Crib-related items, such as sheet sets, comforters, blankets, and afghans made by hand, are some of the nicest baby shower gifts. Since you have these blankets and other sleep accessories in your baby’s bed waiting in the wings, you may be eager to use them.
In order to keep your baby safe, you should wait until he or she is mature enough to handle the blanket transition before using it at night or during nap time. To learn more about the hazards and benefits of using a blanket, as well as when to do so and how to keep your baby warm while you’re deciding, read on.
Is it safe for babies to sleep with blankets?
Blankets aren’t safe for babies in the crib since they pose a choking risk. Suffocation, entrapment, and strangling are the most common causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which affects approximately 3,600 babies each year in the United States. Blankets increase the risk of all four of these causes.
Baby can be suffocated by a blanket, thus a bare crib with no blankets, bumpers, cushions, fleece, or sheepskin is the best place for them to sleep. Your infant merely needs a fitted sheet that is tucked in tightly on all sides to sleep at night.
Positioners, wedges, special mattresses, and other surfaces promoted to minimize the incidence of SIDS should also be avoided, as they have not been shown to work and may even be harmful.
Why Parents Want Their Baby to Have a Blanket
There are no benefits to using blankets on babies, according to Dr. Murray. It’s safe to use wearable blankets, or sleep sacks, no matter where you live, she explains. Despite the fact that most experts recommend waiting to use blankets on babies until they are one year old, many parents cannot resist the temptation to use that special baby blanket from grandma. Just make sure you don’t do this! ). There are several causes for this.
Blankets Can Be Cozy
There is nothing more unappealing to grownups than a mattress that has no covers on it. There are many new parents who are eager to adorn the crib with their baby’s afghan, blanket, or quilt, all with good intentions.
If we have a bed with a sheet, blankets, and comforter, then that’s what a bed should seem like. A blanket, on the other hand, might be an irritant for children because it frequently falls off or lumps up during sleep.
Know that if you put your baby to bed in the proper sleepwear, they will be fine and safe without a blanket (but not too warm).
Blankets Have Sentimental Value
There is no doubt that you will want to display a treasured quilt that was given to you by a loved one or a lovely afghan from a friend as soon as possible. Becker Freidman points out that “many times, things are handmade and made with love.” “Parents should evaluate the dangers of SUID before wrapping their newborn in a special blanket.”
Consider hanging, draping, or spreading out a blanket on the floor during tummy time if you’re eager to utilize it. You can also use a glider or rocking chair for this purpose.
It Can Provide Comfort and Security
It can be a positive sleep association or trigger if your child’s blanket evolves into a comfort item or “lovey,” explains Becker Friedman. It’s possible that a child’s attachment to a blanket lovey can be one of the earliest steps toward independence, she says.
Is there any other benefit to this? Instead of asking for you, your child may choose to cuddle up with their favorite stuffed animal and go off to sleep. A lovey can be used before a child’s first birthday, but she advises against putting it in the cot until at least 12 months.
Risks of Introducing a Blanket Too Quickly
A baby’s risk of unintentional suffocation increases if you place a blanket over his or her crib too early, any time in the first year of life. If you have a plush animal or other soft item in your baby’s cot, it can raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the most prevalent cause of newborn death.
Is Swaddling Safer for Babies Than Loose Blankets?
When a newborn is swaddled, just the child’s head is left uncovered. This is done to keep the baby warm and safe. As long as your baby isn’t yet able to turn over, swaddling may be a better option than a blanket for your child. Healthy sleep and a sense of security can be achieved via the use of this method.
Babies who are swaddled are less likely to die unexpectedly. When using a swaddle to keep an infant warm at night, parents should always lay the child on his or her back. At roughly 2 months of age, parents should stop using a swaddle since the heightened risk of asphyxia experienced when a baby sleeps on their stomach is too high to continue using one. Parents should be on the lookout for babies who roll over before the 2-month mark and cease swaddling them as soon as they do so in either direction (even if only coming up on their side).
When can I introduce a blanket?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there is no official age at which it is 100% safe to use a blanket, quilt, or comforter in the crib, but most medical experts believe that soft bedding poses little danger to healthy babies after 12 months of age and ideally after 18 months of age.
As a result, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 18 months old before wrapping her in a blanket at night or during her naps. It is possible to utilize a thin blanket and a small, special lovey as part of the tuck-in procedure after 18 months.
