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Our grandparents would have thought that this was a ridiculous question.
After all, what harm could come to a child from sleeping with a blanket?
They’d assume that staying warm and comfy would be the best thing for a child.
Sadly, this isn’t the case.
For babies, blankets can be a very bad idea, indeed.
Well, because research shows that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be caused by choking hazards that are placed in their cribs.
Yes, choking hazards includes blankets.
So, parents are going to want to look for an alternative to that traditional blanket, at least for a while.
The Sleep Sack means that your child doesn’t need to be cold or uncomfortable when they’re sleeping.
It’s an item of loose clothing that acts just like a blanket, but it can’t be kicked off or get pulled up over your little one’s face and cause a choking hazard.
One of our favorite SleepSack providers is Halo and their Sleep Sack is designed to make changing diapers in the middle of the night easy too.
It has an inverted zipper (it opens from the bottom to the top rather than the other way around) that can quickly open the sack, allow a diaper change and then seal baby back up toasty and warm.
It’s also recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as “Hip Healthy” because it doesn’t hold your baby’s legs together and thus allows their hips to develop in a natural and healthy manner.
If you want to ensure your baby has the best possible night’s sleep, then “Back is Best” is a very useful phrase to remember.
It means that you should always lay your baby on their back when you put them down for the night’s sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that this is the best way to ensure that you baby can breathe while they sleep.
They say that an infant sleeping on their tummy can suffer from oxygen deprivation because they begin to “rebreathe” the air they exhale if bedding gets pulled up to their nose.
They also suggest that you ought to avoid any bedding which is soft and porous during baby’s early life. That means no pillows, quilts, bean bags, etc. and just lay the baby on a firm crib mattress covered in a cotton sheet.
Another great tip is to let your baby sleep with a pacifier as this has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of SIDS.
We end where we began. Now you know why a very young baby shouldn’t sleep with a blanket but when can they begin to use one?
Doctors recommend that they only begin to use a loose blanket from the age of roughly 12 months.
They say that there is no increased risk of SIDS from this point in your child’s development from using a blanket.