Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weekly Column: Receiving Blankets To The Rescue

Raising a newborn was a messy experience. There were onesies to wash, spit-ups to wipe, and diapers to change (of course), but I never considered how often we’d be changing crib sheets in those early days. And by ‘early’, I mean ‘every day for the first 6 months.’

I’d lay our baby down in freshly laundered jammies on a clean sheet, only to be met later with the blossoming stain of a diaper blow-out. I thought it would be no problem to change the sheet and be right back on track.

I was wrong.

Changing crib sheets was just about the most difficult part of my day. Draping myself over the side of the crib to tuck the sheet in place proved to be awkward at best, impossible at worst. I got so frustrated at times, I’d haul the entire mattress out of the crib rather than contort myself into muscle-cramping angles. But when there was an older sibling waiting to use that mattress as a floor trampoline, sheet changing morphed from an inane chore to an Olympic event.

Out of frustrated necessity, I solved the issue almost entirely. I laid a flannel receiving blanket over the middle of the sheeted mattress – right where the baby usually slept. When the inevitable diaper blow-out or reflux spit-up occurred, all I had to do was peel off the thin blanket to reveal the pristine sheet underneath. I always made sure the blanket was spread and tucked as much as it could be so the baby’s movement wouldn’t disturb it, and it worked beautifully. Sheet changing went from a daily task (or more!) to once every week or so.

It was a beautiful solution – until the baby started moving around. But before mobility hit, those months of sheet-changing freedom were glorious. And clean.


  1. Brilliant! I bought one of those mini crib pad-thingies to put over the sheet, which proved to be a huge waste of money since my babies were larger than the pad within a few weeks time. Wish I would've read this post back then...

  2. My mom gave me the same idea when I had the wee one. When I'd make the bed, I'd have the mattress protector, then a receiving blanket, the sheet and another blanket (I really didn't want to take off the protector)....also I always had a receiving blanket over the diaper changing pad thingy...

    Ugh. I have to find all this stuff again!

  3. Receiving blankets are so handy in so many ways!

  4. You'd think after three kids in four years, I might have thought to do something similar... But no. It's been four years of mumbled substitute-profanities ("Cheese and crackers! Another blowout?!") and sometimes twice (or thrice! Isn't 'thrice' fun to say?) daily sheet changes.

    In conclusion, you are a genius :D

  5. Ahh, yes, working up a nice sweat and high blood pressure by doing a simple housekeeping activity... Ack! And oh my goodness, changing sheets with the three kids is enough to make me go insane. Why do they think it's okay to all jump up and down during each stage on the bare mattress, then pad, then fitted sheet, then blankets while I'm in the middle of trying to pull it all together. I'm pretty sure many meltdowns have come from making beds with the kids!

  6. I used to do the same thing! Those receiving blankets, or even cloth diapers, are amazing. The uses we found for them... you could write a book!

  7. haha! that is SO my life right now. our sofa is getting the most abuse these days though...when we bought it the feature of the couch was that was supposed to repell stains (like urine, feces, etc) at the time my husband & i were disgusted...what are people DOING on their couches?! Then we had a baby and had that answered for us pretty quickly :) we laugh when we think back...ahh the days before parenthood...


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?