There’s no better gift for a baby shower than a hand-made baby blanket. Even if you are an absolute beginner and can’t do more than simple stitches and patterns, it will still be a very thoughtful gift that communicates your love and care for this new little human.
If you’re feeling brave, creative, and not in the mood to follow someone else’s pattern, you’ll have to do the legwork and figure out the appropriate baby blanket size. You’ll also find a few helpful tips to get your project off on the right foot. So, let’s get crafting!
Baby Blanket Size Chart
- Newborn baby blanket size: 30 x 30 inches, or 28 x 32 inches for a rectangle.
- Preemie blanket size: 24 x 24 inches, or 18 x 20 inches for a rectangle.
- Average rectangular crochet or knit baby blanket size: 14 x 16 inches.
- Average square crochet or knit baby blanket size: 18 x 18 inches.
- Average baby quilt size: 30 x 30 inches.
What is the Average Baby Blanket Size?
As you can see, the average baby blanket sizes range between 20 and 30 inches per side. The smaller ones are more suitable when the baby is on the go, while the larger ones are usually meant for home use.
One of the reasons why baby blankets can’t be huge is the safety concerns. Adults may enjoy getting lost under the sheets, but for babies, it can be beyond harmful.
How Big Should I Make a Baby Blanket?
There’s a very simple formula that you can use when making a custom baby blanket. You should measure the width of the crib, stroller, car seat, or wherever else the blanket will be used for, and multiply by 2. This is the minimum width that will allow you to tuck in the baby, so they are nice, cozy, and warm. And since most baby blankets are square, that’s your length measurement as well.
If you have a set of twins that like to nap snuggled together, add another 10 inches minimum to the width.
Smaller sizes are more practical for strollers and car seats because they don’t drag and have fewer chances of getting stuck in something (in the case of an emergency, better safe than sorry). Feel free to opt for something larger and more dramatic for home use.
What is the Best Material to Make a Baby Blanket Out of?
Cotton, hands down. There are other suitable fabrics and yarns, but cotton is always the safest option.
Here’s what you have to take into consideration: what’s good for the baby, and what’s good for the mom as well. Babies are mess mass-producing machines with delicate skin and immune systems, so you need something soft that’s easy to wash and sanitize. Ergo, cotton.
High-quality wool is also soft enough, but it can be difficult to take care of. At least, that’s the case if you’re crocheting or knitting the blanket. If you’re sewing or quilting, the case could be completely different as long as you pick the right fabric. When shopping, look for the signs that it’s machine washable.
Viscose can work as well but never shop for it online. The type you’re looking for should feel like cotton when you stroke it. Also, look at the composition and care instructions. Avoid anything that has too many limitations when it comes to washing and handling since it won’t be the most practical option.
And finally, check out milk. Yes, milk.
This is a new addition when it comes to fabrics and yarns. It’s a fiber that’s made from milk. The process is very similar to one that turns plant cellulose into viscose. It’s still very new, which means it’s still very pricey. So, most often you will see a yarn or fabric marked as milk or milk viscose, but it will contain less than 10% of this fiber.
That being said, it’s still worth it. These types of fabrics and yarns are usually very soft and have somewhat of a silky feel to them. But watch out, there are also some scams out there, especially online. Do a burn test to make sure that you’re getting what you paid for. The exact reaction will depend on what else is in the mix, but in case you want to detect at least a faint smell of burnt milk.
Crochet Baby Blanket Size
Crochet blankets are usually smaller than fabric ones because they are thicker, and they have a bit of give (stretch) as well. The average measurements above are a great starting point, but feel free to play with them if you wish.
Things to Consider When Crocheting or Knitting Baby Blankets
Is this supposed to be a decorative or a functional blanket? Functional blankets need to be washed regularly and this may limit your choice of yarn and stitches. Also, some crochet stitches look beautiful, but they could be too rough on the baby’s skin.
You need to keep the baby’s safety at the forefront at all times as well. This means no loops and weird embellishments that can catch to one another and suffocate the baby. Also, if the blanket is meant for a stroller or a car seat, go for a test run. You have to be 100% sure that the blanket will not get stuck in said stroller or seat if there is an emergency and the baby needs to evacuate it ASAP.
Creating a Swatch
A swatch is the most important part of any knitting or crochet project. It allows you to test the pattern and gauge, as well as see how the finished product can look and behave.
Please, don’t skip this step. You can also use this swatch to see if it can survive the washing machine and what it would look like after a few washes.
What Size Crochet Hook is Best for a Basic Granny Square Baby Blanket?
An H (5mm) or I-size (5.5mm) hook would be perfect. Neither too bulky nor too small, these sizes are also great for beginners.
Feel free to go a size up or down depending on the chosen yarn, but don’t overdo it. Super chunky yarns and hooks are too big for a delicate baby blanket and going in the opposite direction will make your blanket look and feel like a doily.
How Can I Know the Right Measurements for a Crochet Baby Blanket?
