Once you have a baby, it can seem like your money is just disappearing! Babies need a lot of necessaries, and unfortunately this doesn’t help your wallet. And why do we spend so much on our children? We want the best for them, of course.
Unfortunately, this can put a lot of financial strain on the parents. One way to avoid going into mounds of debt on a child, is to make a lot of baby necessities yourself!
Whether you’re an avid crafter, or you’ve just trying to save some extra cash, making items yourself can be fun and humbling!
The easiest product to start with is the much needed baby blanket. But, what’s the best yarn for baby blankets?
Whether you’ve knitted before or not, there are many free tutorials online to help you learn the basics.
To knit your own baby blanket, you’ll need yarn.
Now this is where things can get tricky. There are so many different yarns that it can be hard to decide which one is the best yarn for baby blankets. In fact, certain yarns are better for baby blankets than others.
Think about it, would your baby be comfortable snuggling with a scratchy wool blanket?
Probably not. The skin of a baby is incredibly sensitive, and therefore you will need yarns that are soft and delicate. There are a few other qualities that may be specific to your baby’s blanket!
Choosing Yarn for Baby Blankets
Gauge: This is the stitches per inch, or also referred to as the tension of the yarn. To find the gauge of a yarn, you can simply count the number of stitches over 6 inches and then divide the number by 6. Having the correct gauge will ensure that you’re knitting will look exactly like the finished product you’re trying to achieve.
Yarn Weight: The weight of your yarn greatly affects the product you’re trying to achieve because specific yarn weights are better for certain projects. Both lightweight and more bulky yarn weights can work equally well for baby blankets, as they qualities are also depend on the season the baby is born in.
Fiber: Since this is a baby blanket, any harsh fibers like wool are not recommended. Stick to softer fibers like acrylic, cotton, or bamboo. These will not upset a baby’s sensitive skin or irritate them.
Washable: The last thing you want to do is spend time on knitting your baby a blanket, and then find out it’s not washable. Babies can spit up at any time, and you want to be able to run it through a quick wash. Plus, the last thing you want is your baby to stain your lovely creation.
Dye lots: If your baby blanket calls for more than one skein of yarn, you want to make sure that you’re going to receive the same color. Yarns are dyed in lots, meaning it’s very hard to make yarn from different lots to see the exact same color. Buying yarn from the same dye lots can combat this, and ensure your yarn will all be the same color.
This bright yarn might remind you of a hot summer day, while you enjoy an orange creamsicle by the pool. This Lion Brand Yarn is made of 100% premium acrylic, making it very soft and easy to work with. This is a 4 worsted weight yarn, meaning it has about a medium weight but is lighter than a bulky yarn. This is an Afghan, Aran yarn that’s 16 ounces and 1,020 yards. Customers have ordered this yarn on different occasions, and have no problem with dye lots, or having different colored yarns. This yarn is machine washable, and recommended the first time you wash this, that the temperature does not exceed 40C or 105F. Each skein is about 12 by 5.25 by 5.25 inches.
This topaz yarn is a great yarn to use a for baby blanket if you’re unsure of the gender but want a pop of excitement. It has an incorporated sparkle, giving this neutral color a hint of playfulness. This yarn is made out of premium acrylic and polyester, making it soft and cuddly for your little one! Being a worsted weight yarn, it’s 3 ounces, 196 yards, and a gauge of 18 stitches for 24 rows at 4 inches. It is recommended to use a needle size of 8/5mm for this. Not only is yarn very soft and easy to work with, but it’s extremely versatile. If you have yarn left over after you make a baby blanket, you can use the yarn to make a hat or scarf.
If you want to make an unbelievably soft baby blanket, this is the yarn to use. This yarn is chenille-style, making it incredibly soft for baby’s sensitive skin. Made out of 100% polyester, this yarn is great for any baby project you’re planning on making. This yarn is in a weight category of 6, and is 10.5 ounces, being 256 yards. It has a gauge of 8 stitches for 13 rows, making it 4 inches. It’s recommended to use a US 11/8mm sized knitting needles, with a crochet hook size of L11/8mm. This yarn is suitable for machine washing and drying. Incredibly easy to work with, this yarn is great even if this is your first time crocheting or knitting!
