It’s so nice to get outside as a family and you shouldn’t let having a baby stop you from doing the things you enjoy. One of my favourite family activities is taking everyone out on a picnic, but like everything with kids – even that’s a bit more complicated. Here’s the best picnic blanket for baby so you can enjoy your summers outside.
Best Picnic Blanket for Baby
Babies change a lot in the first year or two so the type of set up needed will vary too. If you’re taking a very young baby on a picnic, you might want to bring along a portable crib or rest them inside their car seat while you picnic.
Older and more mobile babies are going to need picnic blankets that are sturdy and stay in place. You’ll also want something that’s big enough for the whole family to sit on!
Tips for Going on a Picnic With a Baby
Sometimes it can feel like everything is so much work when you have a baby in the family. Especially when it comes to getting out of the house. Here are some tips to make the whole experience easier. (And I should know – I have five kids!)
- Pack baby friendly snacks. Make sure what you bring isn’t too messy and is something baby can eat easily.
- For young babies, make sure you have all their supplies. Nothing can ruin your picnic faster than not having their bottle or pacifier!
- Pack extra. Extra diapers, a spare change of clothes, bottles of water – anything your baby might need.
- Bring some toys. Picnic conversation isn’t as fun for babies as it is for adults. Spread the toys out over the picnic blanket to give your little one something to do while you eat.
- Have some shade. Babies are sensitive to the sun so set up your picnic in a shady spot. If there’s no shade available then bring an umbrella to keep you cool.
- Bring bug spray and sunscreen. Trust me, giving your baby a sunburn isn’t fun. Neither is an itchy toddler who gets covered in bug bites while you’re outside. Plan for your environment and protect baby (and you) from outdoor dangers.
- Have lots to clean up with. I like to bring extra baby wipes, but you could also bring a damp washcloth in a container to help tackle the baby mess.
- Make sure you have the right picnic blanket. I chose all the ones on this list because I thought they’d be great for families with babies.
- Keep expectations managed. Picnicking with a baby isn’t the same as a romantic date; set your expectations before you go so everyone has a good time.
How to Keep a Mobile Baby on a Picnic Blanket
One of the things that always drove me crazy when my twins were little was just how easily they managed to escape wherever I put them! If you have a mobile or active baby, you might have some troubles keeping them on the blanket while you enjoy your picnic.
First of all, like I said before, bring some toys. You might want to include a mix of your baby’s favourite ones and some ones that might feel new and exciting.
Second, you can try making a barrier around the outside of the blanket. At the beach I do this with sand by building it up around the edges then setting the blanket inside. At a park you could use your bags, the picnic basket, and anything else you have handy to create a barrier to trap the tiny escape artist.
If you need your baby to stay still while eating, you could feed them on your lap. I’m also a fan of portable high chairs (like the kind they make for camping) to help keep baby seating while snacking outdoors.
Extra Large Outdoor Picnic Blanket
I love the bright colours of this picnic blanket and your baby will too. It’s quilted for durability and the back is made of nylon. That means it will be comfortable for everyone sitting on it and stay clean on dirt and sand.
It’s good for babies because it’s soft and comfortable for them to sit and crawl on.
- Machine washable
- Comes with a bag
- Great size
- Not very thick for having three layers
- This blanket isn’t 100% waterproof
- Lightweight so it blows easily in the wind
Likorlove Outdoor Picnic Waterproof Blanket
This blanket’s biggest perk is that it comes with stakes to hold the blanket down. That way you don’t have to worry about the corners lifting up whenever there’s a gust of wind during your picnic. That being said, though – they could be a hazard to mobile babies so you definitely want to make sure they’re pushed into the ground well. If you don’t like the idea of stakes there’s also pockets in the corners that can be weighted down with rocks or sand.
I love how small this blanket folds up so you could keep it in the diaper bag.
- Very sturdy
- Folds up very small
- Not padded
- Could be bigger (but still a good size)
- Sand sticks to the bottom
TaTalife Outdoor Camping Blanket Beach Sand Proof & Waterproof Blanket
The bright pattern on this picnic blanket is perfect for baby and parents, too. It comes in different designs so you can pick your favourite one! I love using padded picnic blankets whenever I’m outside with kids and this one is perfect for that.
It’s also cool that it folds up and the bag is built in so you don’t have to worry about the bag blowing away while you’re outside relaxing.
- Padded so baby will be comfortable
- Sand and water resistant
- Folds up into its own bag
- Folding can sometimes be a pain
- Would be better if it was bigger
- Doesn’t lay flat in the wind
AISPARKY Beach Blanket
This oversized picnic blanket is just perfect for taking baby to the park or beach. There’s enough room for the whole family… And maybe grandma and grandpa too! It’s not super thick, but it does fold up into a tiny bag that could easily be stored in your backpack or car.
- Very large
- Water and sand proof
- Comes with stakes so it doesn’t blow away
- Not padded
- Heats up when sitting in the sun
- Sand will stay on the mat until you shake it off
JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket
This padded picnic blanket for baby comes in two sizes. The smaller one is perfect for small kids to sit or play on, and the larger one is better suited for a family picnic. The fabric is thick enough to keep young kids comfortable and everything folds up easily so you can take it along anywhere.
- Soft and padded
- Very portable
- Two size options
- Too small for large groups
- Not waterproof
- The velcro used for folding the blanket gets things stuck to it
Wild in Bloom Picnic Blanket
While most picnic blankets are made of nylon and other water and sand resistant materials, they also aren’t as soft as fabric blankets. This awesome picnic blanket solves that problem and you get the best of both worlds.
It’s soft on top and water resistant on the back. Perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin! (Plus it’s totally Instagrammable, too.)
- Soft texture to sit or lay on
- Doubles as a blanket
- Not that thick
- Doesn’t wash great
- Water resistant, but not waterproof
What is the Best Picnic Blanket for Baby?
There’s a lot that goes into picking the perfect picnic blanket, especially when there’s a baby involved. You want something that’s comfortable to sit on, big enough for your family, and durable enough to withstand whatever your little one throws at it.
If you’re looking for the best picnic blanket for baby I’d go with the JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket. Just make sure you get the bigger one if you want something that you can sit on too. It’s big enough for one or two adults and a baby, although it could fit a little more if everyone squished in.
I love the way that it all folds up into the built in case so you don’t need to carry anything extra. It’s also pretty thick compared to other quilted picnic blankets which is nice if your little one is sitting, crawling, or napping on this blanket.
It’s the kind of thing you can keep in your car and pull out for all kinds of occasions like the beach, sporting events, or an afternoon at the park.
Final Thoughts on the Best Picnic Blanket for Baby
All of these picnic blankets are going to be great for babies and families. They’re versatile, water resistant, and most of them wash well. That’s pretty much all you need when it comes to a great outdoor blanket.
Whether you go with something padded or not will depend on what you plan on using the blanket for. If you frequently sit in areas that have rocks and roots look for as much padding as possible. For days at the beach, on the other hand, you can get away with something that’s thinner and larger.
While we picked the JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket as the best picnic blanket for baby, you should definitely go with whichever one suits your family’s needs the best.