Giving wonderful gifts falls somewhere between an art and a science—and frequently becomes a source of anxiety for nervous gift-givers. Whether you're an experienced baby shower attendee or you've been doing a lot of research into baby gifts (or gifts for new parents), you may have already arrived at a great idea: an embroidered baby blanket.
But even that aha! moment leads to follow-up questions. Should it be a handmade blanket, or is a blanket bought from a boutique you can trust better? What should the embroidery be? How do you make sure you're giving the best blanket for your budget and skill level as well as the recipient's needs and style preferences? Psychologists have been studying the art of great gift-giving, and they've landed on these six aspects:
- Prioritize sentimentality
- Think about how the recipient can use the gift
- Focus on experiences
- Don't be selfish
- Choose easy options
- Personalize—but don't over-personalize
A personalized baby blanket satisfies most of these elements already. But if you're deciding whether to make versus buy, read through our helpful guide to make your choice. We'll affirm your intuition that an embroidered baby blanket is a great idea for any baby celebration, and then we'll see whether making or buying your baby is the better choice for you.
Why a Personalized Baby Blanket Is the Best Gift You Can Give
Baby blankets are a classic gift—and for good reason. Even when babies are too young to sleep with a blanket, they need swaddling clothes, burp cloths, blankets for tummy time, and coverings for outside jaunts. Blankets are all-season, all-occasion gifts, and parents can always stand to have a few more (especially if they're cute).
Of course, the type of baby blanket you choose matters, as does the fabric itself. The best ones have these characteristics:
- High-quality fabrics: 100% cotton is an excellent fabric because it's breathable, soft, and won't irritate a baby's soft skin. Cotton can be safely used in both hot summers and cold winters, and it's easy to wash and tumble dry. Many synthetics are less durable, harder to manage, and aren't as comfortable.
- Safe dyes and colorants: Very bright and vibrant fabrics are saturated with dyes. Not only can they bleed in the laundry, but they can be a potential irritant. Instead, opt for natural or softer colors.
- The right dimensions: Different blankets will come in different sizes. Security blankets that older babies and toddlers carry with them will need to be small so they aren't trip hazards. Stroller blankets will need a bit of extra length so they drape well. For general baby blankets, look for options that are around 30" x 40".
- Safety and compliance: Baby gifts that you find in a store often need to comply with specific safety standards, such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. You may already be familiar with this—gifts for children are often marked with the appropriate age range or minimum age. Look for brands that comply with these standards. This can be an extra complication when hand-making a blanket, but good baby brands that sell clothes, toys, and blankets will clearly mark their certifications.
By finding blankets that meet these criteria, you've already found a great gift that aligns with the science of gift-giving. They're sentimental, and new parents can easily use them. They can enhance experiences, such as being a personalized prop in professional baby photos or simply by making life easier while caring for a baby.
Blankets also come in a wide range of patterns, styles, and themes, from prints of woodland creatures to delicate knitted patterns, so you can pick one that aligns with the recipient's style. When you personalize it with initials or a name, you're also giving it a custom touch without going overboard. The only question left is: should you make it or buy it?
Should You Make or Buy an Embroidered Baby Blanket?
Making an embroidered baby blanket might be right in your wheelhouse. If you already have a dedicated sewing room with plenty of cotton flannels, lots of pretty threads and an embroidery machine set up, then your decision might be obvious. You may even have a pattern in mind!
But for many people with a baby shower or baby's first holiday approaching on the calendar, the choice is less clear. Explore some of the pros and cons of making an embroidered baby blanket versus purchasing one so you can pick the best fit for your schedule and preferences.
Pros and Cons of Making an Embroidered Baby Blanket
Some of the advantages of making an embroidered baby blanket from scratch (especially if you already have a sewing machine and embroidery machine) are:
- You can add last-minute embroidery details—if the parents don't pick a name until the delivery room, that's okay! You can rush home the same day, finish up the item, and give it to the new parents.
- You can make blankets for a very niche theme or occasion—if you want the blanket to fit into a nursery with a specific theme or a very limited color palette, making your own blanket offers you complete freedom of choice when it comes to fabrics.
- The recipient has very sensitive skin—some babies don't respond well to dyes, may be allergic to certain fibers, or do best with particular weaves. If you make the blanket, you can order those specialty materials.
- You want to maintain a long-running family tradition—in some families, a handmade blanket is incredibly meaningful. You may want to knit a blanket for your new grandchild, sew a blanket for your newest niece, or create a quilt that follows your cultural traditions.
However, there are also some cons to keep in mind:
- Recipients may not appreciate the amount of time that went into making the gift. This is tricky! When you pour hours into a handmade gift, it can sting when new parents don't seem to appreciate it. But they may not see the difference, or they may be too preoccupied with parenthood to notice our feelings. By buying a blanket, you can provide a great gift without the risk of feeling underappreciated.
- Gathering the materials and equipment can be very expensive. Unless you're a professional sewer or a dedicated hobbyist, acquiring the materials and machines to embroider a blanket at home is very cost-prohibitive.
- Even if you love making blankets, you may simply not have time—keep your own schedule in mind when choosing a gift. If you're making your to-do list for a busy gift-giving holiday season, creating individually handcrafted gifts is a big commitment. Remember one of the key tenets psychologists uncovered: make gift-giving easy on yourself!
Advantages of Buying an Embroidered Baby Blanket
Buying a personalized baby blanket can take a lot of stress off your plate and still leave you with a wonderful, high-quality gift to give. Consider these advantages that come with getting an embroidered baby blanket from an online store:
- Personalization is virtually effortless. When you shop online, you can find baby blanket stores that offer personalization options right on the main product page. Just input the name, initials, or date, pick your favorite style, and then you're done!
- You can choose from a wider range of embroidery styles. With hand embroidery, learning a brand new style or pattern can be a time-consuming challenge. Even programming a machine to use a particular font takes time and effort. But with the right online vendor, you'll have several beautiful fonts and monogram styles to choose from.
- You’ll save a lot of time. This is the big one—conventional personalization takes hours. By purchasing a blanket, you can ensure your gift is just as special, even if pinched for time.
- Personalization options are much more advanced these days. If you tried to purchase a personalized gift online even a decade ago, you may have been disappointed with the results. But today's options offer more accuracy, more options, and shorter timelines. Whether you want a cursive name in the corner of a blanket, a decorative monogram, or a clearly embroidered date to memorialize an important occasion, it is easy to do.
Find High-Quality Baby Blankets With the Personalization Options You're Looking For
The best gifts you can give will be meaningful to the recipient, filling them with gratitude in the moment and joy every time they use it. But the best gifts also make you happy by increasing your peace of mind around big occasions and decreasing your stress because you know your gift will be appreciated.
At Elegant Baby, we have beautiful collections of high-quality baby blankets in knitted design styles, with cute prints, and made with soft, durable fabrics. We also offer convenient embroidery personalization options so you can make your exclusive gift extra special. Browse our store to find a blanket you can personalize in just a few minutes.