Friday, June 12, 2009

Receiving blankets - the under used household gem

The simple, soft, flannel receiving blanket has been a staple in our lives since the Dancer was a babe. When she, and later Spark, were newborns I would wrap them up tight like an egg roll in receiving blankets so they would be calm and sleep. After they were a few weeks old I would wrap them up to their arm pits so they would be covered and stay warm, but could have their arms free to fling around and gain control of. When they were wrapped up they couldn't kick the blanket off and suffocate themselves. Yes, I was one of those mothers who checked over and over again that their baby was still breathing. Actually, I can still be know to do that from time to time. The blankets also made great burp rags. They served as no defense in projective vomiting but for regular little baby spit they were great.

As the kids got older, I used the receiving blankets to set them on the floor, as a shield between them and changing tables, at the doctors office on the exam table (like that little paper roll on the table is enough germ protection for my precious babes), to prop them up in the shopping cart, and high chair, before they were really good sitters, and other germ barrier uses.

To potty train the kids I used cloth diapers. They both hated them and didn't take long to get them trained when they realized that the super, I don't even know I am wet, diapers were not coming back into their lives. While they were getting the hang of potty training I cut the blankets up and used them as diaper liners. If they had a poo it got thrown away and if it was just wet I would wash them and use them again. If you are wondering, yes I know they make cloth training pants, but if they poo those need to be pulled off down their legs which then in turn are covered in poo. Diapers were just easier until they got that part of training down.

They also worked great as toys. When they were babes we would play peek-a-boo and other hiding games to reinforce the 'just because you can't see it it is still there' concept. Dancer would wrap her stuffed animals and dolls up in them. The possibilities were endless and we never put the blankets away.

After heavy use most of our original receiving blankets are gone, probably in those training diapers, but we still have lots of them and put them to good use every day. I have gotten most of ours at the food shelf/clothing drive that we volunteer at every month where there seems to be an overwhelming number of them. Here is how we put them to use:
  • wipe up spills
  • dust rags
  • cleaning rags
  • they are perfect for washing windows
  • cleaning off udders before milking the goats
  • cleaning birthing goo off newborn goats
  • quick grab hand towel
  • dog bed liners
  • bath towels for animals - we used a few today to dry off a goat that needed a bath
  • wiping off wet lawn furniture
  • when Spark has a cold he likes them cut into little squares to wipe his nose because they are softer than tissues
  • in the winter we shove them in the side of door to keep the cold air out
  • to tie an ice pack on a hurt ankle or where ever ice is needed
  • and lots of other uses but you get the idea

Then we just throw them in the regular wash and cycle them through again. The great thing with them is that if you clean up something too gross just throw them away. Or they can be bleached and if they fade it doesn't matter. Bleaching them does shorten their life but sometimes it just can't be helped if you want to reuse them.

The blankets also serve as a little prayer ministry for me. Often times when I pull one out to use, I will send up a little prayer to God to bless the child that was once tenderly wrapped in the blanket, and if it is an old one from our kids, I smile and thank God for blessing us with two wonderful children.

1 comment:

April said...

Sounds very familiar--except for us that is how we used the cloth diapers which I still have a few of--great for dish cloths!