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Ensuring Baby’s Quality of Sleep: Understanding baby blankets and comforters

Ensuring Baby’s Quality of Sleep: Understanding baby blankets and comforters

Whether you’re a first-time mother, taking care of your second or third child, you may find yourself asking from time to time whether your baby is getting enough sleep for the day. Or whether he or she experiences comfort in her sleep.

It’s understandable to be worried about your baby’s quality of sleep. In a 2017 study, researchers have supported previous findings that infant’s sleep contributes to their physical and cognitive growth.

However, babies do not follow the typical sleep pattern that we usually do.

Newborn babies sleep for a total of 16 hours a day. Or around eight hours during the day and another eight to nine hours at night. This set-up will change during the succeeding months following childbirth, as the infant’s total duration of their sleep may decrease.

Ensuring a good quality of sleep for your baby can be a challenge. But there are baby comforters and baby blankets that could aid infants in their deep slumber. However, using these items can pose a risk for infants if not used properly.

Baby blankets and baby comforter: What you need to know

Baby blankets and baby comforter blankets are soft beddings that provide babies and toddlers a sense of security and calmness. This is especially true whenever they don’t sleep close to their parents.

Risks of using baby blankets and baby comforter blankets

Using a baby comforter and baby blankets can pose a risk to newborn babies, according to the Updated Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2016.

The following are potential risks for using such items on infants:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

It refers to an abrupt death of a baby that usually occurs during the infant’s first six (6) months after birth. While the cause of SIDS is not known, experts agree that this happens due to common concerns associated with the use of baby blankets, comforters, and other soft pillows and toys in the crib.

Suffocation and Entrapment

Suffocation involves obstruction and blocking of airways for infants. Entrapment is characterized by being “trapped” in a certain position.

As they cannot be able to adjust to their blankets, they can easily position themselves under the covers. And they may not be able to remove themselves from under the blankets. This may lead to potential suffocation if not addressed immediately.

This can also be possible when babies’ airways are blocked by big-sized mattresses, pillows, blankets, and other soft materials.

Strangulation

This happens when people cannot receive oxygen due to traumatic injuries brought by pressure applied to the neck. In this case, your baby’s face or neck may get tangled in soft objects that may lead to strangulation especially if they are left unattended.

Toxic Chemicals

Some beddings are made with toxic chemicals that can lead to irritation, headache, and other severe complications such as asthma and cancer.

How to ensure baby’s safety

As recommended by experts, parents should keep off soft clothing, including baby comforters and blankets, from the infant’s sleeping area. These can be a potential risk for suffocation, entrapment, strangulation, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Instead, it’s best to set up the infant’s sleeping location with only a “firm sleep surface”. This includes a fitted sheet and no other objects under and at the sides of the crib.

Aside from this, it is also recommended to use infant sleep clothing instead of baby blankets. This may include pajamas, sleep sacks, and swaddles that are made from soft fabrics such as cotton.

Once the baby becomes a toddler, he or she can now be given a baby blanket and comforter. However, ensure first if the child is capable and developed enough to have such soft beddings on her crib.

Remember that the above-mentioned risks can apply to toddlers, too.

Key takeaways

Using a baby comforter or baby blankets is essential for developing toddlers. Having this can ensure that they are feeling safe and secure, while at the same time, letting them be independent enough from their parents.

However, these soft beddings are only applicable for toddlers and not babies or newborns.

Thus, parents should be mindful of the safety of their baby by ensuring that blankets, any type of baby comforter, and other items are kept away from their sleeping area to avoid potential risks that may compromise the safety of their baby.

Learn more baby care tips here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Infant sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440010/. Date accessed, March 25, 2021

Infant sleep

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=infant-sleep-90-P02237. Date accessed, March 25, 2021

SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938#ref-65. Date accessed, March 25, 2021

Is it Safe for Babies to Sleep With Blankets?

https://www.sleep.org/is-it-safe-for-babies-to-sleep-with-blankets/. Date accessed, March 25, 2021

Strangulation injuries

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459192/. Date accessed, March 25, 2021

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Written by Dan Navarro Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.
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