Is it common for babies and children to want a security blanket?
Is it something many kids use for comfort?
What makes security blankets so useful for babies and kids?
Security blankets are very common, and many children get a lot of benefits out of using them. These items are helpful in that they create an association in a child’s mind between the blanket and a sense of comfort or safety. They can help a child calm down and feel ready for bed, or help soothe a child.
However, it’s important to understand the risks associated with giving children security blankets so you can choose the right time to give one to your child. Read through the article below to find out more about the right time for your little one’s first security blanket.
When Can Baby Sleep with Security Blanket?
Can a security blanket help a baby sleep better?
- Absolutely! Security blankets help provide comfort and a sense of peace for babies and toddlers. They also provide a sense of familiarity for children and can remind them of times when they have felt relaxed. This association quickly helps children get in the mindset for sleep.
- Additionally, a security blanket can work as a “stand-in” for a parent figure as babies get older. Babies who are independent throughout the day may miss having more cuddle time with their parents at night and may need something to snuggle with so they don’t get too fussy. A security blanket can provide this and more.
When is it safe to let a baby have a security blanket in the crib?
- You should never put anything in a baby’s crib other than a fitted sheet on the crib mattress until your child reaches one year of age. At one year, your little one can safely perform the actions required to remove items that might end up on their face, which can significantly reduce the risk of suffocation from blankets or stuffed toys.
- At one year of age, your child’s risk of SIDS significantly decreases as well. This is yet another reason why this important milestone is a crucial one for your child to reach before they are given blankets.
What are the dangers of giving a security blanket too young?
- Giving a security blanket to a child who is too young may pose a suffocation risk. If your child happens to get the blanket over their face while sleeping, they will be unable to move it off again. This can lead to suffocation if the problem isn’t noticed right away.
- It is also possible that having a security blanket when your child is still too young could pose a choking or strangulation hazard. Some blankets may have small parts that could be swallowed by a baby, and others could be long enough to wrap around a baby’s neck.
What can you do to make a blanket safer?
- Always choose a security blanket that is made of lightweight, breathable material. This way, if it does end up over your child’s face, they will still be able to breathe through the fabric until they can remove it on their own.
- You should also choose a security blanket that doesn’t contain any loose pieces or items that can be removed. Similarly, don’t give your child a security blanket if it has any significant damage including holes or tears, as these could pose more of a risk to a young child than an intact blanket might.
What features should you look for in a good security blanket?
- Look for a blanket that is made of baby-safe fabric. Lightweight and breathable fabrics made of all-natural fibers are best, and these will also reduce the risk of your child having an allergic reaction to the fabric too.
- Look for a blanket with no small parts. Although sensory blankets are fun for supervised playtime or transitions from day to night, your baby should not be given this type of blanket while asleep.
- Look for a blanket that is not too large. Large blankets can potentially get wound around a baby’s neck, so stick with something that isn’t much larger than an adult’s handkerchief to start with.
What should you avoid when choosing a security blanket?
- Once again, avoid any blankets that have loose parts. Blankets with long tassels or ribbons, blankets with buttons, or blankets that have stuffed toys attached to them may not work well for your baby’s first security blanket.
- Avoid blankets that are very heavy. Heavy fabrics are much more dangerous even for older kids than lightweight ones are.
- Avoid blankets that are made for adults instead of babies. There are plenty of baby-friendly security blankets out there, so you should stick with one of these when choosing your child’s first blanket.
So what do you do now that you’ve brought home a security blanket for your baby or child? Here are a few tips to remember when giving your child a security blanket, aside from the safety factors we’ve already discussed:
- Buy two so you have a backup: In a child’s mind, losing a favorite security blanket is one of the worst things that could possibly happen. If you purchase two of the same blanket, you can alternative giving them to your child every few nights so both blankets will start to smell the same and will wear out around the same time.
- By doing this, you’ll ensure you always have a backup blanket available for situations that might require it. You might also choose to use one of the blankets as an option for traveling, such as when your child needs to stay overnight at grandma’s house.
- Never bring the blanket outside your home: If your child has just one security blanket, or if your child prefers one over the other when you purchase a backup, make sure you never bring the blanket outside your home. This way, there will be no risk of your child losing the blanket, and it also won’t be easily damaged or dirtied.
- Of course, you might want to bring the blanket with your family when you go on vacation or when your child stays with family overnight. In this situation, you may need to choose which option is better: bringing the blanket for your child’s comfort or leaving it at home to prevent loss.
- Associate the blanket with positive routines: The blanket should always be associated with positivity and a warm sense of comfort and security. Your child will learn to recognize the meaning of the blanket as something beneficial and positive as well. This can be used in a variety of ways moving forward.
- Most important, you can use the positive associations of the blanket to help your child settle down for a nap or for bedtime. You can also use it to make sure your child has a comfort item to help when they are sad or upset about something as well.
Use these tips to help you remember just what to do when you’ve chosen the perfect security blanket for your little one!
5 Tips for Safely Sleeping with Security Blankets
- Security blankets should be introduced to babies when they are around 6 months old, as this is the age when they start to develop a sense of object permanence.
- It is important to ensure that the security blanket is made from breathable materials and is free from any small parts or buttons that could pose a choking hazard.
- Babies should not sleep with their security blanket in their cribs, as it can increase the risk of SIDS. Instead, it should be used during supervised playtime or nap time.
- When introducing a security blanket to your baby, make sure to wash it first in order to remove any bacteria or dirt that may have accumulated on it.
- It is important to teach your baby how to properly care for their security blanket by showing them how to fold and store it away when not in use.
ALSO: It is recommended that parents replace their baby's security blanket every few months in order to ensure its cleanliness and safety.