32 answers

Using Blankets and Stuffed Animals in Crib

My daughter is 5 1/2 months old and I was wondering if it is ok to use blankets and a stuffed animal when she sleeps? I have not in the past because of risk of SIDS. Now that it is getting colder, I worry that she is too cold all night! I do put her in warmer pajamas or one of those wearable blankets. She also loves stuffed animals and I let her play with them, but always take it away when she is put down for the night. Is it still a risk to let her sleep with these? I had to take the bumber out of her crib because I went to check on her one night and she had her head underneath it. She moves around so much in her sleep so I'm worried that she will bunch a blanket up or press her face into a stuffed toy.

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Thanks for all the responses! I've decided to just hold off putting anything in the crib and buy some more blanket sleepers. Thanks for all the good advice everyone!

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I have a 2 1/2 year old and a10 month old. The baby sleeps with a blanket as did the 2 1/2 year old. After the baby is good and a sleep I go in and move everything away from his face. He does sleep better with the blankets and animals.

My pediatrician said as soon as babies are able to roll over easily both ways, they are better able to move a blanket or whatever away from their face. My son is 4 months, and he has this little blankie w/bear and he LOVES to sleep with it near his face. I know I am probably a terrible mother, but he really does sleep better if he has it near him. I feel badd it's so cute when he's cuddled up to it! I think it's the fimiliar smell that he likes.

Good luck

Hi! Basically I'm reiterating what everyone else is saying...what I did for my kids was tucking the blanket it, so that it only came up about 1/3 of the way up the crib. Just enough so they would be warm, but not enough to impede any breathing, etc. I'd also wait on stuffed animals until they're about a year.

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I wouldn't do it. I work for a CHildren's Hospital and the SIDS Program says nothing nothing nothing in the crib until at least 18 months. You can always swaddle your child or layer up. No bumpers either they can suffocate as well.

Try to secure the bumper tighter. Let her hold one bear that's big enough for her not to swallow but small enough for her not to press her face into and not breathe. I use to fold a comforter and blanket on top of the mattress in my son's crib. Then I'd put him in a warm sleeper with footies or socks. Then a warm thin baby blanket, fresh out of the dryer layed on him from the waist down.
Good Luck!

I would not use the stuffed animals yet but I'd put a blanket half way up on her back and tuck it on the right and left of the mattress. I'd consider a light weight blanket that breathes well if you don't want to tuck it in. I'd tuck it in for another 3 months if you can. JMO.

I DIDN'T HAVE ANY THING IN MY DAUGHTERS CRIB DUE TO THE FACT THAT MY BOYFRIENDS BROTHER WAS 5 MONTHS OLD WHEN HE DIED FROM SIDS. AND DOCTORS SAY NOT TO HAVE THEM IN THEIR CRIBS UNTIL THEIR MUCH OLDER.

K.,
Go with your instinct first. If your baby is active at night, maybe try putting a onesie on along with the jammies and socks, or even double up on the jammies. My son is very cold at night and I found adding these items helped. My son is nine months and since he was about six months we gave him a very soft dog to sleep with, this is his comfort. Also try a blanket with larger holes in it, perhaps one that was knitted. My mother in law made us one for our son and we use that when he sleeps. We haven't had any problems but when we first added these items I checked on him about every hour, afraid he would suffocate or something. being a first time also brings a lot of worries, again if you dont feel comfortable yet with blankets or animals, extra layers wont hurt.

I was always told if you put them on their belly and they can lift their head and turn it then they should be ok...just when she falls asleep just move them to the bottom of the bed... That is what I did with my little ones.... A.

My daughter was born in January, now 21 months old. It got very cold in our house, especially the room that we had her in because it was right over our outside entry way. The winter PJs were not enough so I always covered her up with a heavy blanket. She moved around a lot (she would always do a complete 360) so she ended up kicking it off anyway. I figured if she got cold she would cry. My sister got me a couple sleeper bags to put over her long sleeve onsie and pants. That worked out great as well. She's had a few stuffed animals in her crib since the day she was born. She wasn't one of those kids that likes to chew on things but she did find comfort in them. Just like when we were kids our parents had everything in the crib. Go with what you think is right.

Hi Kristen, personally I wouldn't be too worried if she can hold up her head and move around, my baby was born in august last yr and around this time last yr I started wrapping her up in blankets when she slept because she couldn't move around. If you feel safe enough to do it then you should. My baby would always kick off her blanket at about 6 months and use it as a pillow, just watch what she does during her nap and if you think she does good with a blanket try it.

