Dr. Sarah Mitchell
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When Can My Baby Sleep With a Blanket? Is it Safe?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that your baby should not sleep with a blanket until 12 months of age.  This is part of the Safe Sleep campaign to prevent the incidents of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This campaign also discourages the use of bumper pads in the crib and the use of pillows until age 2.

Is it safe for a baby to sleep with a blanket?

Even just using a blanket on the lower half of her body is not safe as she could kick the blanket onto her face.  The risks of having a blanket in the crib with a young baby are suffocation and strangulation. 

Baby Sleep with a Blanket : Why a blanket?

You don’t need a blanket to help your baby stay warm at night.  There are other options.  You could layer snug fitting clothing to help keep her warm.  Many parents use wearable blankets to help keep their babies safe and warm.  These are also commonly known as a sleep sack.

You can also read my blog post - How to Dress My Baby for Winter Sleep.

Sleep Sacks

Sleep sacks or wearable blankets come in many forms and materials. Sometimes parents have different weights for different weather.  In the hot summer months parents might use a light 100% cotton sleep sack like this Woolino 100% cotton summer weight sack

Cotton Summer Sack for Babies

In the winter you want something warmer such as this Merino 100% Wool sleep sack. 

Wool Sack for Babies in Winter

When Can Baby Sleep with a Blanket?

At age 1 your baby can sleep with a blanket but I’d suggest still using a sleep sack since babies will kick the blankets off and become cold at night.  When a child is cold they will wake up more.  Our body temperatures tend to drop around 5 am.  It’s often cold in the home.  Being cold is 1 reason for Early Wake Ups.

You’ll want your baby in a crib until at least 2.5 years of age otherwise you’ll have a “jack in the box sleeper.” Even when you move your toddler to a bed it still makes good sense to use a sleep sack, but you can use a sleep sack with legs so they have more mobility.

Your baby shouldn’t sleep with a blanket until 12 months of age due to safety reasons.  A wearable blanket or sleep sack is a better suggestion.  Even after 1 year of age sleep sacks are a better solution as your child can’t kick them off in the night.  I kept both my kids in sleep sacks until age 2.5 when we transitioned to a twin bed and then we used one with leg holes. 

Are you struggling with a toddler who fights sleep?  Check out my Toddler Sleep Terrorism Guide

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