When can babies sleep with a blanket? You may have heard that your child could experience SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) if left with too many materials in their crib or on their bed. This is true; it’s usually not recommended that a baby sleep with a blanket until at least twelve months of age. Let’s go a little deeper into how you should introduce your baby into a blanket and what you can do to eliminate risks.
When can babies sleep with a blanket?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a baby sleep without blankets or pillows during the first year of their life. The Academy of Pediatrics AAP has done thorough studies and meta-studies and does believe that it could increase the chances of SIDS and other complications. Blankets can get wrapped around children and potentially strangle them, may cut off circulation to limbs, or can potentially suffocate children. Moreover, babies can have a harder time regulating their heat than adults, which also means that sleeping with a blanket could potentially overhead them.
When can babies start?
An infant can sleep with a blanket on them if they are being continuously supervised, but an infant should never be left alone with a blanket. Many parents comfort their infant with a blanket as they go to sleep, but the blanket has to be removed to protect against infant death syndrome SIDS. As a baby gets older, it’s possible for the baby to sleep with blankets, pillows, and other soft objects like toys. But the child shouldn’t sleep with a blanket until at least a year old because of sudden infant death syndrome. A premature infant or infant who is physically delayed should wait longer.
Are pillows and blankets dangerous to babies?
Pillows and blankets can potentially cause SIDS. SIDS is more a phenomenon than something that is caused by any one thing; it happens when a baby dies suddenly and the cause can’t be ascertained. It’s believed that pillows and blankets in the sleeping area could potentially cause this. You might see an advertisement for baby pillows that fit over the neck or which cannot be moved from the mattress, but you should ask your health provider for more health information. The general recommendation is to avoid pillows altogether until the child is at an age old enough to safely move pillows and blankets around them. When putting a baby to sleep or having a baby sleep with a blanket, the baby has to be able to get out from under the blanket, too — according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Are there blankets that are safer for babies?
Since having a baby sleep with blankets and pillows is dangerous, what do you do if your baby gets cold at night? Following pregnancy and sleep deprivation, one usually wants a break. There are some alternatives to blankets that don’t increase risk of suffocation, such as swaddling the baby or using a baby sleep sack. These don’t require motor skills to keep them off the head because they naturally keep the baby wrapped up. It’s believed sleep sacks are at least as safe as other types of bedding and can reduce the risk of child suffocation.
Can you give a baby a blanket when attended?
Something to think about is most people have seen a baby wrapped up content in a blanket. But that’s because it’s fine to give a baby a blanket when attended. Infants often have blankets placed on them when they are with someone. As long as the infants are being watched, it’s fine. SIDS generally happens when one has put the child to sleep for the night; putting them to sleep with a blanket at a young age can potentially lead to death and damage. The blankets and pillows should be removed before the baby is put to sleep unattended.
Introduce a blanket
Most people are going to introduce a blanket fairly early on. But the age at which a blanket is introduced for nighttime sleeping depends on the child’s age and health. For the most part, a child shouldn’t have stuffed animals, pillows, or blankets until 12 months of age. But it’s also up to parents to gauge whether the baby is ready. You can let the baby sleep with a blanket during naps after 12 months and check periodically to make sure that everything is okay. Start with only one item in the crib at a time rather than adding many at once.
Are some more dangerous than others?
Many adults have the habit of piling on bedding, but that’s not great for a child’s health. Only a single small blanket should be enough to keep a baby warm, and if it doesn’t keep the baby warm, a thicker blanket should be used. Multiple blankets and large blankets will be dangerous. Blankets also shouldn’t be too heavy; they should be lightweight but insulating. The bedding for a child should be regularly washed and the child should be carefully monitored every time something new is introduced.
What do pediatricians say about blankets for babies?
The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend blankets until a year of age and they don’t recommend pillows until two years of age. There will be a phase when a child will also need to adjust to each new item that is placed within their crib. Kids will eventually be able to manage their own bedding area, showing preference as to what they want in there and don’t. But the emptier a crib is during the first 12 months, the safer the child is likely to be.
Could blankets contribute to SIDS?
There is significant evidence that blankets do in fact contribute to the risk of SIDS. SIDS happens when children die suddenly, usually during the night. While some SIDS cases can be down to genetic abnormalities or diseases that haven’t been caught, most SIDS cases are believed to deal with suffocation. A child may get trapped under a blanket and may suffocate before one of their parents comes in to check. Infant Death Syndrome is correlated with having things in the crib that could potentially suffocate an infant, especially when left unattended.
What are sleep sacks and are they better for babies?
Sleep sacks are a special type of bedding that a baby fits into that cannot go over their head. Sleep sacks are considered just as safe as other types of bedding, though you should look up each brand for deaths or product recalls. Sleep sacks should not be used with other objects inside of the crib as that could present a suffocation risk. Even a sleep sack should generally be used attended and children who are older are very likely to try to get out. Sleep sacks may not pose as significant a suffocation risk or SIDS risk as other types of bedding, but parents should still monitor their children. Similar to sleep sacks, parents can also use a swaddle blanket — one blanket safely secured around the child — to keep the child safe ad low the risk of SIDS.
Other types of bedding that should be avoided
In general, no objects should be inside of the baby’s crib. Bedding can be used in car seats, but the sleeping space should be clear of everything from soft objects to animals. Something as simple as a cat sleeping in a crib could pose a danger. All soft objects can seem safe but could increase the risk of SIDS, especially if there are too many of them. Sleeping with a blanket, even a light blanket, could lead to a baby becoming tangled in it. So, a crib should be virtually emptied by parents every night, and parents shouldn’t leave their child unattended with either blankets or pillows.
Is a swaddle blanket safe for babies?
Usually, a swaddle blanket is used for infants. It keeps them immobile and resting when they are asleep. But a swaddle blanket isn’t a permanent solution, as babies are going to eventually need to move around more. You can get a swaddle blanket early on, but it will eventually need to be replaced by different types of bedding.
Can a blanket help a baby go to sleep?
Many people just want a baby to go to sleep, but before the child’s first birthday they will need to get creative. Before a child is a toddler they can’t use blankets or pillows, so the bed will need to be in a room that is a comfortable temperature. A well-padded crib mattress can help babies remain comfortable even on their backs, though bumper pads are dangerous. Part of parenting will, unfortunately, be making these types of choices; while a baby might seem uncomfortable without a blanket, they really don’t need one.
Crib mattress and bumper pads
A crib mattress should be smooth and perfectly fitted to the crib. Many people install bumper pads for better comfort, but they’re detrimental to wellness; many a toddler has become stuck between the pillows and the bars or otherwise pulled the pillows down. A new mom may want to pad everything inside of the crib, but cribs are actually safer left just as they are, as this is how they are safety tested.
Parents who do introduce blankets to their baby should look for some signs they are adapting well, such as the ability to kick the blanket off if they get too warm, and a lack of getting tangled within the blankets. Introducing something to the crib beyond just the mattress is always going to carry a risk, but with the right information, parents can protect their children while also letting them grow.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational or educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Always consult with your medical professional for diagnose and treatment recommendations before making a decision.