K.,

Please allow your 5.5 month old the comfort of a blanket. It upsets me so to see or hear of babies sleeping without the comfort of a blanket because their parents fear they will suffocate. The western part of the world has problems with sids because we as adults push independence from birth on. Cultures in the eastern parts of this world do not, however, have these problems because children sleep in the same room , if not in the same bed as their parents. This keeps the connection between baby and parent alive as the baby needs to be reminded to breathe. When they don't have that auditory reminder of life they simply stop breathing and that is when sids becomes a problem. I think your child will be much happier sleeping with the comfort of a blanket. I also think that she is old enough where she doesn't need to be 'reminded' to breathe.

A.

blankets ok but no stuffed animals.i work in a daycare center and im a mom of four.id be to worried about stuffed animals.besides she could chew on it and choke.the fuzzy stuff could come off and the eyes or nose.A.:)

I would still take the stufff animals out at night but the blankets are fine to leave in now that its getting colder. I was scared about the same things with my frist son also but at 5 1/2 months they know how and have enough strength to pick up and move there head if they can't breate my second son is 3 months old and I've seen him pull the blanket up over his face or put his face in to a blanket and with in a couple of seconds he will move his head. I would say if your still worried then to put a light blanket in with her till you feel more comfortable.

My pediatrician said as soon as babies are able to roll over easily both ways, they are better able to move a blanket or whatever away from their face. My son is 4 months, and he has this little blankie w/bear and he LOVES to sleep with it near his face. I know I am probably a terrible mother, but he really does sleep better if he has it near him. I feel badd it's so cute when he's cuddled up to it! I think it's the fimiliar smell that he likes.

Good luck

We do foster care and had to take a SIDS training class last month. They told us that you should never put anything in the babies crib except for the baby. Put her in a blanket sleeper and she'll be plenty warm. Another reason you shouldn't use bumper pads is because if the baby falls asleep with their face buried in them they will still be able to breath but they won't be getting fresh oxygen, just their own breath back. Babies have very small lungs and it only talkes a short while of breathing their own air back in for them to run out of oxygen. It's not that they can't always get away from them, they just don't know to keep their faces out of things. Even older kids do it sometimes.
The best thing to do is get some of those toys that hang on the side of the crib so they can reach them when they are awake and sitting up but can't get to them when they are lying down. They love those baby mirrors and musical aquariums.
Thanks for asking this question and making sure your sweetie is the safest she can be.
J.
I also had to come back and edit this because after reading some of the other responses I can see that you have gotten a LOT of bad advice on this subject. Please don't put a comforter on a child's crib mattress but just use a tightly fitted sheet made for a crib. Kids and get things loose and smother in them.

K.,

I believe the experts say not to have stuffed animals or blankets in the crib until 1 year of age. However, my son is 7 months and has been sleeping with a blanket for awhile. He has been a difficult sleeper and it helped him a lot to have the blanket. I use one that is crocheted (sp) so it has a lot of holes in it. I worry a lot about him sleeping with a blanket so I reccomend not using it unless you absolutely have to. Babies are very adjustable to temperature so your daughter should be fine if she is in warm pj's and a sleep sack.

Hi! Basically I'm reiterating what everyone else is saying...what I did for my kids was tucking the blanket it, so that it only came up about 1/3 of the way up the crib. Just enough so they would be warm, but not enough to impede any breathing, etc. I'd also wait on stuffed animals until they're about a year.

Hi! Using a blanket to cover ur baby is fine, I have been doing it since my son was born 17 months ago.
The stuffed animal I always had in a corner but never right next to him. I've never had any problems but then I dont sleep much either so i am able to monitor him alot. Most of the time he just undoes the covers and then I have to recover him again. If ur not sure, just dress ur baby warm at night to help keep baby warm. I do that if I think it will help and feel he dont want to be covered up. If nothing else, turn ur heat up at night that will help ur baby stay warm.
Good luck and god bless.
C. D

I have been putting my eight month old baby to sleep with a blanket and a stuffed animal since she started sleeping in her crib. She slept with me until she was four months old and then we slowly eased her into crib sleeping. I did put her in the zipped sleeping blanket, but she didn't really like it as she also likes to move around a lot in her sleep. Another one of my girlfriends with a baby the same age has also been snuggling her baby with a blanket with no problems. I think that when they get better control of their heads there isn't the same risk of SIDS. I had been a bit worried because my baby also prefers to sleep on her stomach, but it hasn't been a problem. I had purchased a bumper, but I've never used it because of SIDS worries. I think the blankets and stuffed animals are safer because they can easily move them.

My daughter moves alot when she sleeps, so what we did was use a large enough blanket that it would tuck into both sides of the crib. This has worked since she was a newborn.

As far as stuffed animals, I was told not to let them sleep with them until age 2, but I'm not sure if that has changed or not. I usually let my daughter fall asleep with her bear and take it away five minutes later.