Wanting to make an extremely bulky baby blanket? After all, we all love a good bulky blanket. This silver steel yarn is a great bulky chenille-style yarn, this is the best yarn for making a blanket, especially a baby blanket. If you’re expecting a baby during the colder months of the year, this will definitely keep them cozy! This yarn is in the weight category of 6 super bulky, and has a ball size of 10.5oz/300g and is 220 yards/201 meters long. The knitting gauge for this yarn is 8 stitches for 13 rows, using a US 11/8mm knitting needle. This yarn can be machine washed and dried, so you will not be left with a dirty blanket if your baby spits up on it.
Available in 31 different colors
Great bulky yarn
Machine washable & dryable
Easy to work with
Some have had issues with yarn being tied together
Made for baby projects, this yarn is perfect to knit a baby blanket! It is made out of 100% acrylic. This fiber makes the yarn very soft to touch, with a bit of silky sheen to it. This is a great option if you’re looking to make a white baby blanket for their baptism or if you are unsure of the baby’s gender! This yarn measures 256 yards long, and is medium worsted in a weight category of 3. It is recommended to use a 5mm knitting needle for this yarn. Even better, this Baby Steps yarn is machine washable and can be tumbled dried or dry cleaned. However, avoid ironing. If you find the yarn to not be soft enough, try washing it a couple times!
If you’re looking for less of a bulky baby blanket, and more of a tight knit, this Lion Brand yarn is great. This yarn is made out of 100% acrylic, making it soft and easy to work with. This yarn has fun self- striping colorways to make a nice mix of blended colors throughout your baby blanket. This can give the blanket a nice pattern, especially if you can’t decide on one color. One ball of this yarn can make a baby garment, and two balls can make a baby blanket. Each skein is .35oz/100g, 394 yds/360m, and well wound. It is recommended in order to avoid knotting, pull the yarn slowly while working with it. This yarn is also machine washable and dry-able.
Have a baby with a bright personality, or looking to make a bright baby blanket to fit their nursery? This Red Heart Gumdrop yarn is the perfect option! Available in bright and trendy colors, you’re sure to find the right fit. These yarns are made of 100% premium acrylic, and oh so silky. This yarn is 4oz/113, and 204yd/187m, making it a little smaller than other balls of yarn you might order online. The knitting gauge is 17 stitches for 23 rows, making it 4in/10cm. It’s recommended to us a US 8/5mm knitting needles for this yarn. This yarn is known for its potent colors, but its smooth texture leads to a no pilling or knotting.
An extremely affordable yarn with great trendy colors, the Lion Brand yarn in Mint Babysoft is exactly as its title suggests. This yarn is made of a soft acrylic blend, the solids are made of 60 acrylic and 40% nylon. With a great selection of colors that work well for baby blankets, this yarn is also made of great quality. It is 5oz/140g and 459yd/420m, with a medium sport weight. As yarn for a baby blanket, you will need to buy multiple balls of this yarn to finish the job. This yarn is machine washable, and washes very well, meaning this baby blanket will last for awhile.
Making a baby blanket for a little diva? You’re going to need a lot of sparkles and a lot of yarn. This Bernat big ball of sparkly yarn is sure to help you get the job done. Made of 86% acrylic and 14% rayon, it’s extremely soft! It is 10.5oz/300g, and 1178yds/1077m – perfect for any large project. The knitting gauge or this is 22 stitches for 30 rows with a US 6/4mm knitting needle. Not only will you be able to make a baby blanket, but may even have extra yarn left over for other projects. This yarn is machine washable and dry-able, so you don’t have to worry about your baby spitting up with only the option to spot clean.
Just by looking at this yarn, you can see the softness of it. This chenille-style yarn is perfect for making a blanket for the little one, as it’s incredibly soft and cozy. Not only this yarn going to make your baby feel like they are sleeping in the clouds, it’s has bright colors – perfect for any baby blanket. This yarn is 10.5oz/300g and 220yds/201m, making this a very comfy and chunky yarn. The gauge for this yarn is 8 stitches for 13 with a recommending US 11/8mm knitting needle. Made out of polyester, this yarn is machine washable and dry-able. To make a baby blanket, you will probably need around 2 balls of yarn.
