Parents always want to be sure that their little one is safe at all times, but especially when they lay them down to sleep. There is so much advice out there about the safest way to help baby sleep that it can be confusing to know what to do. Most new parents know that newborns should not have a blanket, pillows or soft bedding when they sleep, but when is it safe to allow your child to have these things?
Blankets and pillows have been found to be unsafe for small babies as they can increase the risk of cot death (SIDS) or accidental suffocation. As all parents want to keep their little one as safe as possible, it makes sense to remove any items of this type from their infant's crib or cot and use an alternative instead. Parents should also refrain from using cot bumpers, special mattresses or sleep positioners for their young infant too as these also can increase the risks.
Instead of traditional blankets, parents can use suitable alternatives such as sleeping sacks which are actually worn by their baby with straps over the shoulders. These will keep baby warm but not over-heated and will prevent your little one from wriggling down under the covers and causing breathing difficulties.
It is considered safe to allow babies over the age of one year to have blankets and other soft bedding. This is because the risk of SIDS greatly decreases after a child reaches 12 months of age. Your little one will also be able to turn over by themselves and will be capable of removing any blankets or obstructions from their face independently. It is still suggested by experts however that you keep your baby's crib or cot fairly empty to minimize risk, so don't give your little one a pillow until they are ready to transition to a proper bed.