When can a Baby Have a Duvet? Baby and toddler safety is something that every single person should be educated on, regardless of whether you have children yourself or even plan to have them. Knowing the safety regulations around babies, to be aware and inform others when needed, could save a child’s life.
So, whether you’re a new mum ensuring that your new-born is safe by getting a second opinion online (you’re doing great, mama!) Or, you’re an excited uncle who is about to welcome a little niece or nephew and want to make sure you’re up-to-date on how to keep a baby safe, whatever it is, we are glad you are here.
We also understand that sleep safety, when it comes to a new-born, can be a huge source of stress, especially for first time parents. Here at Baby Gift, we want to remind you that this is a judgment-free zone. As a parent you should know that no question is ever ‘stupid’ and you should always reach out to experts to ask for advice or help if you have any concerns whatsoever – and we mean that.
With that being said, here is everything that you should know when it comes to the ever present question of, “when can a baby have a duvet?”
Why can’t a Baby Have a Duvet?
Duvets, pillows and blankets all pose a huge risk for babies.
When considering your baby’s safety, always try to view objects from their perspective.
To most adults, a duvet is not a form of danger and honestly, is there anything really quite like a winter’s afternoon, bundling up in a duvet on the sofa with your favourite snacks and binge watching Netflix? Probably not. But your baby does not have the same perspective when they view a duvet.
Think of it like this, most people are aware that small children should not be around small objects due to the risk of swallowing them but as an adult it is considered common sense to not swallow these inanimate objects – at least we hope it is anyway!
Your baby is completely new to the world and whilst that is amazing in so many ways, try to look through their lens when it comes to baby proofing your home and life from the big wide world.
What are the Dangers of Giving a Baby a Duvet?
The biggest risk to giving a baby a duvet before they are strong enough to push it away is suffocation.
The NHS states that babies under the age of one, “can suffocate if their face gets smothered.” This is likely due to the fact that babies have limited mobility and a duvet to them is a heavy object to move.
Another issue that arises by giving your baby a duvet at a young age is that babies will struggle to regulate their body temperature if a warm duvet is placed on them which has the potential to overheat them.
A separate risk that comes with this is that bedding items contain fabric that can get caught in the infant’s throat. Babies tend to enjoy suckling on soft blankets and this can cause a build up of the material which may lead to choking or suffocation.
Additionally, accidental strangulation has the potential to occur if the baby is left unattended with a blanket or duvet.
It is also highly recommended that blankets with a heavy yarn are never given to babies or even toddlers due to the weight and how warm they can make them.
What Bedding Should You Use for a New-born?
New-born babies should sleep in a clean, flat, elevated area without any additional blanket, duvets or pillows.
You can swaddle your new-born to keep them warm, although it is recommended that you do not do this past two months old.
New-borns and babies should be laid flat on their back with their feet pointing to the end of the crib when sleeping. Also keep in mind that no additional toys (yes, that cute, cuddly teddy bear you got at the hospital has to go) should be in the crib whilst the baby is in there sleeping or unattended.
Some other important details to ensure sleep safety include, never putting your baby to sleep on a sofa, always using fitted sheets that are not easily pulled away from the crib’s mattress, and ensuring that if your baby is in a crib, bassinet or any type of sleeper then they should all be safety approved.
How Do You Keep Your Baby Warm at Night?
Many parents seek advice on exactly how to keep your baby warm at night especially when you’re in the UK and winter-like weather conditions seem to consume the majority of the year.
Luckily, there are some simple ways that you can keep your baby warm including dressing them in sleep suits, wrapping them in a swaddle if they are two months or below (this replicates the environment of a womb whilst keeping them warm) and ensuring that the room they are in is at an appropriate temperature. According to The Sleep Foundation, the room temperature should be, “between 16°C to 20°C.”
We recommend using a thermometer to monitor your baby’s temperature and make the necessary adjustments when needed. Using a device like this can also prevent overwhelm as you will have an accurate reading of your baby’s body temperature – this is also perfect to have on hand just in case your baby gets sick and catches a fever. Alternatively, it can be helpful to have a Groegg for your Babies room. A Groegg will change colour depending on the temperature, and give you a visible que if the thermostat needs tweaking!
When can a Baby Have a duvet?
The ideal age to give a baby a duvet causes a large amount of controversy online with parents and experts all having split opinions on which age is best. Being a parent can be difficult enough to navigate but with so many conflicting opinions it can make the process harder.
Whilst we are certainly advocates for doing what is right for you and your family (mothers intuition is a real thing), your child’s safety comes above all else.
We aim to provide advice that fits in line with expert recommendations but you should always contact a health professional to answer any questions that you have. – We won’t be offended!
What Age Can You Introduce a Duvet?
The NHS states that it is safe to let your baby sleep with a duvet after they turn one years old.
Whilst this is the “official” age it is really hard to use age requirements as every single situation and baby is different. Most experts in the baby industry agree that one year old is far too young and you should aim for at least 18 months old up to 3 years old.
We don’t doubt that your baby’s safety is your number one priority so we would always recommend waiting for a higher age to decrease potential risks.
It is always more important to do what is right for your own family and what you are comfortable with. If you do not want to give your baby a duvet until they are much older, that is okay. – No mum shaming here.
How do You Know if Your Baby is Ready to have a Duvet?
You will be glad to know that there are some tell-tell signs that your baby is ready to transition from a sleep suit to a duvet. Here are some of those signs:
- Your baby attempts to pull their sleep suit up to their face or can easily push bedding away.