Available in 16 different colors
Machine washable & dryable
Colors may not be accurate to pictures
Some were knitted in the middle of the yarn
Qualities to Consider in Yarn for Baby Blanket
Color: While this may seem obvious, color has a large impact on the end result of your baby blanket. Are you looking for a brighter color or a more pastel color? Certain brands have lines that are designed with bright colors, sparkle in yarn, or lighter colors. Make sure you read reviews, on whether the color pictures are true to color of the yarn.
Texture: Blankets can feel incredibly different based on the yarn that’s used, even baby blankets! This could also depend on the season the baby is born in, as winter babies would benefit more from a bulky and chenille-style yarn, while summer babies want a thinner yarn that adds more breathability.
Price: Certain types of yarns are definitely more expensive than others. It depends on how much you are willing to spend. Keep in mind, since this is a baby blanket, it probably won’t get much use past the first year. Babies grow fast, so you may even want to knit a slightly larger blanket to make it last longer. Acrylic, cotton, and polyester yarns tend to be more affordable, while alpaca and bamboo yarns are on the pricier side.
While it may seem like a lot of options just to choose yarn for a baby blanket, this is a large project. It’s much easier to go to the store and purchase a cute baby blanket, but making one is a gift that is irreplaceable. Plus, it’s a gift made of love that is unique. No other blanket in the store is going to resemble the one you’ve made.
Whether it’s a gift or you’re making this blanket for your little one, there can be a lot of concerns about the safety of the baby. All and all, the safety of the baby is the main concern.
Want to make sure you’re making a safe baby blanket? Knitting a blanket that has tight stitches can help keep the baby safe. Very loose knitted blankets can allow the baby to pull individual strings of yarn, creating a choking hazard. Do not knit patterns with holes in the blanket, so the baby can’t put their fingers in the yarn.
Also, ensuring there aren’t any loose strings at the end of the blanket that the baby can pull, will help keep them from getting into a sticky situation. Being aware of the season the baby will be using this blanket in can also help.
For example, not making an extremely bulky warm blanket during the summer months will prevent the baby from overheating.
Overall, making a baby blanket is a big accomplish that many shy away from!
Give yourself some credit for the work you’ve put into an item, it shows this new human is already loved. Regardless of the yarn you use for the baby blanket, a cute baby will make your blanket look stellar. Good luck!
Sleeping Bags / Marissa Gvozdenovich
Camping with kids can be a challenge, but it can also teach life lessons and create lasting family memories. So, each year campgrounds around the world are flooded with eager trekkers. But before the trip, there is a great deal of preparation, which often means purchasing all the gear you will need on your adventure, including sleeping bags. It may be tempting to head out to the nearest big box store and grab any kids’ sleeping bag, but this could prove to be a mistake later.
Since kids’ bodies aren’t as susceptible to stiffness and soreness when sleeping, it may seem like kids can fall asleep anywhere, but children aren’t totally equipped to adapt to new situations quickly and without incident. This is especially true when there are factors involved that could affect their sleep. Every parent knows that when their kid is tired, things can go downhill fast. Because of this, choosing the correct sleeping bag for your kid-friendly camping expedition can be one of the most important decisions your make before your trip.
Kids’ Sleeping Bags – What To Consider
Fill: The two types of insulation that are found most often in sleeping bags are synthetic and down. Camping enthusiasts will almost always recommend down insulation because it is lightweight, easily compressed, durable, and usually down-fill sleeping bags are a higher quality. However, down-insulated sleeping bags are usually much more expensive and more difficult to clean than synthetic, and when down insulation gets wet, it is very hard to dry. This can be dangerous if you find yourself with a wet sleeping bag on a cold night.
