Chances are, your baby is going to spend a lot of her time cuddled up in a blanket. Even when it’s warm out, babies often find comfort from snuggled into their favorite blanket. So, what should you look for in a baby blanket?

You want your baby blankets to be soft, of course. There are many soft materials, both natural and synthetic. If you go with a wool blend, make sure it’s something that won’t irritate baby’s skin. Babies like scratchy blankets even less than adults do. Fortunately, it isn’t at all difficult to determine if a blanket is soft or not. Feel it against your skin. If it’s pleasant and soft to your touch, it is likely to be pleasant and soft to baby’s touch as well.

You also want your baby’s blanket to be breathable. Basically, breathability refers to a blanket’s ability to let moisture out. If a blanket isn’t breathable, it will trap sweat and moisture in and cause your baby discomfort. It isn’t generally difficult to tell which fabrics are breathable and which ones aren’t. If air won’t go through at all, moisture won’t either, in most cases. Recently, some blanket manufacturers have started advertising the breathability of the blankets they sell. Look for blankets with at least 10,000 grams per square meter breathability, and the higher the better.

Baby blankets should be warm, of course. That is, after all, the main reason we swaddle or cover our babies in them. Because babies don’t have as much of a fat layer, they don’t retain heat as well as adults do. That’s why it is often recommended to dress them in one more layer than adults wear. As far as keeping a baby warm goes, a baby blanket serves as an extra layer of fat, keeping baby nice and warm.

Of course, as with anything else, safety is a concern with your baby blankets. In that respect, it’s best to use blankets which don’t have ribbons or anything else hanging more than a couple of inches. Ribbons are cute, and babies like them, but they can present a choking hazard, so make sure they’re cut short if they’re on the blanket at all.

If you’re like most parents, you probably have lots of baby blankets. It’s not unusual to get scads of them during baby showers. So, which one should you use? As long as they’re safe and comfy, use all of them. Babies have a way of letting us know which ones they like best, but until one becomes the front runner, there’s nothing wrong with switching them up.