It is only o.k. once she can roll over and thus is able to free her self of any suffocating items [i.e. blankets, pillows, animals]. It's never worth the risk in my opinion. The moms who say do whatever you feel comfortable with clearly are risking the safety of their children. A child needs to sleep in a relatively warm room. They need to be protected from items that could impede their breathing whether or not they move around or not. You should be able to keep your daughter warm enough with clothing, wearable blankets, and the heat in your home.
B.

If she can sit up w/out support or if she can crawl then she'd be strong enough to pull the blanket off (her face if needed). Stuffed animals w/out any hard parts, i.e. eyes & nose, then they should be fine. This worked up us untill I felt more confertible about having a loose blanket, just take out all toys and tuck a blanket on one end of the crib so that you can tuck her in and not worry about it being pulled up over her head.

K. -

Bravo in keeping your child safe. My son is just past one and for quite a while (since about your daughter's age) we've allowed him to have a blanket in bed - a knitted or chroched(sp) blanket - our theroy was/is that if it's pulled over his head, he can still breath through it... we've never had a problem. HTH!

~J

Ask your pediatrician at your daughter's 6 month checkup. Ours advises nothing else in the crib and I expect your pediatrician's advice would be the same. I wouldn't worry about her getting cold. One time when our son was 9 months old our funance went out in the middle of the night. When we woke up in the morning, the temperature inside the house was 49 degrees. Our son slept like a rock just wearing normal footed pajamas!
I also recommend the breathable bumper (if you want one). My daughter uses one because otherwise she gets her legs caught between the crib slats. In addition to target.com, you can get it at USA baby or Babies R' Us.

K.,
In my experience she should not need any stuffed animals at this point. My son is 6 months and I too was worried about the pj's not being warm enough. I use a blanket that is big enough to be tucked tightly into both sides of the crib and only put it up to his chest (just under the arm pits) so that he can still turn around under it if he wants to but can not pull it up over his face or head. If you have a blanket that can also be tucked in at the foot of the bed this will ensure that Haley can't pull it up over her head. I would not introduce stuffed animals until she is old enough to pull it off of her face by herself. The bumper pads for cribs are so cute (and yes I too have one on my son's crib) but as he gets more mobile and is able to roll more, I have pulled it up about an inch from the mattress so that it will still keep him from putting hands and feet through but will protect his head if he bumps but enough gap that if he rolls over to it he can still breathe. Hope this helps!!
S. S

Hi K.,

It's good you've been careful. As a mother of ten...now they are 25 down to 4...some moved around a lot too...I always covered them and they were fine. I knew, as a Christian, that God was in control and no matter what I did (I had most of my in home births), if it was my time to die or my baby's; there was little I could do about it. So knowing a sovereign God who loves us and still being careful somewhat, but relying on His promises like in Psalm 92 and so many others...promises to take care of those who know Him; has given me great joy and comfort. All ten of mine are healthy for the most part...one has asthma; but God has been so good to watch over. It's really a comfort to me as a parent to know that ultimately my children's physical life is in God's hands. Teaching your little daughter to "Honor her father and mother that her days may be long upon the earth." would be a goal I'd think. "Honor" means to pass close attention to what they say. So, I Peter 5:7 says we can "cast all our cares upon Him for He careth for you"
I hope that's a comfort to you...resting in God's Word and praying to Him for protection...isn't the Creator of life and the whole universe able to protect your daughter too?
Warmly, B.

Hi K.! I wanted to respond because I have a similar situation. I am a first time mom as well to my 9 month old son, Colin. He is very acrobatic in his sleep! I took everything out of his crib for the same reasons. I was terrified that he would shove his face into an animal or the bumper. I read an article once that said to wait until the child was a year old to put things back in the crib because at that point, the child is able to move if something is deterring breathing, etc. I decided to just leave it at that- because having the animals and the bumper somewhere else doesn't compare to my son's safety. I put him in warm jammies, with a onesie, and socks, and turn the heat up in his room by just a notch or two. There was a day when I went in there and his hands and toes were cold- so that's why I decided on the extra clothes and heat. It seems to have done the trick. He doesn't wake up as early as he did when he was chilly (poor little guy!!) and he's comfortable- not too warm! I hope that my experiences with Colin help you and Haley! Take care- and stay warm! :-)

-D.

I have a 2 1/2 year old and a10 month old. The baby sleeps with a blanket as did the 2 1/2 year old. After the baby is good and a sleep I go in and move everything away from his face. He does sleep better with the blankets and animals.

All kids are different. I wouldn't put stuffed animals in at all. but a blanket yeah if you need to but it would depend on what the baby does while its sleeping. Sids is highest risk at like 6 to 9 months especially in the winter months so you are in the high risk cause the babys start to move all over the cribs while they sleep. I didn't give my kids stuff until I knew they were ready. I watched them while they took naps while I was awake so I could see if they would pull the blanket off their face or move. Plus I had the baby right next to my bed and I am a light sleeper so I use to wake up to check on them.
with my youngest I couldn't give him one right away so I just dressed him as warm as I could and turned up the heat. I also think people worry that they get to cold too but you are supose to dress them like you would dress yourself to be comfotable so if you would be cold wearing what they are then they will too.