The size chart and the formula above are a good place to start, but you also need to take the yarn and stitch thickness into consideration. Bulky yarn plus a complicated stitch can result in a stiff blanket if you make it too small.
Whenever you increase the yarn size, increase the overall blanket size as well. The same goes for complicated stitches as well. If you’re using Catherine’s wheel or a more complicated stitch, add another inch or two to the blanket’s dimensions. It’s a bit extra work, but it’s worth it!
Regular Crochet vs Tunisian Crochet
Tunisian crochet stitches tend to create a thicker fabric when compared to regular crochet. It may not affect the size of the blanket or the amount of yarn you’ll need, but it will change the way the blanket drapes.
A good tip is to increase the blanket size by 10%. That’s all it takes for the blanket to drape better, while still staying in the preferred size range.
What Size Should a Fleece Baby Blanket be?
Fleece baby blanket sizes can match any of the ones in the chart above, especially if it’s a thick and fluffy fleece. But when you’re working with a lighter and thinner fabric, you can easily double the dimensions. That way the baby has a light blanky for warmer nights which folds into several layers of cozy warmth in winter.
How do You Make a Fringed Fleece Baby Blanket?
This is the easiest craft project ever and there are 2 ways you can do it, and you will not have to sew a single stitch.
- Fold the edge about 2-2.5 inches in.
- Make marks every half an inch, then cut small snips at each mark.
- Unfold the edge, then cut every second snip all the way to the edge of the fabric.
- Fold each piece towards the back of the fabric then pull through the tiny snips in between. Don’t pull too hard to prevent bunching.
- Trim the corner pieces so the blanket lays flat.
- Fold the edge about 3/4 to an inch in and make marks every half an inch. Cut tiny snips.
- Take some yarn and wrap it around your finger 3 or 4 times. Cut and set aside, these will be our tassels.
- Fold the edge of the fleece a 1/4 to half an inch towards the back of the fabric and press with an iron.
- Push one side of the tassel through the snip and leave a small loop. Pull the other side of the tassel through that loop and pull to secure.
- Cut the lower part open and trim to size if you wish.
- To neaten the corners, fold them into muttered corners and secure with a drop of glue.
How Much Yarn is Needed for a Baby Blanket?
The exact amount depends on the yarn, stitch, blanket size, etc., but most baby blankets need at least 8 skeins.
If you’ve made a swatch from your preferred type of yarn and you have a clear idea of how big the blanket will be, you can use one of the many free online calculators to get a clearer number.
Though, keep in mind that most of those calculators assume you are using simple stitches. If you’re using complicated stitches that eat up more yarn, your best bet is to make a sample and weigh it. Then all you have to do is calculate how much yarn your will need based on the estimated weight of the finished project. Then it’s only a question of looking at the weight of each skein and dividing the weight of the project by the weight of the skein.
Quilted Baby Blanket Dimensions
The perfect dimensions for a quilted baby blanket depend on batting. You can still refer to the chart above for suggestions based on where the blanket will be used, but you still need to pay attention to the thickness of the finished quilt.
Thicker quilts also drape better when they are bigger, so add at least a few inches to your planned size if this matters to you. When using batting, you definitely don’t want to make the quilt too small because it will come out too stiff.
Also, pay attention to the design. It would make sense to use smaller and more detailed patchwork on such a tiny blanket, but all those seams and seam allowances can contribute to the stiff feeling.
Knitted Baby Blanket Size
Knitted baby blankets usually have more stretch in comparison to crochet ones. Other than that, you can pick either of the sizes from the size chart or create a custom one using the formula above.
A Word About Cables
Cables are an absolutely stunning and relatively easy way to create beautiful designs when knitting. So, you should be happy to know that they don’t have much of an impact on which size you should pick.
However, the type of cables you pick matters. Pretty much any design that would work on an adult sweater will work on a baby blanket as well. The bigger ones that you would find on some adult blanket patterns simply don’t work due to the proportions.
Baby Blankets Before and After Blocking
Most stitches will relax and spread out after blocking. Keep in mind that it will easily add an extra inch to the width of your project. Ribbed designs will spread more than other textures.
Should You Finger/Arm Knit a Baby Blanket?
No. We mentioned above how super chunky yarns are too big for baby blankets, but there’s another problem when you move into the jumbo size territory: you can’t wash a jumbo yarn blanket.
The way these yarns are made makes it easy for them to fall apart in a washing machine. You can’t machine dry them either, and who knows what will start growing inside the yarn if you don’t dry it properly. And since we have to pay special attention to hygiene around a baby, not being able to wash a blanket is a big no-no. If you’re still adamant about going for that look, consider creating i-cords first then using them to make your creation.
Time to Get Started!
Now that we know what size a baby blanket should be. As well as, have an idea of what yarn or fabric to use, it’s time to get started! It’s a good idea to start sooner than later if this is a baby shower gift in case it takes you longer than expected, especially for beginners. Happy crafting!
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.