What is the Perfect Baby Quilt Size? Size Chart & Photos!
Time to read 7 min
Time to read 7 min
When it comes to making a baby quilt, one of the most common questions is, "What size is a baby quilt?" The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. A quilt made for a newborn can be significantly smaller than a baby quilt designed to grow with your child or grandchild.
I personally found it hard choose the right baby quilt size before I had my son. I guessed at the size of crib quilt and ended up making a few that were just too small. Thankfully I learned this lesson before my daughter, Betty, was born. In this article, I'll share my insight, family photos, and a handy size chart as well!
Table of content
To help you determine the perfect size for your projects, I've created a helpful quilt size chart. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions and you can always adjust the size to fit your personal preferences.
Also keep in mind, if your family has bigger babies, you may want to add 2-4 inches to the length and width of your quilts. While bigger quilts do take longer to complete, they tend to be more useful over time.
Use the following baby quilt size chart to guide you in creating the perfect sized baby quilt:
|Age of baby
|Baby Quilt Size
|30 x 40 inches
3 months - 1 year
|Belly time and Cuddles
|35 inches square or bigger
|Crib quilt, cuddles, and tea parties on the floor
|38 x 48 inches
3 years +
|Big kid bed, forts, couch cuddles and more
|50 inches square or bigger
You may also be wondering about batting sizes. I checked with my favorite five batting manufacturers and found most crib size battings measure around 45 x 60 inches.
Keep reading if you want to make a baby quilt using the batting size as a guide!
Some manufacturers also sell "craft" sized batting at 36 x 45 inches, which will work great for smaller newborn sized quilts. Keep reading to know what size quilt top you should piece to perfectly fit these batting sizes.
If you find this baby quilt size chart confusing, or you need more guidance on making your baby quilt, please keep reading. I have lots more photos of my kids with their crib quilts and baby quilt patterns linked up as well.
A good newborn baby quilt size is around 30 x 40 inches. If you prefer square quilts, any size from 30 - 40-inches square works nice too. This is plenty of room to snuggle your baby and creates a lightweight quilt to hang over the crib rails.
Please don't feel pressure to make a giant baby quilt if you don't have the time or resources to finish it. Generally in quilting, the smaller the project, the faster and easier it will be to complete.
The upside is you will be more likely to finish your baby quilt before the baby is born. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy those sweet newborn moments in a beautiful handmade quilt.
Of course the downside of making a smaller newborn-specific baby quilt is its limited use. My son was fitting into 6 month onesies at 3 weeks.
Baby Betty was fitting into 6 month onesies at birth! In the image on the right, Betty is 7 months old, crawling on a 35-inch square quilt.
If your family tends to have bigger babies, you may want to consider adding an extra border.
Here are two free baby quilt patterns for you to make, designed around this smaller newborn baby quilt size:
At a few months old, Betty was ready for belly time and I'd spread out a quilt on the floor for her. I often folded up bigger quilts like the Mega Pinwheel Star and Tree Block Quilt and nestled her in the middle.
If you want to make a quilt specific for belly time, any baby quilt size around 35 inches or bigger will work great.
Again, the size of the quilt doesn't have to be huge, but it's nice to make a belly time quilt a little thicker.
Consider using a high loft batting like Quilter's Dream Puff or Hobbs Heirloom Wool to add extra loft to your belly time quilt.
Generally speaking, the thicker the loft, the puffier the quilt will finish.
You can even use 2 battings layered together if you want a really heavy, puffy quilt for belly time. And there is always a puff quilt project! I made this Mario Mushroom puff quilt for James and we still love to pull it out and bounce on the puffs.
As your baby grows, they will need a bigger quilt! I like making my toddler baby quilt size at least 38 inches wide and between 44 - 50 inches long.
The longer the quilt, the more likely your toddler will snuggle up with it in their crib on cold nights. Nothing makes for cold toes easier than a quilt that's too short!
I recently completed Betty's baby clothes quilt and this baby quilt size finished 44 inches square. This size is really nice because we can cuddle under it together. It's long enough to cover my legs while sitting in the rocking chair and reading.
I wrote that quilt pattern very simply and it could be used to make any size of quilt. So long as you cut your foundation strips long enough, you can make any baby quilt size you like!
Below is the Jelly Town Baby Quilt, which measures 42 inches square when finished. This bright, jelly roll quilt pattern was a favorite of Betty's as a toddler.
Find the Jelly Town quilt pattern in my book Explore Walking Foot Quilting. You'll learn not only how to piece this beautiful quilt top, you'll also learn a very simple way to quilt it in a day.
It might be easier to base your baby quilt size on the crib batting size. As I mentioned earlier, most crib sized batting measures 45 x 60-inches.
But please don't piece your quilt top exactly 45 x 60-inches! When making a quilt, we piece the quilt top smaller than the batting. This allows the quilt top room to move and shift a little as you quilt the layers together.
How much smaller? Generally you'll want to leave 3-inches of open batting on ALL sides of the quilt. That means piecing the quilt top 6-inches shorter and narrower than the batting. For a crib sized quilt, this means piecing your baby quilt top around 39 x 54-inches.
Some quilting techniques do need more open batting on the edges. When I'm quilting on a frame, I like to have 5 inches of batting extending to all sides. This ensures I have plenty of room to load my quilt on the frame and not risk the quilt top extending beyond the batting.
Again, this is not a hard-and-fast-rule. If you feel limited by a crib sized batting, purchase a bigger batting and cut out the perfect sizes for your projects.
Throw sized quilt batting typically measures 60 x 60 inches. I usually get king sized quilt battings (120 x 120) and cut it down for any baby quilt size.
This depends on the batting. Check the batting package for text like, "quilt up to 8 inches apart." This means you could quilt straight lines 7-inches apart and that would be plenty of quilting for your baby quilt.
The quilting design you stitch offers you opportunities to customize your quilt with special messages hidden in the stitches. Even though modern quilt batting allows you to quilt less, you can still stitch your special quilts up a notch with beautiful quilting designs.
My changing table measures 16 x 28-inches, so any quilt around that size, or a bit bigger, or able to be folded in half (32 x 28-inches) would work great!
It's also good to remember that smaller newborn quilts can folded in half and used for diaper changing table covers. I do this regularly now with smaller baby quilts. This works great and keeps smaller baby quilts in use.
Newborn babies and new parents need lots of soft fabrics on hand. Babies are messy and precut pieces of flannel or cotton gauze can be very helpful to catch spit-up, blow-outs, leaky diapers and more.
I measured all of Betty's receiving blankets and they widely ranged in size from 28 inches square to 44 inches square. My smallest receiving blankets were 26 x 28-inches. The largest were 38 x 48-inches.
Of course, we rarely used these unfolded. Most often I folded these in half or quarters for easy use for burp cloths, changing table covers, and more.
I hope you can see from this post and my beautiful babies that there is no "perfect" baby quilt size. Like with all quilts, you have a range of sizes to choose from. I hope this post has helped you understand how to dive into quilt making with your baby quilt!
Let's go quilt,
P.S - I'd love it if you shared this post with your quilting friends. Share easily on your favorite platform using the links below, or email it directly to your quilting pal!