Most casual campers choose to purchase a sleeping bag with synthetic insulation, especially for kids. Synthetic insulation refers to fill made of polyester, nylon, or cotton. These sleeping bags can also be lightweight, easily compressed, and durable, plus synthetic insulation dries much more quickly than down insulation, it is easier to clean, costs less, and is hypoallergenic.
Size & Weight: One of the main factors that makes a kids’ sleeping bag a kids’ sleeping bag is that it’s smaller than an adult bag. Kids’ sleeping bags are designed to fit a smaller frame, which helps to keep heat inside the bag. Some kids’ sleeping bags are made for toddlers and others are made for children, so be sure to consider your kid’s height and weight when choosing the right bag for them.
Part of the size of the bag is its weight. A sleeping bag is one of the heaviest and bulkiest pieces of camping gear, so it is important to consider this if you plan on hiking with sleeping bags in tow or sleeping in cold temperatures. In general, the warmest sleeping bags are the heaviest. So, it’s best to look for a bag that your child is capable of carrying themselves, and one that will provide the appropriate level of warmth.
Shape: Sleeping bags usually come in one of four shapes: rectangular, barrel shaped, mummy, and double wide. Rectangular sleeping bags are obviously shaped like a rectangle, and they are designed to be more spacious and comfortable. A barrel-shaped sleeping bag is similar to a rectangular sleeping bag, but it is narrower in the feet. Mummy bags are fitted and snug to the body for the entire length of the sleeping bag. Lastly, double wide refers to an extra-large version of a rectangular sleeping bag that can fit two sleepers.
The best shape for your child depends on a couple of factors—their sleep preferences, the temperatures they will be using the sleeping bag in, and the weight of the bag. Some of the sleeping bag shapes described above may be more comfortable for kids who like to spread out when they sleep or for kids who like to wrap themselves up in a ball. Plus, the more fitted the bag, the warmer it is, which is best for colder temperatures. And if the weight of the bag matters, rectangular and barrel-shaped bags are usually lighter than mummy or double-wide bags.
Durability & Maintenance: When it comes to products for kids, durability and cleanliness always matters. In general, kids are rougher with their possessions than adults are, so finding a sleeping bag that can hold up to tough love is best. Plus, the terrain the sleeping bag is placed on can wear it down over time. As a result, you will want to find a kids’ sleeping bag that has sturdy zippers and is made with durable materials and insulation that repel moisture.
Kids are also known to spill things and make messes, so the wrong sleeping bag could get ruined by one of these incidents. Sleeping bags also become dirty from the bodies that sleep in them. Because of this, purchasing a sleeping bag that is easy to clean and water resistant will prove to be a good decision later.
Climate: Climate, specifically temperature and precipitation, plays a major role in selecting a sleeping bag. Before you buy a kids’ sleeping bag, be sure to consider where and when it will be used.
All sleeping bags have a temperature rating that indicates the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag will keep a person warm while wearing one layer of clothing. But, warmth is perceived and varies from kid to kid, which is why it is best to purchase a sleeping bag that is rated for temperatures lower than what you expect to encounter, but not too low to cause overheating. The zipper on the sleeping bag can also help to regulate the amount of heat that’s kept inside by allowing the sleeper to adjust for ventilation. Since kids don’t have as much body mass to keep themselves warm, erring on the side of caution is smart.
Precipitation is directly related to warmth. As mentioned earlier, a wet sleeping bag will be much colder and could be dangerous. Because of this, many sleeping bags are built to be water-resistant, but if you want extra protection, consider treating the bag with a water-resistant chemical or adding a water-proof shell to the bag.
What Are the Top Five Kids’ Sleeping Bags?
Here is a summary of the top five kids’ sleeping bags, each offering a unique combination of desirable features. All of these products are highly rated, and sleep tested.
The Wenzel Moose sleeping bag is designed to keep young campers comfortable and warm in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a polyester shell with synthetic, hypoallergenic Insul-Therm insulation. This sleeping bag also features a self-repairing zipper that won’t snag, plus it is lightweight at only 3.25 pounds. It measures 66 inches long and 26 inches wide, and it comes with a stuff sack for storage and transport. Finally, it is available in pink and blue, and both colors feature an appealing moose design.
