Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Receiving versus Swaddling

A non-mother, non-pregnant lady looks at a baby shower registry with a spending limit in mind and finds something cute and that stays within the limit.  It's pretty simple.  She doesn't necessarily prioritize practicality because she doesn't know what's practical.  There's probably a lot of stuff on the registry that's totally unknown to her.  Before a woman is pregnant herself or has her own baby, she typically doesn't know jack about baby stuff.

A woman starts to become familiar with baby gear by attending other women's baby showers.  The more showers she attends the more familiar she becomes, especially when showering a close friend or family member.  Her baby brand vocabulary gradually expands from Huggies and BabyBjorn (which she learned from watching Knocked Up) to Dr. Browns and Graco.  She starts to become familiar with certain products like the boppy and the pack n' play.  But, for the most part, the nitty gritty of what a baby needs and what a mommy wants remain unknown until she goes through the process herself.

"Think we'll ever be as happy as the BabyBjorn couple?"

For example, does a non-mother know the difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddling blanket?  Ummm, no, she doesn't.  I'd be willing to bet that some first time pregnant ladies can't easily answer that one.   But I can...because I googled it.

Swaddling blankets and receiving blankets are both baby blankets.  Everyone probably figured out that much.  One is for swaddling the baby (the swaddling blanket...in case you hadn't guessed) and one is for keeping the baby warm (the receiving blanket).  A swaddling blanket is specifically shaped to create the perfect swaddle.  Basic swaddle blankets are squares and more complex swaddle blankets have pockets and folds and velcro.  A receiving blanket has no specific function other than to keep the baby warm.  Its rectangle shape is perfect for snuggling the baby in a stroller, car seat or wherever.  In sum, there is very little difference between a basic swaddling blanket and a receiving blanket.  Some argue (some = commenters on thenest.com, yahoo.com, etc.) that swaddling blankets are better because they're made to swaddle, but can also be used as a regular blanket.  Others argue that receiving blankets are better because they're simple, old school and easily double as a swaddling blanket.  I imagine that it would take a bit of a pro to "easily" swaddle without some design assistance, but that's me.

Aden + anais makes the very popular swaddling blankets (above).
Prices range from $35-$50 on Amazon.com for a 4-pack.

Carter's makes the receiving blankets above.
Pricing is much lower than the swaddling blankets above ($15-$25 for a 4-pack).

What questions did you/do you have about baby gear as a non-pregnant, non-mother?  What baby shower registry item completed stumped you?  Did you know the difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddling blanket?

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