My baby is nearly 11 weeks old and I've been reading an article that suggests using 12 to 15 blankets depending on if the baby is sleeping in a bassinet or cot, on top of a sleeping bag and wrap. We live in Melbourne, so it can get quite cold, but this seems a bit excessive to me.
For a suitable amount, one or two thin blankets are perfectly fine. The presence of too much warmth can lead to overheating, which is closely linked to SIDS. Twelve to 15 blankets would definitely be too much, and restrict an infant’s movements, which may lead to them finding themselves in a struggle situation during sleep.
If you are wrapping or using a sleeping bag, it is common not to use blankets at all. In Melbourne, buying bags that carry greater TOG ratings (1.5-2.5) would be suitable for the cooler weather, as long as baby is dressed appropriately inside the bag. Babies who are too warm are less alert during sleep, and we need babies to stay alert and active in their sleep in order to be able to react to any stressors that may arise in this critical development period.
If I follow this article using the correct mattress protector and 14 thin cotton blankets my baby sleeps on his back, but if I use less he rolls to his tummy and sleeps on his tummy. He is 5 months old. Which is safer? I’m really confused please help.
In response to your question about blankets, we definitely wouldn’t recommend 14 blankets. At five months old, it sounds as though your child has reached the rolling over milestone, which is a perfectly normal stage of development. By using so many blankets, it is restrictive, which is something we as an organisation don’t recommend. Restriction during sleep could cause your child to experience a struggle situation, which is the same reason we advocate against restraints such as straps and bolsters.
So in answer to which is safer, I would recommend a thin cotton blanket. Remember to always place them down on their backs, but if they are capable of tummy sleeping, to let them find this position naturally. You would have noticed it initially during tummy time, and the child is just replicating those behaviours into its night-time sleeps. It is perfectly safe, and shouldn’t be restricted - with the presence of excess blankets once the child has turned over becoming an increased risk through overheating and suffocation hazards.