It seems that everywhere you look on the internet the consensus is that you should use a sleep sack instead of a blanket for your baby. Sleep sacks are safer and reduce the risk of SIDS. But are they really? We opted for the blanket over the sleep sack because despite the info online, the blanket seemed safer.
A couple of weeks ago I was visiting a friend who had a baby fairly recently. She quietly admitted that she was using a blanket instead of a sleep sack and asked that I not judge her. It seemed funny to me…There was no way I could possibly judge her because the blanket was the better option for us too.
Website after website tells us that blankets increase the risk of suffocation because a baby could pull it up over their face. My friend had the opposite experience with her daughter. She was using a sleep sack and her infant shimmied down into it. It scared her so she switched to a blanket. A blanket has an out at every side!
My experience with Hailey was slightly different. Because Hailey slept on her stomach and would move around the crib as she slept. I felt like the sleep sack was pulling on her in weird and uncomfortable ways while restricting her movement.
I had more anxiety on the nights we put her in the sleep sack versus the nights with a blanket. After a few attempts using the sleep sack we made a permanent switch to the blanket so we all could sleep better.
I’m no expert on the causes of SIDS but my husband and I made a decision early on that we wouldn’t worry about Hailey randomly dying on us. Some might suggest that we made an irresponsible decision but it was one that we were comfortable with. And are still comfortable with.
My advice to anyone trying to decide between a sleep sack and a blanket would be to use your own judgement. You know your child better than anyone else and you also know what you are comfortable with. If you’re going to be stressed out and lose sleep over putting a blanket in the crib with your baby then don’t do it!
If the fear of your baby pulling a blanket up over their head is too much for you to handle then don’t bother with a blanket. Hailey did this a few times and she screamed when it happened. But she also prefers to sleep with a blanket in front of her face. I personally wouldn’t enjoy that but if that works for her then so be it. I’ve learned to trust her.
The bottom line is: assess the risk, understand your baby and what he/she likes and their capabilities, and trust your intuition and judgement. I won’t judge you if you chose a blanket or a sleep sack. It’s entirely your call!