- Your baby gets irritated during the night for being too hot or too cold.
- Your baby often tries to remove their sleeping suit.
If you have spotted any of the signs then you might be ready to graduate to a suitable duvet!
How do You Introduce Bedding?
If you are introducing bedding in between this bracket of 18 months and three years old then to relieve any anxiety you should monitor your child to see how they interact and start your baby off with a light blanket before you promote them to a duvet.
Monitor your baby with the blanket and do not leave them unattended with it until you are comfortable that they can easily remove the blanket from their body by themselves.
Watch how your baby navigates the duvet or blanket and how they choose to use it. If you notice that they suckle on it, then remove it for now. As mentioned, this can be a choking or suffocation hazard.
The same notion should be applied if you see your baby struggling to pick up or push the blanket away, take the blanket from them and return to it another time when they are physically stronger.
Is it Safe to Co-Sleep With Your Baby?
To expand on the topic of, ‘when can a baby have a duvet?’ co-sleeping arrangements should not be overlooked. Due to the relentless feeding schedules and anxiety around sleep safety, some parents decide that they would like to co-sleep with their baby. This can mean either in the same bedroom or even in the same bed.
Again, the consensus on co-sleeping is split due to a multitude of safety risks, with duvets and blankets being a huge reason as to why some parents choose not to co-sleep in the same bed and opt to keep the baby in a nearby cot instead.
The Lullaby Trust writes that, “babies should always be in the same room as you for the first six months for sleep, day and night.”
What are the Safety Pros of Co-Sleeping
Babies will likely cry less often
Night time to babies can be scary and having their parents there with them can create less separation anxiety which subsequently means less crying. This often results in a parent that has had adequate sleep and will not fall asleep from exhaustion the next night. Meaning, you can actively make all of the safety requirements in the evening before going to sleep with your baby.
You are right next to them
When your baby is in the same bedroom with you you are right there to address any concerns or issues that arise with your child much quicker than you would if they were in another room. What are the Safety Cons of Co-Sleeping
Every baby is different and some simply find sleeping with their mother overstimulating, usually because of the smell of milk that can keep them awake. Some children prefer to be in a small, safe environment, like a crib, similar to how they would have been in the womb. If you keep your child in bed with you but they are actively disturbing your sleep this can result in parents who are extensively exhausted, running the risk of not waking up to the baby crying.
Increased anxiety around the risk of suffocation
Mothers often find that their quality of sleep seriously decreases if they co-sleep as they are worried that they will suffocate their child by being so close in bed with them. They actually end up staying awake all night to watch and make sure that this does not happen. – Which is not healthy for baby or mama.
How Do You Safely Co-Sleep with a baby?
Without running the risk of sounding like a broken record, your child should not be under a duvet of any kind until they are at least one year old even if you are with them.
There are specific products out there including a sleepyhead which you can place on top of the duvet for your baby to lay on whilst you can be under the duvet.
When co-sleeping, you should also ensure that the edges of the duvets are not accessible to the child to pull or put in their mouth.
Also, having a bed that is spacious enough for you, your partner and your baby to both move around is vital. If your bed is not large enough for you all to comfortably move then your baby should not sleep with you in your bed.
What Should You Look for in A Baby Duvet?
Okay, so your baby is now officially safe to have a baby duvet, hooray!
But now there’s another question, what should you look for in the duvet that you choose?
When it comes to babies everything needs to be considered, material, tog level, price, quality – choosing the right baby products can be confusing but below you will find information on what you should look out for.
(Psstt.. if you’re short for time, here is a duvet we found earlier.)
What Type of Duvet Material is Best?
Considering a duvet material is more important than you might expect. Babies have seriously sensitive skin that when irritated with specific fabrics can trigger allergic reactions.
Most parents opt for hypoallergenic duvets, like this one, which has natural fibers to keep their babies skin rash-free.
What Type of Tog Level Should You Choose?
The tog level of your duvet will be highly dependent on your climate and season that you are in. Whilst the summers in the UK are nothing quite like they are in sunny Spain you still may want to choose a lower tog duvet to make sure your child does not overheat.
Here are some lighter duvet options that are our favourites!
Similarly, a winter duvet with a higher tog level could be suitable if your house is colder.
Whilst the question, “when can a baby have a duvet?” certainly splits opinions online, the ultimate conclusion is that there is no set date that you can give your baby a duvet. Like most things in parenthood you kind of just have to ‘figure it out.’ What works best for your baby might not work best for somebody else’s and that’s okay. If you’re always keeping safety a priority, then you are doing the right thing.
Whilst the recommended age for giving your baby a duvet is one year old, just because your baby turns a certain age does not mean that they can now be protected from harm, this is what makes age recommendations difficult to judge.
We recommend that you give your baby a duvet between the ages of 18 months to 3 years old.
That being said, when introducing a duvet to your child you may need to keep an eye on them whilst they sleep to ensure that they are strong enough to push the duvet away and are not suckling on the blanket. Watching your baby sleep to protect them from suffocating from the duvet can be a huge source of anxiety for parents though, (which, quite frankly, is simply not what parents need), so consider introducing a light blanket first and watch how your baby interacts with it.
If you notice any signs of danger, wait until your baby is a little older so you can both be more comfortable.
The ultimate goal is to keep both baby and family happy, contact a health practitioner if you have any concerns at all and most importantly enjoy your little bundle of joy. They don’t stay this small forever. If you are considering when to give your Baby a Duvet – You may also be interested in learning more about Baby Sleeping aids.
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