Coleman’s Youth Sleeping Bag has several special features. It is filled with ThermoTech insulation and has a ComfortCuff along the neckline of the sleeping bag to keep heat in. This sleeping bag also features a small interior pocket with Velcro closure and ZipPlow, which keeps fabric away from the zipper to prevent snags. It is rated for temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and fits children up to 5.5 feet tall. This sleeping bag is available in two design options: blue with camouflage print inside and pink with multicolor squares inside. Coleman also offers a limited warranty with the purchase of this product.
Wenzel’s Backyard model sleeping bag is the only mummy-shaped bag on this list. It measures 26 inches wide and 66 inches long, and it is built with breathable yet warm materials. The synthetic polyester insulation along with the mummy shape lock in warmth. This sleeping bag also features a double zipper that can open from both ends and provides draft protection. Unlike rectangular sleeping bags, the Wenzel Backyard has a hood to keep heads warm and keep heat inside the bag. It is lightweight at only 2.2 pounds, plus it comes with a stuff sack for carrying and storing. Lastly, this 30-degree Fahrenheit kids’ sleeping bag is available in green and purple.
The Coleman Kids bag is similar to the Coleman Youth bag above, but they differ in their temperature rating, and this Coleman model features a glow-in-the-dark design. This bag is rated for 50-degree Fahrenheit temperatures and can accommodate children up to 5 feet tall. It also has ThermoTech synthetic insulation and ComfortCuff to prevent drafts from getting in through the seams. The zipper is equipped with ZipPlow, which moves fabric out of the way of the zipper to prevent snags. This sleeping bag is lightweight and easy to carry at 2.4 pounds, and it comes with its own stuff sack for storage and transport. It is available in teal, pink, and blue, each with glow-in-the-dark designs.
The Teton Sports Celcius Junior is the warmest sleeping bag on this list with a 20-degree Fahrenheit temperature rating. It is a rectangular sleeping bag with a hood for extra warmth. This sleeping bag features draft tubes, which run along the two-way zipper to prevent drafts, and it has a small interior pocket for storage. The Celcius Junior is available in 3 colors—brown/pink, blue/stripe, and blue/plaid—each with a matching stuff sack. Unlike other kids’ sleeping bags, this one gives the option of having the zipper on either the right side or the left side, and Teton Sports offers a limited lifetime warranty with the purchase of their sleeping bags.
Easy to roll up and store
Roomy and comfortable
May not live up to temperature rating
What Else Should You Consider When Using And Purchasing Kids’ Sleeping Bags?
There are a few other factors to consider when purchasing a kids’ sleeping bag, including price, comfort, and looks. In general, kids’ sleeping bags are affordable. Since many kids’ sleeping bags are made with synthetic insulation, the cost of down fill is eliminated, so other features of the sleeping bag determine the price. The recommended kids’ sleeping bags above range in price from $23 to $38, and luckily some of them come with warranties. Keep in mind that your children will grow out of their sleeping bag and that it may need to be replaced when considering your sleeping bag budget.
Next, consider the comfort that the sleeping bag will provide. As mentioned earlier, it is vital that your kids can get the sleep they need in order for everyone’s experience to be more enjoyable. A small pillow or a sleeping pad can add more comfort if necessary.
Finally, the look of the sleeping bag matters to kids. Unlike adults, kids will always pick the sleeping back that looks the best rather than the one that has all of the qualities necessary. Fortunately, most of the sleeping bags that are made for kids are available in appealing colors or they feature popular characters from T.V. shows or movies. It may be helpful to find a small number of sleeping bags that fit your child’s needs and have them pick their favorite look out of those options.
Kids’ Sleeping Bags – Final Thoughts
Ultimately, everyone’s goal when searching for the best sleeping bag is to find one that is warm, dry, comfortable, and easy to carry, and that is no different when searching for a kids’ sleeping bag. Although kids have different needs than adults, the recommended kids’ sleeping bags above are all designed to address those needs with some specialized features added. Parents and the makers of kids’ sleeping bags know that kids’ sleep, especially when they are away from home, is important for everyone involved.