Today I want to talk about my obsession with receiving blankets. I’ve talked about receiving blankets and cloth diapering before but never dedicated an entire post to the topic. I have been using receiving blankets with my kids for over three years now (because yes, I updated this post in 2018). Want to learn more about cloth diapering? Check out my book, Cloth Diapers: the ultimate guide to textiles, washing, and more.
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The cheapest cloth diaper insert is anything you can repurpose. You could bring out those old t-shirts and use them, or cut up an old cotton towel, blanket, or sheet. These are all great things to repurpose for the purpose of soaking up pee in your child’s diaper without breaking the budget. We could talk about other budget-friendly cloth diapers here.
What’s the Deal with Receiving Blankets?
Receiving blankets is one of the cheapest, most affordable, absorbent material you could use for cloth diapering and these two reasons, plus more is why I am smitten about Receiving Blankets.
- Cheap & Affordable.
- Reliable Absorbency.
- Simple, Straightforward, No stink washing.
- Easy to Use.
Why not buy new?
New receiving blankets are not affordable. Seriously. A new package will cost you 15+ dollars, and work out to like $8/each. At that price, you might as well buy a SmartFold or GroVia Prefold diaper or a HumBird Flat. [okay, those are not fair comparisons but hey]
Buying them used is super easy, get onto your local buy and sell (BST) group and look. Usually, parents sell them for $1-2 a piece. You can also find them at second-hand shops for similar prices.
For $1-2 a recieving blanket, you can barely buy microfibre inserts for that cost.
When you buy them used, you’re also reusing a product and potential diverting them from our waste streams. You could switch to family cloth and reduce waste, or you could recycle receiving blankets from a friend. From an environmental stance, this is a win for me because sometimes things need a second chance in life before they hit the can.
Always Absorbent & More
After a time, microfibre begins to wear out because as a plastic based product it sheds while being washed. Natural fibres begin to disintegrate too (that’s why you get holey products), but their life expectancy seems to be much longer and complaints of reduced absorbency much fewer.
Not only are we talking time, but a large Carters receiving blanket will hold upwards o 12-14 oz of absorbency. That’s like two microfibre pads and fewer COMPRESSION LEAKS. (That’s what happens when something heavy sits on a wet spongey absorbency). I also believe this is significantly trimmer, even when padfolded because it’s less fluffy.
Double them up for night time, and use one during the day. It’s all-purpose, all day kind of absorbency.
If you’re stressed out about washing cloth diapers, flat cloth diapers are the answer for you. This love of receiving blankets also applies to any flat cloth diaper. Because it’s just one layer of material, there’s nothing complicated about washing, and it’s less likely to hold the stink because of their’s no layers for stinky things to get trapped in.
That’s why we use them for the Flats and Handwashing challenge because it’s just easy. My receiving blankets have yet to stink, unlike my fitted diapers, my AIO, or any of my other absorbent materials.
Fold & Go
You’re probably thinking but now Bailey, I have to fold diapers. Well, yea, but it takes like less than thirty seconds. I find folding receiving blankets super straightforward, and no different than folding any other basket of laundry. I lay mine on top of pockets in a padfold because in my opinion stuffing a diaper takes too much time.
Have you ever been somewhere and thought fudge I should have brought XYorZ? Well, there’s a good chance a Receiving blanket can solve those problems. Clean up a big mess, act as impromptu nursing cover, maybe a little blanket to sit on? Or a sunshade for the stroller? A receiving blanket in your bag offers a plethora of options should you need it for something else.
A few other things I like about receiving blankets – The pretty colours they come in. The connect with snappis and Boingo’s without a problem.
Have you tried receiving blankets for your cloth diapers? What’s your take? Love or hate?
I exclusively cloth diaper my toddler with receiving blankets. Sometimes we use a GroVia Size 3 prefold, but really there isn’t anything out there I like any better. He’s a big kid, and he’s outsized my traditional sized prefolds, so these are quick and affordable. Creating this stash cost me $15.