Remember that even if you plan to set your baby on top of the blanket, rather than under it, it could still become wrapped around her as she moves in her sleep or gets stuck in the crib corners at night. Soft bedding is still a no-go, though.
When can I put my baby to bed swaddled in a blanket and when is it no longer safe?
Isn’t it odd that the no-blanket rule applies when so many babies are wrapped up in one? Don’t worry — it’s okay to swaddle a newborn at night and, in fact, this practice is recommended as a way to calm a cranky baby and promote good sleep.
From the time your baby is born until he or she first tries to roll over, you can safely use a swaddle blanket or a swaddle sleep sack (at around 3 or 4 months, but sometimes earlier). Layering a blanket on top of a swaddled infant increases the risk of suffocation because the loose covering could conceal your baby’s face.
How Can I Make Sure My Baby Is Warm Without a Blanket?
When it comes to keeping babies warm as they sleep, there are a number of options that don’t necessitate blankets.
Layer Your Baby’s Clothing
As an alternative to giving your infant a blanket, consider layering their clothing. Avoid adding more than one layer beyond what an adult would wear in the same temperature as your baby’s sleepwear.
Adjust Bedroom Temperature
Your baby’s room should have a temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Baby sleep is made easier when the temperature is just right for them to drift off to sleep. Another reason for maintaining a cool environment is to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Wrap Your Baby in a Swaddle or Sleep Sack
On cold evenings, swaddling your infant helps keep them warm and make them feel more secure. Wearable blankets and swaddling robes provide similar warmth and security, but they zip up. Ensure that your baby’s sleep sack is the correct size, so that it doesn’t fall off or become a choking risk. Consider a swaddle or sleep sack as one piece of clothes if you are layering. To avoid suffocation, cease swaddling the infant as soon as it starts rolling in any direction.
Safe Sleep Guidelines for Babies
For example, parents should wait until their child is at least one year old before introducing them to the comfort of a blanket while they sleep.
Always Place Your Baby on Their Back to Sleep
For naps and nighttime sleep, babies should always be placed on their backs until they are 12 months old. As they get older, they may be able to roll over in their sleep on their own. You should still put your infant to sleep on their back at this time.
Put Your Baby to Sleep in a Crib
Baby should sleep in a crib or something similar like a bassinet or bedside sleeper at night. The dangers of other furniture, such as sofas and chairs, can be very deadly for newborns. Sleeping in a car seat, a stroller or a baby carrier is not recommended for long periods of time. A firm mattress should be used as soon as your infant has fallen asleep on one of these contraptions. Parents may decide to transition their infant to a toddler bed when he or she becomes bigger.
Use a Firm Mattress That Fits the Crib
Using a firm mattress in your baby’s cot can help lower the chance of suffocation and keep the temperature down, which ensures a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your little one. Memory foam should not be used in the mattress since it can be overly soft or conforming, which can be dangerous. There should also be no gap between the crib’s walls and the hard mattress.
Keep the Crib Free of Objects, Including Bedding
Make sure your baby’s crib is clear of loose things, such as blankets, cushions, toys, and stuffed animals, until he or she is 12 months old. Suffocation can occur as a result of one of these items. The use of a pacifier, on the other hand, is safe and may even lessen the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It is best to choose a fitted sheet that does not bunch or come loose from the crib mattress. It is common for parents to believe that laying a blanket flat beneath a newborn is the same as covering him. Aside from a fitted sheet, there should be no bedding in the crib while a baby naps.
Do Not Sleep With Your Baby in Your Bed
A baby’s risk of injury or suffocation increases if he or she is sleeping in the same bed as you. Consider sharing a room as an option. These hazards can be minimized by sleeping with your child in a separate room when they are resting in a crib or bassinet, but parents can still check their child’s needs. For the first six to twelve months of a baby’s life, sharing a room is really advised because it can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
Set a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Early childhood development relies heavily on sleep, and creating a consistent bedtime routine can help ensure a healthy night’s rest. Consistent pre-sleep rituals, such as reading a book, singing lullabies, cuddling with your kid, or giving them a bath, can help establish a distinct night and day for babies and help them prepare for sleep each night. Good sleep habits can only be instilled if parents and caregivers set an example by teaching and modeling them themselves.
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