Identifying the time when it is safe to add a blanket to your baby’s bedding can be tricky for most parents. Infants have different needs than toddlers, and they also need a different type of comfort.
Adding a blanket to your baby’s crib too soon can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The same risk appears if you add a pillow or other bedding accessories that they don’t need. But when is it safe after all to add a blanket to your baby’s bed?
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When can babies have a blanket?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should consider adding a blanket to your baby’s crib only after they turned one year old. This will help you reduce the risk of SIDS significantly. Plus, your little one doesn’t need a blanket to find comfort at such a young age.
When can baby sleep with blanket or stuffed animal?
Blankets, as well as stuffed animals and pillows, increase the risk of SIDS, and they are not considered safe in the first 12 months of life either.
- After their first birthday, you can start looking for such accessories to offer them more comfort during their night time and naps.
- It is considered safer, not entirely safe, though, to add a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal to your baby’s crib after this age.
Choose a good blanket for your baby
Besides the fact that your baby can sleep with a blanket after they turn one year old, it is essential to choose the right type of blanket as well.
- You should go for light blankets that are easy to maneuver to maintain a high level of safety.
- Blankets that are too large or too heavy can still present a suffocation or strangulation hazard for your little one, even after they turn one year old.
- It is equally important to choose a blanket that is made of breath through the material. Anything too thick can put your baby at risk as they sleep.
- As your child grows older and becomes a toddler, you can cut many of these concerns, but it is important to respect them when you choose their first blanket.
- The design of the blanket is equally essential too. You want a blanket that has no strings or ribbons that your kid can choke on during the night.
Can baby suffocate under blanket?
If you introduce a blanket to your baby’s sleep too early, there is a risk of suffocation.
- Babies can’t control their bodies properly at a young age, such as in their first year of life. Therefore, if the blanket covers their face during the night or during their nap, they could suffocate in their sleep.
- The risk also comes from the fact that you can’t predict how your baby will toss and turn as they sleep.
- Or how they will grab the blanket to play with it in their bed. Such risks can easily be avoided by introducing a blanket at a proper age.
How to choose a stuffed animal for your baby’s nap time?
If you are thinking of allowing your child to sleep with a stuffed animal, you should know that it is essential to pay attention to specific details.
- For instance, how big is the toy, can they suffocate with it? Is the material of the toy safe for babies, or does it contain any toxins? The material matters because your baby might want to lick and suck on the stuffed animal, which could be dangerous for them.
- And last but not least, you have to inspect the toy for potential small parts that could present a choking hazard. Check these aspects even if your baby is older than one year.
When can a baby sleep with a pillow?
The same safety rules that apply to blankets for babies apply to pillows for babies.
- Your baby will not need a pillow in the first 12 months of life.
- Besides the suffocation hazard, pillows might also present an anatomical risk.
- Adding a pillow to early, while your baby is still developing, could impact the development of their spine and neck.
The best thing to do when you are not sure if your baby needs a blanket or not is to talk to your pediatrician.
A specialist will let you know when and why your little one needs such bedding accessories and guide you towards introducing them the best way for their comfort.
Apply the same rules for pillows or stuffed animals so you can avoid any unnecessary risks and even tragedies.
- “Reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – NHS”. Accessed August 11, 2020. Link.
- “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment | American Academy of Pediatrics”. Accessed August 11, 2020. Link.