A lot of us crave an excuse to quilt away, and what better one than for your or a friend’s little one? I mean, those adorable tiny bundles of joy need just the most beautiful piece of quilt, don’t they?
As a mom, I’ve been drawn to sewing so many quilt patterns because it’s just that addictive, and I’m sure you have too! Every time I pick up my needle, one question revolves around my head, and that is, “What size is a baby quilt?”
Quilt Size Chart
I’ve come across so many different recommended sizes and measurements for a baby quilt. Some are rigid and some a little flexible, allowing room for adjustments. The thing is, there is no one-size-fits-all for baby quilts. It’s all a matter of preference: do you want it to serve a useful purpose or do you just need one for decoration?
If you want it as a decoration, then, by all means, go crazy with the measurements and patterns! Sew it or get it sown according to whatever suits your taste.
However, if you want it to serve a particular purpose, say a crib quilt, then you may need to follow the standard measurements or little variations from them.
From my experience and research, I’ve prepared this easy-to-reference chart to guide your quilting journey based on standards. Some of these sizes have variations, though, and you can always tweak them a little.
|Type of quilt||Quilt Sizes|
|Preemies and newborns||30” × 30”|
|Preemies and newborns||30” × 40”|
|Crib or cot||36” × 52”|
|Toddlers||70” × 90”|
|Throw or lap||46” × 60”|
The General and Popular Size for Baby Quilts
The most common quilt size could easily be the 30”× 30” or the 36” × 52”. Why? Well, most parents want something to wrap their little ones in when they’re out of the hospital, and the 30” × 30” is usually the perfect size for the ride home. While the 36” × 52” is popular because it easily fits with the standard crib mattress which is about 27” × 52”.
Just because these sizes are popular for baby quilts doesn’t mean you’ve got to stick to them, though. As I said, you can always make adjustments based on your preferences.
I mentioned that 36” × 52” is a standard crib quilt measurement, however, the size of your crib mattress can vary depending on the brand. What you want to do in such a case is to measure the length and width of your baby’s mattress and add 4” to the quilt.
What Is The Best Quilt Size For Your Baby?
I’m going to section this into two categories: one about age and the other about purpose. However, remember that the best quilt size for your baby is relative.
This is a major factor when deciding the size of your baby quilt. You typically never want a quilt that’s too large, especially in the first few weeks of your baby’s life.
The quilt size chart I gave earlier will be of great help when picking the right size for your little one, but here it is again, just in case:
- You want to get 30” × 30” or a 30” × 40” quilt for a newborn or premature baby. You may even need to go a little lower for preemies. Something like 25” × 30” would be just fine.
- When your child is a toddler, you will need to purchase a larger size quilt. You’ll probably need to start with a 36” × 52” quilt for your small toddler and then move up to as much as 70” × 90” when they grow bigger.
This starts right from the drive from the hospital. Do you want to use them in a car for long journeys? Or have them on the floor during playtime? This will greatly affect whether or not a particular size is perfect for your little one.
So let’s start at home:
- Bassinet, crib, or play yard: The method I mentioned earlier for crib mattresses will also work for this. Measure the bassinet of your sleeping station and make the quilt according to that.
- Cuddle time: The lap or throw measurement comes into play here. From a parent to a parent, I’m pretty sure we all crave some quality skin-to-skin time with our babies, and you can’t blame us; they just look so cuddly.
So you can go with the standard measurement of 46” × 60” or higher, depending on what’s comfortable for you and your baby.
- Playtime: A quilt can be the perfect surface for your little one to have some fun on the floor. If that’s what you’re going for with a quilt, then a size according to your little one’s age would do just fine. As long as it gives your baby enough room to toss and turn, it’s perfect.
What Size of Batting Should I Get for My Baby Quilt?
The batting is like the patties in your quilt sandwich. It’s that soft insulating material between the front of the quilt and the backing.
Generally, you want the batting to be a few inches longer than your quilt measurement. If you’re having a long-arm quilter do the quilting for you, then 4” over the quilt measurement is the standard. However, you should always check with the long-arm quilter to know their requirements.
What Fabric Should I Get For The Batting In My Baby Quilt?
After deciding on the size of the batting, you want to choose the material. As with most fabrics, there are a variety of materials to select from. But when dealing with babies, you would want to stick to natural and organic materials as they are softer on their skin.
I always get my batting in either 100% cotton or flannel. It’s not rocket science that going natural is great for your baby’s skin. So, if you aren’t going with cotton, then wool would work fine. Just keep in mind that wool is liable to shrink.
