Studies make clear that it is dangerous to put a loose blanket in a baby’s crib. Accidental suffocation in bed is the leading cause of injury-related deaths in infants. So, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute of Health, and safety experts have warned parents against using soft bedding in infants' cribs, either over or under the baby. That includes blankets.
Many doctors and experts suggest swaddling newborn infants. Swaddles wrap the baby’s limbs tightly to the child’s body, mimicking the containment of the womb. This gives the child a sense of comfort and security. And they can help keep an infant warm. Swaddles or some variant thereof are found in many different cultures throughout the ages. Ancient votive offerings and grave goods from Crete and Cyprus place swaddles as early as 4000-4500 years ago! Who knew?!
While swaddles are recommended for newborns, when a baby starts TRYING to roll over, usually around 2-3 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against the use of the swaddle. The AAP instead suggests parents transition the baby to wearable blankets (sleepsacks). A properly fitting, well- constructed wearable blanket is a much safer way to keep an infant who could roll over warm during sleep time.
When should we stop using wearable blankets? Some experts say you can start to introduce pillows, loose blankets, crib bumpers, or other soft objects into a bed after a child is at least 12 months old. Others say to wait until a child is two years old to be as safe as possible. For us, older is better. Why take the chance?