If you’ve never knit a baby blanket before, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the various baby blanket sizes. From my research, I found nine different types of blankets. You read that right. Nine. Most of these have names that vary by region or style. No doubt, it can get a little confusing.
The good news is I’m going to simplify the various types of baby blankets for you.
I’ll talk about the different blanket sizes and provide a brief explanation of each type. I’ll even give you dimensions in inches and centimeters. Finally, I’ll finish off with a handy cheat sheet that you can pin for easy reference.
As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit of information to go through. Before we get started, though, let’s talk a minute about your blanket size standards.
Average Baby Blanket Sizes
Any internet search for baby blanket sizes will show there are lots of irregularities for each type. The primary reason seems to originate from blankets made by hand vs. commercially made blankets.
With commercially made items, there is often a common blanket size standard. This is, chiefly, due to control over the cutting of fabric and sewing the blanket together.
When it comes to hand knitting though, there are many factors involved that affect final size. These would be: tension; fiber and materials; and knitting style. Alas, I'm talking about that ever discussed topic of gauge in knitting.
But gauge isn’t always so critical in baby blanket sizes. Still, I digress.
What I mean to say is: when it comes to hand knit blankets, it is difficult to find a standard blanket size. You see, aside from gauge, the average baby blanket size will vary depending on whether it is hand knit, crochet, or sewn.
Baby blanket sizes will also vary on how the blanket will be used. Some of the most common uses are to:
- Protect from dirty surfaces.
- Provide warmth.
- Protect from the elements.
- Give comfort.
Another common use for a hand knit blanket is to serve as a coverlet for baby. What’s a coverlet, you ask? I’m glad you asked.
What is a Coverlet?
Think of your average child-size bedspread. A coverlet, in comparison, is smaller and lighter than this.
As the name suggests, a coverlet’s purpose is to cover the baby, not drape the bed. This is why, when it comes to knitted baby blankets, there is so much size variation.
As we go through the different sizes, I’ll include mattress size dimensions (where found) along with blanket sizes. This will help you mentally visualize the differences and dimensions.
Keep in mind, the measurements given for these types of blankets are merely suggestions. There is no hard or fast rule saying you have to knit a baby blanket of a certain size. You are the boss of you and may do whatever your heart desires.
Okay, on with the baby blanket show. Working from smallest to largest, we begin with the lovey blanket.
When a child is born, one of the first things given to the baby is a soft toy or blanket. This act of generosity has deeper subconscious meaning than you may have realized.
Coming into this world is daring and bold and one wants to soothe them and comfort them. This is what the lovey blanket is all about.
What is a Lovey?
A baby lovey is a blanket that an infant or child clings to, and returns to, for comfort.
Commonly made with a natural fiber like cotton, a lovey blanket is small and light. About the size of a square knitted dishcloth, a lovey is a great size for newborns or infants.
Here's an example of a simple lovey blanket in stockinette stitch. Knit with 100 percent cotton yarn, it's oh so soft and machine washable.
I love the interesting color pooling of the yarn, don't you?
How big is a lovey blanket?
A knit lovey is usually about 10 inches to 12 inches square. In centimeters, it's about 25 cm to 30 cm square.
Lovey Blanket Sizes in inches / centimeters:
10” X 10" / 25 cm X 25 cm
12” X 12” / 30 cm X 30 cm
While a lovey doesn’t fall under the coverlet statute, the next item does. Now, let’s talk about Bassinet Blankets.
A bassinet is a small bed designed for babies from birth to about four months of age. Also called a cradle bed, it is often used to rock a baby to sleep. While they are not as common these days, they still exist so I’ve included it here.
Following are the dimensions for a bassinet mattress and a knitted bassinet blanket.
Bassinet Mattress Size in inches / centimeters:
15" X 30" / 38 cm X 76 cm
Bassinet Blanket Size in inches/ centimeters:
13” X 28” / 33 cm X 71 cm
Whenever I hear the words security blanket, Linus from Charlie Brown always comes to mind. If you’ve ever watched the cartoon, you probably remember Linus carrying around his own blanket.
Like loveys, a security blanket also brings comfort to little ones. The difference between the two types of blankets is size. In this instance, a security blanket is larger than a baby lovey. Below are the dimensions.
Security Blanket Size in inches/ centimeters:
14” X 17” / 36 cm X 43 cm
Here's an example of a security blanket I knit up in 100% cotton yarn.
Before we move on to the next type of blanket, I wanted to call your attention to this great charity I found.
Have you heard about Project Linus?
Project Linus is a national, non-profit organization I discovered while researching this post. At the heart of their mission is their desire to:
“Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”- ProjectLinus.org
Whether you’re a knitter, crocheter, or quilter, you can help. Click on the following links to learn more about Project Linus blankets:
Next, we move on to discussing preemies and preemie blankets.
This type of blanket is designed for preemies (prematurely born babies). Preemie babies usually weigh less than seven pounds and can be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
All across the country, Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) have a need for preemie blankets.
Here’s another great charity called Knots of Love. Created with just preemies in mind, your blanket donation could help foster the attachment between mother and child. Of course, preemie blankets also provide a reminder of love and comfort.
Below you’ll find the dimensions for a preemie size blanket.
Preemie Blanket Size in inches/ centimeters:
18" X 24" / 46 cm X 61 cm
If you’d like to knit a blanket for this charity, be sure to check out Knots of Love approved yarn list before you start knitting.
Car Seat Blanket
The next size of baby blanket is a car seat blanket cover. This blanket is not much larger than a preemie blanket so you could easily choose to knit this size instead.
