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What is the difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddle? 

Not much, the receiving blankets got that name from the small blanket the hospital would wrap the baby in after birth and upon discharge. The blankets were usually a square of cotton or flannel, would be used to swaddle the baby and used in multiple ways after the infant outgrew swaddling, like for burp cloths, security blankets, coverings for car seats, breastfeeding, etc. 

Now that the importance of swaddling has been validated, special "swaddling" blankets with different fabrics and designs have been developed. Most are still square, some rectangles and some with wings and velcro to make swaddling easier. Our swaddling blankets are mostly a soft knit or muslin which will stay in place better than our luxurious receiving blankets when wrapped as a swaddle.

Both receiving blankets and swaddles serve the same purpose, to comfort the baby by helping them adjust to being outside the womb by swaddling them. There is a greater benefit to swaddling the baby instead of covering them with a blanket and that is that it keeps the baby safer while sleeping and helps prevent SIDS-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They aren't able to move loose blankets up to their face and block their breathing when swaddled. 

We choose to sell the swaddle blankets without the velcro and wings because we feel you can still get much more use and more for your money out of the small blanket after the baby outgrows swaddling.

Hope this information helps!