There are a lot of fabric choices these days and it’s easy to find yourself swamped with which ones to get for your precious baby. A baby’s skin is very delicate and the wrong type of fabric can easily lead to skin problems for sensitive skin. Since a baby’s immune system is still not fully developed, they are more susceptible to allergies and eczema so it is important that you choose skin-friendly, breathable fabrics that have sufficient stretch for comfortable movement.
Here’s an overview of some of the top fabrics:
Cotton especially 100% organic cotton, is always amongst the top choices for all parents given its gentle and absorbent properties. Cotton is thin and breathable making it a great option year-round and especially during the hot summer months to prevent your baby from overheating. Organic cotton is an excellent choice for those with skin issues or babies who suffer from asthma since most synthetic products are often treated with chemicals which can cause rashes on your newborn’s skin. Organic cotton is a very durable fabric and will become softer as you wash it, something that synthetic fabrics may not provide. Additionally, since 100% organic cotton swaddles cloths are very elastic, you can rest assured knowing your baby can stretch comfortably while swaddled.
Bamboo is another material that is great for sensitive skin and is thermal-regulating, meaning it will adjust with a child’s temperature to avoid overheating. It’s not only a highly breathable fabric but it is also absorbent and strong making it great for year-round use. Bamboo is naturally organic as it requires no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to grow making it an excellent option for babies with delicate skin or eczema. 100% Bamboo swaddle cloths are becoming increasingly popular as it is an incredibly soft fabric, often compared to cashmere since its fibers have more elasticity and are less bulky than cotton. Since babies spend a lot of their time sleeping, the softer and more comfortable the blanket, the better.
Fleece is a cozy and soft choice for a baby's skin. It’s known for its warmth, making it a great option for winter time. While it’s indeed very soft, one of the biggest risks with fleece is that it is bulky and can lead to overheating which in turn can make eczema prone skin even itchier.
Fabrics to Avoid:
Fur fibers can be easily pulled out and ingested by babies, posing a potential choking hazard. Fur can also make allergies worse for babies with sensitive skin.
Vinyl is another poor choice for young babies whether it be used for clothing, blankets or toys. Vinyl is created via a chemical process and these harmful toxins can lead to rashes.
Silk is a debatable fabric as it's lightweight, delicate and incredibly breathable and organic silk is one of the best natural fibers for keeping babies comfortable without overheating; however, this type of fabric is not very absorbent and difficult to wash so it wouldn't be the most practical choice for babies.
1) Ensure you choose the right kind of fabric for the right season
2) Safety is a must so make sure there are no small parts (e.g. buttons, pins, loose ribbons) that can get your baby entangled. This will become less of an issue as your baby grows older.
3) Be creative. A sizable swaddle blanket can be multi-purpose, used as a stroller cover, burp cloth, blanket, breastfeeding cloth or bed sheet.