Safety Blankets and SIDS

A safety blanket, which is sometimes also called a “sleep sack,” can be a wonderful tool for parents to use at bedtime. A safety blanket is a special kind of a blanket that is wrapped around your baby at bed time. Generally speaking, a safety blanket will have a zipper that you zip up which keeps your baby from wiggling out. A safety blanket provides a secure and a safe environment for your baby. Advocates of safety blankets suggest that safety blankets make your baby feel as though he or she were still inside your womb.

In addition to the comforting that a safety blanket offers, a safety blanket may be able to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The reason for this is relatively simple. Research has demonstrated that placing your baby on his or her back at bedtime or naptime will reduce the risk of SIDS. A safety blanket can reduce the risk of SIDS by lessening the possibility that your baby would be able to flip over onto his or her side or stomach. Beyond this, a safety blanket is designed to keep it from covering your baby’s face in the middle of the night, regardless of how he or she may be wiggling. This also helps to reduce the risk of SIDS. SIDS sometimes occurs when a baby is breathing in too much carbon dioxide, which can happen if his or her face is covered. A regular blanket has the potential of becoming wrapped around your baby’s head during the night.

A safety blanket operates on generally the same principles as a swaddling blanket. A safety blanket may not wrap your baby as tightly as a swaddling blanket. In addition, a safety blanket operates on a zipper, as mentioned, while a swaddling blanket does not usually have a zipper. Instead, a swaddling blanket relies on proper folding to wrap securely around your baby. Both a swaddling blanket and a safety blanket are thought to reduce the risk of SIDS.