As far as the bumpers, I found an excellent product called breathable bumpers. I found mine at Target online, but I'm sure you can do a internet search, too. We have a sleep shifters so we never could keep blankets on our kids. We gave our son a little security blanet with an animal attached (about 7-8" blanket) at about 6 months and he has loved his "baby" every since. (Also, when you are ready for that type of thing, buy 3! Just in case one gets lost or for grandmas) Like the other moms have said, if you feel comfortable, get something designed for babies. I think they still have glow worms around? That type of thing. GL :)

it is best to dress in layers of clothes, like use a onesie under pj's and use the sleep sack on top of that. you can use a blanket, but just put it up to her arm pits. i would let her fall asleep with the stuffed animal and then take it out once she is asleep.

we also turn up the heat more than normal because we have small kids who wiggle out of blankets at night.

Right before my nephews first birthday he was a few month's physically behind due to being extremely premature. He couldn't sit up on his own yet whatever age you wanna call him but anyways we were outside talking outside the babies window we heard a gasping sound ran inside and my nephew had tangeled him self in his blanket the kind grandma would make crowshayed (i have no idea how to spell that)or knitted he had the small holes entangeled in his hand was stuck and the blanket was over his head he was suffocating. If we hadn't been outside the window who knows what that ending would have been. So those types of blankets are bad in my opinion.

I also worked at a home daycare and we had a sheet very very tightly tugged into the end of the mattress and the sides. There was no way a baby was gonna beable to pull the sheet out at all. That worked great.

I believe the reason you don't want to put alot of stuff in the crib with a baby is the fear of suffication. If a baby rolls over and doesnt have enough control to move, then they could sufficate. But...if she is able to turn over both ways, and lift her head up...than I think it'll be o.k. to put stuff in the crib. That way, when she rolls onto something, she can instinctively move, lift her head, or roll off to breathe. Statistics say that it doesn't take much...even a wrinkled sheet could suffocate a small baby. I'd wait until she has full control. You could get one of those motion mats for under the baby's sheet. It's an electrical mat that sounds an alarm when it detects a lack of motion...they are VERY senative, they even pick up the motion of a baby breathing. We put a small radiant oil filled heater for her room. It was a nice one that would keep her room at a specific temp at all times, and it was safe to touch for little kids or animals. Good luck.

October is SIDS Awarenes Month.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 and 12 months of age. It is most common among infants between 2-4 months, so you are beyond that, however it is also more common in winter months, which is where we are now and what you are concerned about as far as temperature and sleeping comfort.

Until a child is over a year, there will always be actions a parent can take to reduce the risk of losing their child to SIDS. Some parents will take risks and have no consequences but some will and lose their child. Some will do all the right things and will still lose a child. SIDS is not 100% preventable but there are things every parent can commit to doing to reduce their own risks.

It is recommended that until a child is 1 year old:

1. Do not place stuffed animals or loose blankets, toys, pillows or conforterrs in the crib. She may be able to lift her head and roll over, but what if she gets tangled or caught and can't at night. Adults can even find themsleves "cocooned" in blankets at times when they roll around a lot and it takes a lot of effort to get untangled. An infant may not have the hand coordination, strength, or skills needed to help herself if she gets into trouble.
2. If you are concerned about the temperature, adjust your heat setting so it would be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Use a long sleeved sleep shirt and the wearable blanket. SIDS increases when a child is too hot. Overdressing to avoid a child being too cold can actually overheat them and increase their chance of SIDS.
3. Even if she can roll, put her to bed on her back at all times. SIDS increases when a child who normally goes to sleep on their back but are put to sleep on their tummies for a "change of pace" or by someone unfamiliar with the risk of SIDS, such as caregivers, teenage babysitters or older family memebrs not familiar with "back to sleep". Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs are 6-9 times more likely to die of SIDS when they are later placed on their tummy to sleep.
4. Keep up tummy time to help build strength. It is not an alternative to back sleeping but IF she got herslef into trouble, it can only help her get out of it.

As a first time mom, I know many who feel like they are depriving their child of some comfort by not giving them blankets or toys. It is safer to wait to give them those things when they are over 1. She is half way there so it is just this winter until she is there. Nothing is worth risking the loss of your child for a stuffed animal or blanket at night. Spend the little extra this winter and increase your heat so she is comfortable at night. You will sleep better knowing each night she has nothing she can get tangled in or suffocate on and she will still be warm and comfortable. It is just not worth the risk.

For more info, see the Nat'l SIDS & Infant Death Resource Center at www.sidscenter.org or the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org.

Good luck and God Bless.

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