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Baby blankets, especially receiving blankets, are one of the best products ever made! Most people think they are only useful for babies. But, I’m here to tell you, they come in handy no matter how old your kids are! They are the parenting equivalent of duct tape: they are versatile, take up very little room, and can be a lifesaver whenever you are in a pinch. I carry one with me everywhere I go, even though my son is now in middle school. Here are 22 smart ways to use baby blankets while on your family vacations.
Most Common Uses
1. A Blanket
The most obvious use for a baby blanket is as a blanket. But, most people don’t think about using a receiving blanket for anyone other than a baby. Yet, they can keep any one warm while traveling.
Use it for child riding in a car seat. Cover your legs during a cool flight. You can also use it as a shawl to cover your arms when chilly.
2. A Pillow
Because of their small size, baby blankets make great travel pillows. Just scrunch one up and put under your head for a quick snooze. This is also super helpful when you have a child trying to sleep in a car seat, in a stroller, or on stadium bleachers.
3. A Sun Screen
There is nothing worse than getting a sun burn on your arms on the first day of vacation. If this happens, you can use a baby blanket to block the sun from your burnt skin while sitting outside.
It’s also a great way to block the sun from shining in your children’s eyes too. If driving, you can put it up over a window to keep the sun away from your child’s eyes.
4. A Reflection Blocker
Next on this list of smart ways for baby blankets is to use it to block the sun’s reflection.
Sometimes, while on vacation, your kids will want to chill out with a phone or tablet. If you are outside, it may be difficult for them to see due to the sun’s reflection. When this happens, use your receiving blanket to block the reflection. Easy peasy!
5. A Seat Cover
A baby blanket makes a great seat cover whenever you find yourself needing to sit on a hot bench or the dirty ground. This is a genius way to use a blanket when you are sitting on something too hot for your kids.
6. A Privacy Screen
A baby blanket can be used as a privacy screen for a child who needs to change. You can also use one to block the view of a child that needs to pee on the side of the highway!
7. Cover for Your Goods
When traveling, there are times when you need to leave valuables in your car unattended. You can use a baby blanket to cover your valuables in these situations. This can help prevent your car from being broken into. If thieves can’t see your things, they are less likely to break into your car.
8. A Knap Sack
Another one of my smart ways to use baby blankets when traveling is as a knap sack
If you like to collect shells while at the beach, you can use a receiving blanket as a carry all or knap sack to carry them. You can also use it to carry leaves or rocks you collect while hiking. Or use it to hold apples when you go apple picking.
Just put whatever you are carrying in the center of the blanket and tie up the corners to make a knapsack.
There are some times when you get caught in the rain without an umbrella. When that happens, just grab your baby blanket. You can use it to cover your head to give you some protection from the rain. You can use it to cover your little ones too.
10. Clean up a Spill
Next on my list of smart ways to use baby blankets while on vacation is to clean up a spill.
Parents know that spills are just a part of life with kids! Sometimes, they happen when you least expect them. When this happens, you can use a receiving blanket as a towel to clean those spills up quickly.
11. Dry Off a Wet Seat
Sometimes, when you travel to sporting events, concerts, or theme parks after or during a rain storm, you will be forced to sit on a wet seat. If you have a baby blanket with you, you can use it to dry off your seat.
12. A Bib
Kids tend to be messy eaters. Even when your kids have outgrown bibs, you sometimes need one to prevent their good clothes from getting dirty. Just tie a receiving blanket around your child’s neck as a make-shift bib to keep their clothes nice and neat.
13. A Napkin
Sometimes on road trips, you swing by a drive thru only to find after pulling away that they didn’t give you any napkins! In these situations, you can use a receiving blanket as a napkin to clean your hands.
14. Major Mess Cleaner
Yet another one of my smart ways to use baby blankets when on family vacations is to clean up major messes.
Sometimes, kids get sick and throw up in the car. This is especially true if they are prone to car sickness.
My son has done this many times. Sometimes, I have nothing in the car to clean up that kind of a mess! As long as I have a baby blanket and a bottle of water, I can easily clean it up.
First Aid Uses
15. A Sling
If you have an accident-prone family member, you may find yourself in need of a sling at some point. If you don’t have anything else, you can fold a receiving blanket up to make a temporary sling until you can get the accident victim to medical treatment.
16. Stop a Nose Bleed
There is nothing worse than getting an unexpected nose bleed when you are on vacation. If this happens and you have nothing to stop the bleed, grab your baby blanket. It can be a lifesaver in these situations.
17. Prop It Up
With some injuries, the best medicine is to just prop the injured body part up for a while. If you are out and about when this happens, you can use a baby blanket to prop up that leg or arm.
Similarly, if you have someone who needs to lay down due to sickness, you can use it to prop up their head.
18. Ice Pack
If you need an ice pack, but don’t have one, grab a receiving blanket. Put the ice in the middle, wrap the blanket up around it, or tie the corners together, and you have an instant ice pack.
Time to Play
19. A Cape
If you are hanging out in your hotel room and have run out of things to entertain your kids, you can use your baby blanket as a cape. Tie it around your child’s neck to turn them into a instant super hero.
20. Baby Doll Blanket
You can also let your kids use a baby blanket to cover up baby dolls while in your hotel room too. This makes for a simple and portable toy. This can keep your little ones entertained for hours!
21. A Partial Tent
A receiving blanket can also make a partial tent for your kids. Drape it across a chair or tie it between the legs of two chairs Your kids will love this!
22. A Hobo Sack
If you have a stick of some sort, tie a receiving blanket up in a knapsack around the stick to make it into a hobo sack. Your little ones can then pretend to go on a long adventure. This can be a fun, original game for them, which may help cure their boredom.
There you have it: 22 smart ways to use baby blankets while on family vacation! These are such versatile items that can help you in lots of situations long after your babies are no longer babies. If you don’t have any receiving blankets any longer, you can find them at Target, Walmart, or Amazon.
Try taking a baby blanket on your next trip. I bet you will be surprised at how much you use it!
For more uses for your old baby blankets, check out this article by Sewing Rabbit.
For more on traveling with kids, see complete guide to happy travel with kids, reasons why you should do travel with kids, tips for flying with kids, how to calm child anxiety when flying, pros and cons of a road trip with kids, how to make any destination kid-friendly, and tips for successful road trips with kids.