Again, this blanket size is intended to serve as a coverlet. In this case, it would cover the car seat and baby.
Car Seat Blanket in inches / centimeters:
20” X 24” / 51 cm X 61 cm
Stroller Blanket / Pram Blanket
While this blanket type carries two different names, they’re the same thing. It’s just a matter of regional distinctions.
In the U.S., it’s considered a stroller blanket. The British would call this blanket size a pram blanket.
I've heard others simply refer to this blanket type as a baby blanket. You can imagine how confusing this is when you’re trying to find a specific knitting pattern size to knit.
For the sake of clarity, I’ve stuck to the stroller blanket and pram blanket names. I hope this helps you, too.
What is a Typical Blanket Size?
Of all the baby blanket sizes, the stroller blanket is the most commonly knit. This means the stroller blanket is the average size of a baby blanket.
Because it’s the average baby blanket size, it has the potential to be more than just a stroller blanket cover. It could be a burp cloth, changing pad, or textured snuggle for the child. Later, when the child is a little older, it’s a great size to wear as a cape and become a superhero!
While it's hard to tell from the above picture, this hand knit blanket is stroller size. The picture below shows a copy of the same knitting pattern modified with a slip stitch edge.
This baby blanket size knit was crafted with Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton Yarn in Pale Denim and Buttercup, respectively.
Baby Stroller Blanket / Pram Blanket in inches / centimeters:
30” X 35” / 76 cm X 89 cm
Types of Yarn for Baby Blanket
Here's a quick digression.
The stroller blanket is probably my favorite baby blanket size to knit. It sort of has the Goldilocks effect for me in terms of size. Just right.
When I knit baby blankets, I mostly use cotton yarn. Why? Well, this is done more out of a desire to use up what’s in my yarn stash.
The best yarns for baby blankets are made from natural fibers. Wool or cotton tend to be fuss-free and gentle for baby. Acrylic is also easy to care for but it’s not a natural fiber. Ultimately, you want to:
- use something soft and gentle.
- choose a fiber that can be machine-washed.
- save time and work with what you have.
The above image is just a small sample of my extensive cotton yarn stash. But I digress (again). The next blanket type we'll discuss is the receiving blanket.
Not only are receiving blankets customary, they’re also a staple in any nursery. Often made from a soft material like cotton, they’re used for just about everything. You can never have too many on hand.
To keep it lightweight, consider knitting one in fingering weight or sport weight yarn. You can learn more about yarn weights here.
Receiving Blanket Sizes in inches / centimeters:
36" X 36" / 91 cm X 91 cm
40" X 40" / 102 cm X 102 cm
Toddler Blanket / Crib Blanket
Unlike previous blankets which are designed to serve as a coverlet, a toddler blanket is different. When knitting a toddler blanket, also known as a crib blanket, the size is more dependent on age.
In case you didn’t know, the average age of a toddler ranges from 12 months to 36 months (1 to 3 years old). What all this means is: you’ll need to knit a larger blanket. This is so the crib blanket will fit the bed, not just cover the child. Logic!
Below are the dimensions for a toddler mattress size and a toddler blanket.
Toddler Mattress Size:
28” X 52” / 71 cm X 140 cm
Toddler Blanket / Crib Blanket Sizes in inches / centimeters:
40" x 60" / 102 cm x 152 cm
Finally, we’ve come to the last type of baby blanket.
While the swaddle blanket is the largest one, it’s intended for your baby in its earliest stages. Let’s talk a little about what a newborn swaddle blanket is.
What is a Swaddle Blanket?
When I think of a swaddle blanket, I am reminded of a star, in more ways than one.
When it comes to swaddling, it’s like wrapping your baby in the arms of a star. For me, this is the easiest way to visualize what a knit swaddle blanket looks like.
As shown in the image below, a baby swaddle blanket is a large knit square. When swaddling your baby, you turn the blanket 45 degrees to wrap your baby more easily.
Newborn swaddle blankets will keep your baby warm, safe, and wrapped in knitted love.
Swaddle Blanket Sizes in inches / centimeters:
45” x 45" / 114 cm x 114 cm
48” x 48” / 122 cm x 122 cm
No time to knit a swaddle blanket? You can cut and make this diy swaddle blanket with fabric in no time.
Now that you’ve learned about the different blanket types and blanket sizes, you may still have one lingering question.
How Big Should a Baby Blanket Be?
The true answer to this question depends on the amount of time, effort, and cost you want to put into knitting one. Along with this, there are several things to consider. Let’s discuss.
Ideally, you want to knit a baby blanket that:
- can grow with the child.
- isn't unreasonably large.
- is easily launderable.
- is gentle enough for the baby's sensitive skin.
- will be cherished, loved, and adored.
When it comes to choosing the perfect size, there’s no right or wrong answer. Whether you are knitting from a pattern or writing your own pattern, your knitted blanket will be a gift from your heart. In the end, that’s what counts the most.
Ok, I know you’ve got your knitting tools ready and are eager to start. Before going on a wild goose chase, check out these easy baby blanket knitting patterns. Seriously, they’re easy enough for beginners. I’ve vetted them myself.
You'll need to know how to read a knitting pattern and a few other easy techniques but you can knit them all!
Not ready to knit a baby blanket? Check out these easy knit and purl stitch patterns for beginners. Seriously easy.
And, as promised, here is a handy, pinnable cheat sheet to all the baby blanket sizes. This infographic has all nine types, various sizes, and shows inches and centimeters. Pin away!
We hope this guide to baby blanket sizes has taken the confusion out of your search.
Did you find it helpful? Let us know. We love hearing from you!