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Once our girls figured out how to kick their blanket loose so they were no longer swaddled, while they were sleeping, we were told they shouldn't sleep with a blanket anymore because the blanket can be a choking/suffocation hazard.

We live in a colder region, so during the winter, we keep the thermostat turned up pretty high so that they stay warm in their crib.

When it is okay to start covering your baby with a blanket when you put them to bed? Are there some good guidelines?

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Tossing this up as a comment since it's not really an answer: I didn't realize that it was an issue. My 4.5 mo son has been sleeping with a blanket pretty much since birth without problems. In fact, he loves cuddling up with it now. –  afrazier Mar 30 '11 at 20:14
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We have allowed our boys to use afghans at night since about 9 months old. They have holes that they can breathe through if they get them over their faces but still provide the warmth that they need. You can find some cute ones on Etsy (crochet/afghan/baby) that should work fine. In fact I was just looking and found one called green shells that is $20 and almost identical to the ones my boys use nightly.

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I would suggest you to look into baby sleeping bags. I think we have one of those.
We really think they are great. I think they are safe too.
We have few for both colder and warmer nights.
Hope that helps.

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Hmm - that is a good idea - wish I would have seen those before. Our daughter can crawl around and stand now, so I'm not sure if it would be viable now, but certainly when she was younger. –  BrianH Mar 30 '11 at 17:13
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@BrianH - my son is 14 months now and he can run and jump. usually in the morning when he wakes up he just walks or stands with his sleeping bag on in this cot. When we was younger it didn't stop him to crawl as well :). –  Liutauras Mar 30 '11 at 17:26
    
@Liutauras - Good to know! Too bad this site wasn't open earlier! Winter is over and my daughter is growing up :) –  BrianH Mar 30 '11 at 17:34
    
@Brian - have a look here for more answers about baby sleeping bags –  Liutauras Mar 30 '11 at 17:40
    
@Liutauras - excellent info. Again, I wish I would have known about these years ago :) –  BrianH Mar 30 '11 at 17:46
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The reflex to protect the airway is a very strong one. If I'm not mistaken, once infants are about 9 months old they have enough motor control to swat things away from their face.

Aside form that, most blankets are porous enough to let air through anyway, unlike plastic bags which are considered a choking hazard.

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This is a great point, but the questioner may be concerned with more than safety. The concern that we had with our little guy was more of the nuisance factor. For awhile he refused to be covered, and would work hard in his sleep to get out of blankets. This usually resulted in him getting tangled to the point that he would wake in a panic. –  Saiboogu Mar 30 '11 at 17:59
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@Saiboogu: That hadn't occurred to me, as the question mentioned choking specifically. It's a good point, though I think infants will occasionally wake in a panic anyway, no? –  Carmi Mar 30 '11 at 18:11
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I was more concerned with safety. Since she is over a year old now, and if we use a lighter blanket, it sounds like she would probably be okay with it... –  BrianH Mar 30 '11 at 18:39
    
Very true that they wake in a panic occasionally anyway. All the more reason to fix avoidable causes. :) @BrianH - I hope I didn't imply you weren't concerned with safety - just meant there may be more to it. I agree that if entanglement isn't a problem for your child, a light blanket should be safe at a year of age. –  Saiboogu Mar 30 '11 at 18:46
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