You should probably avoid the cheap synthetic battings available at the store, no matter how tempting they are. There’s a chance these materials will cause allergic reactions to your little one’s skin, and you don’t want that, do you?
What Size Should The Squares In My Baby Quilt Be?
The beauty of your baby quilt lies in its pattern, and part of that translates to the square dimension.
The size and number of the squares depend on the overall measurements of the quilt. Most quilt squares range from 6”to 8”. That’s on average, but it could as well go as low as 4” or 5”. About 80% of the quilts I have made have had squares measuring 5”.
Over time, I have learnt this easy way to calculate how many squares you need and in what sizes, to save you stress, especially when you’re making the baby quilt yourself. It goes like this:
- Calculate the area of your quilt by multiplying the length by the width, for example, 36 × 53 = 1980.
- Next, calculate the area of the square size you want to use, for example, 6 × 6 = 36.
- Divide the quilt area by the square area, and there you have it! You have the number and size of squares you need, for example, 1980 ÷ 36 = 55—that’s 55 squares of 6” × 6”.
That’s a great way to get your specifications for your baby quilt, but if you aren’t up for any math, you can search for some quilt calculators online and have it done for you.
What Do I Need To Make A Baby Quilt?
I have already mentioned the fabric, which is of utmost importance, as with any other sewing endevour you do. It’s the same things you would need with just a few additions here and there. You probably even have the supplies at home already. They are:
- Rotary cutter
- Seam ripper
After getting those tools, you can go ahead and download or purchase a quilt pattern, especially if you’re making your baby quilt for the first time. Otherwise, you can wing it and come up with whatever suits your taste.
Are Quilts Safe For Babies?
This is one important thing you likely won’t want to miss out on understanding. This whole time, I’ve been talking about choosing the right quilt size for your little one, and it’s only natural for you to wonder how safe it is, especially if you’re a first-time parent.
Let me clear your doubts: baby quilts are safe for your little one when used properly.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, no foreign object, whether a pillow or a quilt, should be placed in a crib or bassinet while a baby sleeps, as it increases the risks of suffocation and, by extension, SIDS.(2)
As long as you only use your quilt for supervised cuddles or play time, you have nothing to worry about. Quilts aren’t potentially harmful to your little one when you have your eyes on them.
Tips to Choose the Right Size Baby Quilt
I’ve said this before, no one size fits all. Baby quilts, especially when you’re making one yourself, give so much room for you to decide what’s right.
For simplicity’s sake, here are a few tips to aid your decision.
- Allow your imagination to run wild as you choose a pattern and the size of the baby quilt.
- I mentioned the standard size of crib mattresses earlier, but you should always measure the dimensions of your baby’s crib mattress before sewing together a baby quilt.
- Depending on how your baby quilt will be used, add a couple of inches to the measurements you took. It gives room for shrinking or anything like that.
- If you started with, say, a 30” × 30” baby quilt for your newborn, add fabric to it when they outgrow it to match their current needs.
- Be adaptable. The standard baby quilt measurements are not the best measurements.
How Do I Wash My Baby Quilt?
Firstly, if you’re going to get a store-bought baby quilt, check that it is pre-washed or pre-shrunk. And if you’re making the quilt yourself, like I earlier said, add a couple of inches for any potential shrinking.
You probably won’t have to wash an adult’s quilt too often, especially the ones made from natural materials. With your baby, though, it’s going to be a lot different because we all know how messy babies can get.
You want your little one to be in a clean, and healthy environment and a dirty baby quilt is anything but that. So, you could try to wash your baby quilt every other day.
Tips for Cleaning A Baby Quilt
- Use a gentle cycle for the quilt in your washing machine.
- Try to omit the use of fabric softeners.
- Use a mild detergent that is safe for your little one’s skin.
- For the drying of a baby quilt, you’d want to fluff, tumble, or air dry it.
When choosing the size of your baby quilt, you can always go for the standard measurement as easy-to-follow patterns are widely available to aid you, especially when making them at home.
These patterns are not so readily available when you’re going freestyle with your measurements. That’s the beauty of it though; you’re given total control of the outcome. Break a leg!
Have you made any baby quilts before? What sizes did you make and when? I’d love to hear your answers and thoughts. Leave a comment!
- The American Academy of Pediatrics. Safe Sleep https://www.aap.org/en/patient-care/safe-sleep/
- Rachel Y. Moon, MD, FAAP, (2022, Jul 14). Healthy Children. How To Keep Your Baby Sleeping Safe: AAP Policy Explained https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx