Health experts agree that loose blankets, comforters and pillows have no place in a crib, and can even put your baby at risk. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), suffocation in soft bedding may be the cause of as many as one-third of baby deaths attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
“Further, some scientists suggest that a fatal rise in brain temperature is possible if a baby’s head is fully covered,” says Judith Jacobson of the SIDS Alliance, a national, nonprofit health organization.
Place Your Baby Into a Wearable Blanket
With a simple crib makeover, you can convert your baby’s sleeping area into a safer and healthier environment using the first product ever endorsed by the SIDS Alliance: the HALO Infant SleepSack. This is a wearable blanket that takes the place of loose bedding that can bunch up around a baby’s nose and mouth or cover the head.
Designed in accordance with CPSC warnings about the dangers of soft bedding in cribs, as well as blanket-free sleeping recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the SIDS Alliance, the SleepSack has a sleeveless, sack-like design that keeps fabric away from your baby’s face and head.
Easy to slip on over a regular sleeper, it makes it harder for babies to roll onto their tummies and re-breathe dangerous oxygen-depleted air.
“What we hear from parents is ‘Finally, a way to keep our baby cozy without a loose blanket,'” says William Schmid, who founded Halo Sleep after losing a daughter to SIDS. “The SleepSack keeps babies warm and comfortable, and gives parents and caregivers some peace of mind.”
Unlike most infant bedding materials, the fabrics used in the SleepSack — cotton interlock and super-soft, high-quality fleece — meet U.S. flammability standards for children’s sleepwear. “We’re committed to safer infant sleeping,” says Mike Steber, president of Sara’s Prints, which formerly manufactured the cotton SleepSack.
As the first signature product of the SIDS Alliance, a portion of the sale of each SleepSack helps support ongoing SIDS medical research, education and family services. The “Back to Sleep” logo is embroidered on the front of the SleepSack to reinforce the recommendation that babies always sleep on their backs on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib or bassinet, without pillows, sheepskins, quilts or other loose bedding items.
“Many of today’s cribs are made to look like miniature adult beds, but that can be dangerous. Babies have some special requirements to ensure their safety,” Jacobson says.
Crib Makeover Tips
With a little creativity, you can create a blanket-free nursery that is both beautiful and safe.
- Eliminate loose comforters, blankets and other stuffed, soft bedding items and toys from the sleeping area.
- Use a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib or bassinet.
- Use a HALO Infant SleepSack wearable blanket in place of blankets.
- Always place babies to sleep on their backs.
- If you wish to decorate the nursery, use decorative crib skirts and tight-fitting sheets in coordinated colors and prints.
- If you still want to use a favorite quilt, make it into a decorative wall hanging instead of placing it inside the crib.
Don’t Use a Crib Bumper
A crib bumper is a padded or quilted piece of material that is placed around the inside of a crib. It is designed to prevent an infant from getting their limbs or head stuck between the crib slats or to prevent injuries from the hard edges of the crib. Crib bumpers usually tie to the crib’s slats or railings with ribbon ties or Velcro. They come in various styles and materials, such as cotton, polyester, and mesh.
But, despite being used to increase safety, crib bumpers are actually risky. In short, they cause more serious potential problems than they solve.
Crib bumpers have been linked to a number of risks for infants, including suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using crib bumpers, as they can create a suffocation hazard for infants.
Additionally, there have been reports of infants getting their limbs trapped between the crib bumper and the crib mattress, which can lead to injury. The safest option for infants is to use a crib with a tight-fitting, firm mattress and no additional bedding, such as bumpers or blankets.
Alternatives to crib bumper pads do exist. Leslie Waghorn from Child Safe lists, as safer options: crib tents, crib rail covers, a padded play yard, and thick (fitted) crib sheets. Without creating grave risks, these items will help protect your child from hurting themselves on the crib slats or other hard, exposed parts of a cot.
About the Halo Infant SleepSack
The SleepSack is produced by the company that invented the award-winning Halo Sleep System active airflow crib mattress. Halo Sleep products, including the HALO Infant SleepSack wearable blanket and the Halo Sleep System active airflow crib mattress, are available online at halosleep.com, or through catalogs and selected children’s specialty retailers.