Social media is bursting with pictures of new babies, and catching that first glimpse of baby at the hospital is always precious. There is one common theme to every picture you may see. Do you ever notice almost ALL new babies are wrapped up in the same pink and blue striped blanket?
It’s been wrapping babies like tiny burritos for over 60 years now, and chances are your siblings, aunts, uncles and parents were wrapped in it too!
So, what’s the story behind the world’s most common receiving blanket?
The blankets are a part of the Kuddle-Up line made by a Mundelein, Illinois-based healthcare supply company called Medline. The company began in 1910 by A.L. Mills who started in the industry making butcher aprons, which then led to making surgical gowns. Qz.com notes, “he was the first to shift them from light-reflecting white to the now ubiquitous light-absorbing jade green style. He did the same for hospital gowns: made them patterned instead of solid drab shades and switched the tie from the back to the side …”
Receiving blankets in the 1950’s were a dull beige color. Mills wanted to change it up a little and design a happier blanket with patterns and colors. After experimenting with a few designs and patterns, the current design with pink and blue stripes was settled on, and it hasn’t changed much. Sixty years later Medline is still selling over 1.5 million blankets annually.
The blanket is also sold all over the world, and has become a hospital birth icon of sorts. It’s a pretty special thought to think that with all divisions and boundaries in this world, millions of us were all wrapped up in the same blanket when we were born!
image by Reuters/Lucas Jackson