My son is 22months old and sleeps in the cot at home but sleeps on a mat at daycare. I have recently been asked to get a declaration form signed by a Dr to allow him to sleep with his comforter bunny at daycare. It has just left me wondering whether I am putting him at risk allowing him to sleep with a comforter bunny I assumed at this age nearly 2 that he would be safe having something to cuddle in the cot.
Red Nose Education
Red Nose does not recommend the use of a soft toy/comforter for babies under 7 months of age due to risk of suffocation & overheating, & has the following information.
Keep soft toys out of the sleeping environment for babies under seven months of age because they may cover the nose and mouth and interfere with breathing.
The risk posed by suffocation by the presence of soft objects in the baby’s sleeping environment outweighs any benefit to the baby from a soft toy. It is therefore advised not to place soft toys and other soft objects in the cot for babies under seven months of age.
Seven-month-old babies are more likely to explore objects in their sleeping environments than younger babies. Some babies over seven months of age may appreciate a small object such as a soft toy to provide comfort and connection (transitional object) during times of separation from their parent.
Soft toys should never be placed in the sleeping environment of an infant under seven months of age.
Soft objects in the cot can be a suffocation risk. Physiological studies indicate that facial obstruction by soft bedding may lead to complete airway obstruction, and/or hyperthermia, and/or accidental suffocation by rebreathing
The best advice when choosing a soft toy/comforter would be one that is not too large (risk to baby of suffocation) or too small (risk of choking)
Also, best to avoid any soft toy that has small parts that may become loose or break off (risk of choking)
The major concern at this age, if multiple or large soft toys/teddies/pillows in the cot, is the risk of child using them to help him climb out of the cot.
Older babies in a cot can be at an increased risk of a sleeping accident by using pillows and bumpers as a step to climb up and fall out of the cot.