monument. It was spectacularly beautiful, but the sun was intense! In fact, I had already got a sunburn earlier that morning.
Being very protective new parents, we were not going to risk our baby getting a sunburn. Our Aden & Anais swaddle blanket was perfect for keeping her skin covered from the sun, but still airy enough to keep either of us from getting too hot.
3. Block Your Baby’s View
As parents, there are times when we just wish our baby couldn’t see out of the side of her crib. At home, this is often when you are trying to get something done in the nursery during nap time.
While traveling with a baby, this need typically arises when you share a hotel room with your baby. Sharing a room with baby on vacation can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have a balcony or something to escape to while baby is falling asleep.
One of our favorite uses for a swaddle blanket to help our baby get to sleep is to cover up the side of her travel crib with a swaddle blanket so baby can’t see us. That usually helps baby fall asleep without getting excited because we are still in the same room.
4. Sun Shade in a Car
I don’t know about other babies, but ours sure isn’t pleased if the sun is in her eyes. Simply draping an edge of her blanket over an open car window, then closing the window was a very helpful use for a muslin swaddle blanket to keep her quiet and happy while driving!
When traveling with a baby, this is a very useful baby travel hack as you won’t need to pack a car sun shade to bring on your trip.
Obviously no explanation needed, but you never know when the plane might be chilly or you have a cool morning! It’s nice to have a light blanket around for warmth that doesn’t take up too much space in your bag!
6. Protect Furniture
Most of us have figured out a way to deal with a messy eater at home, but what about those times you need to feed your baby outside the home? We often worried that our very messy baby would make a mess on a friends or a hotels furniture while she ate.
Here is another creative use for a swaddle blanket. We’ve discovered a very effective way to deal with this challenge is to bring a compact travel high chair along with your swaddle blanket. These two items pack down nice and small in your bag and helps ensure your baby doesn’t stain the furniture.
Ok, this is a pretty obvious use for a swaddle blanket, but given all the other amazing ways you can use this excellent baby blanket, it’s easy to forget that they are the perfect blanket for swaddling a baby (and even toddler siblings who want to get in on the action!)
8. A Clean Play Area
Have you ever been out with your baby and you want to put him down, but you are afraid the floor is too dirty? Using your swaddle blanket is a perfect solution to this common baby dilema.
This is especially useful when traveling with a baby. While hanging out at the airport before your flight takes off or during a long layover, it’s nice for baby to be able to stretch out! Muslin swaddle blankets are great to put down on the floor for baby to roll around on.
9. Nursing Cover
Given you will have one in your bag anyways, why not use your swaddle blanket as a nursing cover? These comfy baby blankets make a wonderful nursing cover since they are the perfect size and so light and airy!
See also: Breastfeeding on a plane
10. A Scarf
As mentioned above, you don’t just throw away your swaddle blankets as your babies get older. The many wonderful uses for a muslin swaddle blanket continue to evolve with your kids as they grow. For example, when traveling with our toddler, we discovered that our swaddle blanket makes for a beautiful and warm scarf for our toddler!
Multi-Use Swaddle Blankets are Great Value for the Money
Looking back to our initial Aden & Anais purchase, they seemed so expensive at the time. When our son arrived, we found that they were one of the most useful baby items we owned, so we didn’t hesitate to buy a boy set for him.
If you are in the market for a quality muslin swaddle blanket, we’re confident you’ll love Aden & Anais swaddle blankets. The full selection is available on the Aden & Anais website, but there’s also a large selection on Amazon as well.
There are so many benefits to owning a good quality swaddle blanket. We hope you find the many uses for a swaddle blanket to be very helpful in your day-to-day raising of your baby!
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.