When you are a new parent, it is safe to say that you aren’t getting as much sleep as you used to! Having to get up with your baby to feed them and make sure they are ok is pretty standard with parents, and you will do everything you can to ensure that your baby has everything they need.
When it comes to making sure your baby is sleeping properly and comfortably, you might be wondering when the appropriate time is for them to start sleeping with a blanket.
Blankets are incredibly comforting, but if your baby is too young, it can be quite dangerous to let them sleep with one.
If you are wondering when the appropriate time is, then you have come to the right place! If you want to know when it’s ok for your baby to start sleeping with a blanket, then read on!
When Can Babies Sleep With A Blanket?
You might think that babies can sleep with a blanket quite early on, but you will be surprised to learn that this isn’t necessarily true. The earliest babies can sleep with a blanket is at 12 months old!
This isn’t an officially decided age choice, but it is the most recommended age. Every baby is different of course, but it’s always better to air on the side of caution, so if your baby is under 12 months, it’s in your best interest to avoid setting them to sleep with a blanket.
The reason the recommended age is 12 months is purely because of safety. If your baby is too young or too small, this can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other related accidental suffocation issues.
Even if you think your baby is ready before the 12-month mark, it’s in your best interest and your baby’s best interest to wait.
If your baby is under the appropriate age for a blanket, then don’t worry! There are plenty of blanket alternatives you can use while they are still growing.
Some of the most popular alternatives include footie pajamas and swaddles. Most people use a blanket for their baby because they are worried about them not being warm enough, but these alternatives do the job just as well.
Footie pajamas are great for houses and places that get quite cold at night. They help to regulate your baby’s body temperature and keep them warm on colder nights. They will keep all the appropriate areas of your baby covered and they are also easy to put on.
Swaddles work just as well too. Swaddles will give your baby a sense of warmth and security, allowing them to sleep better and they are also lower risk than blankets.
However, when your baby has learned to roll over on their own, you should stop using a swaddle as it is no longer safe.
Ways To Keep Baby Safe While Sleeping
If your baby is under the age of 12 months and you are still unsure of how to keep them safe and comforted while they sleep, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure their safety.
Blankets are great when babies are the right age, but there are lots of other things you can turn to. So let’s take a look.
Baby’s Sleep Position
The first thing you should check is your baby’s sleep position (find the best baby sleep clothes here). Before they start rolling, it is recommended that they are placed on their back, but as soon as they do start rolling, you will need to change your tactics a little bit.
Once they do start rolling independently, they will often roll onto their stomach or side. This is perfectly normal and fine, and you won’t need to put them back on their back during the night. It’s perfectly normal to check on them periodically as well.
Firm Sleep Surface
Another thing you can look into is the surface on which your baby sleeps. Of course, you want your baby to be comfortable, but it is always important to make sure that your baby is sleeping on a firm surface.
To test the firmness of your baby’s crib, simply push your hands down on the surface. It should feel firm and flat. If it doesn’t, you may want to look at finding an alternative surface or making the surface feel more firm and flat.
Your baby’s temperature is going to play a big factor in how well they sleep without a blanket. You need to make sure that your baby is warm, but you don’t want them to be too hot.
Footie pajamas work really well for this, but if you are still concerned about your baby’s temperature, you can check their stomach and face to get a better gauge.
Dressing your baby in layers also helps, because it keeps them warm, but if they get too hot, you can just take some of the layers off.
Even if you smoke outside, smoking can still have a negative effect on your baby’s safety and ability to sleep. Second-hand smoke is usually what is bad for the baby, but even third-hand smoke can cause issues.
Third-hand smoke comes from residue that is left behind on clothes, blankets, and anything like that, so you need to make sure that anything that is coming into contact with your baby is not going to come into contact with any smoke.
Babies’ lungs are incredibly sensitive, and being around smokers can be a lot more dangerous to their health.
If your baby is under the age of 12 months, it’s in your best interest to hold off on giving them a blanket to sleep with. When they are below this age, blankets can still be quite dangerous.
There are plenty of alternatives you can look into though and lots of ways you can keep your baby safe without needing to use a blanket. Use the advice we have provided here to help you find an alternative!