You’re going to have a ton of concerns when you become a parent. One issue many people have is dealing with a baby who wants to cover his face.
Is it safe for baby to cover his face while sleeping? It is not safe for your baby to cover his face while sleeping, and to avoid this problem, he should not be using a blanket at all. If your baby is stuck breathing trapped air due to a blanket or other obstruction over his face, this could lead to suffocation.
There’s a lot to know to ensure you keep your baby as safe as possible during the precarious infant stage.
Baby Covering Head While Sleeping
If you’ve ever put your baby down to sleep and come back to see their face covered, then you know what kind of fear that sends through your body. You need to know how to keep your baby safe while he sleeps.
Why Does My Baby Like To Cover His Face With a Blanket?
What your baby probably likes about a blanket against the face is comfort.
When you hold your little one, he will likely press his face against your skin, and your baby’s cheek will be pressed directly against your chest when you breastfeed. This is comforting for a baby.
When not being held, your baby may seek comfort in a blanket or stuffed animal. Your child craves this tactile sensation, so they will seek it out with whatever is close.
Is It Dangerous for a Baby To Sleep With Head Under a Blanket?
It is dangerous for a baby to sleep with his head under a blanket, and that’s exactly why you should not put a blanket in the crib with your baby.
Whether it’s naptime or bedtime, your baby’s crib or bassinet should be free of blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, and anything else that can get on top of your child’s face.
When your baby gets trapped under a blanket, he will breathe recirculated air that will lead to suffocation.
Your baby can’t just push the blanket away since his motor skills aren’t at that point yet. He also can’t lift his head to remove the blanket, and that leaves him trapped.
What Age Can a Baby Safely Sleep With a Blanket?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your child is at least one year old before allowing him to sleep with a blanket.
Waiting can reduce the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You should also keep other items out of your child’s crib until the one-year mark.
Safest Blankets for Babies To Use
If you do choose to use a blanket in your child’s crib, some options are safer than others. Make sure the blanket is not too large, and look for these specific types:
- Swaddling Blankets – Swaddle blankets wrap around your baby and latch so they can’t be put on the face. (Find them here.)
- Cellular Blankets – These cotton blankets have holes that allow a chance for airflow. (Find them here.)
- Sleeping Bag Blankets – Baby sleeping bag blankets zip and are snug around your baby so he can’t pull them over his face or kick them off completely. (Find them here.)
Safe Sleeping for Babies (Tips by Age Group)
Your baby is going to sleep a lot during the first few years of life, and you need to make sure they are doing it safely at every stage.
Safe Sleeping for Newborns
Newborns should sleep on their backs in the same room as their parents. However, they should not be in the same bed. Move the baby’s crib to your room or put a bassinet beside the bed so your baby is close but not in your sleeping space.
Don’t put anything in the crib or bassinet with your baby. Never smoke where an infant sleeps, and try to keep anyone from smoking in the house since this can increase the risk of SIDS.
Safe Sleeping for Babies 2-12 Months
Keep your baby in your room until the six-month mark if you want to follow professional recommendations, and follow all the rules you would for a newborn. When your child hits the six-month point, you can move him into his own room.
You still need to keep your child’s crib free of blankets and other items for the first year of life. Put your baby to sleep on his back every night.
Safe Sleeping for Toddlers
During the early months of toddlerhood, your child will probably still be in a crib. Many parents wait to add pillows and big blankets until their child is around 18 months old or moves to a toddler bed.
However, your baby can sleep on his side or stomach once he makes it to toddlerhood.
As your toddler ages, he will transition to a toddler bed. Lovies, blankets, and small pillows should be safe at this point. Make sure the bed is low enough to the ground that your child won’t get hurt if he falls.
How To Keep Baby Warm at Night Without Blanket
You don’t need a blanket to keep your baby warm at night. My oldest two children were born in December, and we still avoided blankets.
Footie pajamas are a favorite of most parents because they keep your baby’s entire body warm without putting them at risk of suffocation. Make sure the footie onesies are the right size for your child, and stock up on them.
You can also swaddle your child to keep him warm and safe. Though many people perfect swaddling with a blanket, I eagerly bought the Velcro swaddle wraps because I could never secure a regular blanket into a swaddle and make it tight.
Why Do Babies Sleep So Lightly?
Babies have shorter sleep cycles and are naturally lighter sleepers than adults. That’s probably why you feel like your little one is always on the verge of waking. This will get better as your baby ages.
Why Do Babies Smile in Their Sleep?
A baby smiling in his sleep is one of the most adorable sights. This happens due to natural reflexes, though some theorize it may also occur because babies are thinking back over something that makes them happy.
It’s likely they are thinking of you if they are smiling!
There are plenty of ways to keep your baby warm without putting them at risk, so avoid blankets for the first year.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.