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What is a muslin square, what is a swaddle blanket and what do I need as a new mum?

November 24, 2017

What is a muslin square, what is a swaddle blanket and what do I need as a new mum?

This post is for new mums, or anyone shopping for new mums who isn’t sure what they need, why and for how long. I hope you find it useful…

What is a swaddle blanket?

A swaddle blanket is a blanket used for swaddling which is an age-old practice of wrapping babies in blankets (typically newborns to 3 months) and is believed to help them sleep – read more about swaddling here.

Whilst we have called our blankets ‘swaddle blankets’ (due to their open weave and breathability which is important for moderating baby’s temperature and essential for swaddling), they can also be used as normal baby blankets, extra-large muslin squares (for feeding – see below), breastfeeding covers if mum doesn’t feel comfortable feeding in public, as liners to go over the top of cot sheets, pram mattresses and Moses baskets/sleeping pods (read more about Moses baskets below. Liners are used as top layers over sheets as they can be easily stripped off when baby makes a mess leaving a clean alternative underneath), to put on the floor during play time in case baby is sick on the carpet or over the plastic changing mat to make it more comfortable for baby. These are just a few of the many uses - they are incredibly versatile and typically the way you use them will change as baby grows.

Age range: 0-12 months (based on my experience - until baby is on the move or prefers to be in a sleeping bag at night (thrashing about) and is less reliant on milk)

What is a muslin square?

A muslin square is a smaller cloth used when you breast feed or bottle feed a baby to wipe milk away from their mouths and clean up sick. It is also used during winding, usually over the shoulder when baby is held up against you in a hug position and having it’s back rubbed, protecting your clothing from sick. A newborn baby will feed every 2-3 hours (sometimes constantly) so you need a lot of these. They can also be used to line the head area of pram mattresses to protect the sheet if baby is sick, as makeshift bibs when baby is at weaning age (around 6 months) and taking milk as well as solids, as comforters (babies sometimes favour muslins over teddy bears to comfort themselves and sleep), and as lightweight blankets when baby is tiny.

Age range: 0-12 months (although they can hang around for years, especially if they’re used as comforters)

What is a Moses basket?

A Moses basket is a small portable cot (traditionally made of wicker) used for newborn babies when they are too little to sleep in their own room and need to sleep here, there and everywhere! How long does baby stay in a Moses basket? They typically outgrow their Moses basket between 2-4 months of age (depending on the size and length of the baby). Our sheets are fitted to the standard Moses basket mattress size, but there are lots of modern alternatives to Moses baskets so if you are buying a sheet as a gift and are unsure if mum has a Moses basket a muslin swaddle blanket serves as a great unfitted alternative.

Age range: 0-3 months

An honest note for those buying as gifts

Once mum is underway she will know exactly what to do with our products - they are essentials, used day in day out, usually every few hours. Your delivery note (which doesn’t include prices) and a card within the product will also explain what it is. There are much cheaper alternatives on the high street which she will likely buy in volume! Our essentials are different because they are made from 100% Bamboo Rayon which is a luxury choice over Cotton, mainly due to it’s Cashmere-like texture but also because it is organic. Unlike other luxury fabrics it can be machine washed at 40 degrees for everyday use.

If you would like to add to this post or have any further questions that you’d like to ask, you can contact me direct at and I’d be more than happy to help.

Wherever you buy your baby essentials, I hope that I have helped.

Best wishes,

Pippa x

Founder, The Little Art Collection


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