When can my baby sleep with a blanket?


As a new parent, one of the many decisions you will make is when to introduce a blanket for your baby to sleep with. While blankets can add warmth and comfort for older children and adults, they can pose a serious risk for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping the sleep environment for infants as bare as possible in order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

According to the AAP, it is recommended that infants should sleep on a firm, flat surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and be placed on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. This means that until your baby is at least 12 months old and can roll over on their own, they should not have any extra bedding, including blankets, in their sleep area. This is because any extra bedding, including blankets, can increase the risk of suffocation or SIDS.

Once your baby reaches 12 months old, they can start to safely use a blanket in their sleep area. However, it is important to choose a lightweight blanket and ensure that it is tucked securely around the crib or bassinet, so that it does not cover your baby's face or become tangled around their body. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the room is at a comfortable temperature for your baby, as a room that is too warm can also increase the risk of SIDS.

It is also important to note that even once your baby is old enough to safely use a blanket, it is still recommended to keep the sleep area as bare as possible. This means that you should avoid using pillows, stuffed animals, or other soft items in the crib or bassinet. These items can also increase the risk of suffocation or SIDS.

In addition, it is essential to pay attention to your baby's development and adjust their sleep environment accordingly. For example, once your baby starts to pull themselves up to a standing position in the crib, you should remove the blanket to prevent the risk of injury.

In conclusion, while blankets can provide warmth and comfort for older children and adults, they can pose a serious risk for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the sleep environment for infants as bare as possible in order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It is recommended that infants should not have any extra bedding, including blankets, in their sleep area until they are at least 12 months old and can roll over on their own. Once your baby reaches 12 months old, it is important to choose a lightweight blanket, ensure that it is tucked securely around the crib or bassinet, and avoid using pillows, stuffed animals, or other soft items in the crib or bassinet.



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