At what age can my child sleep with pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping soft objects and loose bedding out of the sleeping area for at least the first 12 months. This recommendation is based on data around infant sleep deaths and guidelines for reducing the risk of SUIDS. You may want to put a sheet or comforter over your child, to cover their head or body — but don’t. Sheets, comforters, and blankets can increase the risk of suffocation and can overheat your infant. If you’re worried about your baby getting cold during sleep, you can dress them in warm sleep clothing, like a wearable blanket.

  • Pillows: The AAP suggests waiting until 2 years old to introduce a pillow. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that small toddler pillows are safe to introduce at 18 months old. Be sure to consult with your pediatrician on their recommendation and the specifics of your child.
  • Stuffed animals: When it comes to stuffed animals or other toys in the crib, it’s important to consider the weight of the object, the material it is made of, and if there are any small parts, in addition to the AAP’s age recommendation for that toy. Larger objects can suffocate or crush, and objects with small parts (like sewn-on eyes or buttons) may be choking hazards, and should also be avoided.
  • Blankets: After the first 12 months, some factors to consider when determining if it’s safe for your child to have a blanket in their crib include the blanket’s size, thickness, fabric type, and edging. Even for older children, blankets with long strings and ribbons could be choking hazards, and aren’t recommended. Some other notable considerations include:
    • Larger blankets can present strangulation and suffocation hazards. 
    • Thick, quilted blankets are not as breathable as muslin. 
    • Weighted blankets that are sometimes used for older children with sensory concerns are not safe for use with infants. 
    • Small children can be active sleepers. If you find that your child likes to rock and roll around their bed during the night, a sleep sack or footed pajamas may be safer than a blanket until they are older.

 

This article has been reviewed by our team of experts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns about any health or medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment you should consult with your pediatrician or a licensed healthcare provider.

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