toddler sleeping with blanket over head

Welcome to the incredible adventure of parenthood! It’s a journey packed with smiles, hurdles, and a ton of decisions. One question that often pops up for parents is whether it’s okay for their toddler to sleep with a blanket over their head. 

Picture this: your little munchkin all cuddled up with their cherished blanket draped over their face – it’s adorable, right? 

But then, the worry bug starts buzzing about safety and maintaining good sleep habits.

Let’s talk in detail. 

The pros and cons of blankets:

Just like everything, the use of blankets also has its own pros and cons. 

The Pros:

  • Comfort and Security:

Many toddlers find comfort and security in sleeping with a blanket over their heads. It can mimic the feeling of being swaddled, which is known to help babies sleep better.

  • Transitional Object:

A blanket can serve as a transitional object, providing a sense of familiarity and continuity during the night. This can be especially beneficial during times of change or stress.

  • Regulating Temperature:

A lightweight blanket can help regulate body temperature, ensuring that your toddler stays warm without overheating. This is important for a comfortable night’s sleep.

The Cons:

  • Risk of Suffocation:

The most significant concern with toddlers sleeping with blankets over their heads is the risk of suffocation. A blanket covering the face may limit airflow, leading to potential breathing problems.

  • Overheating:

While a blanket can help regulate temperature, it’s crucial to ensure that the blanket is lightweight and breathable. 

  • Sleep Associations:

Allowing a toddler to form a habit of sleeping with a blanket over their head might create a sleep association that could be challenging to break later on.

Is it safe for a toddler to sleep with a blanket over their head?

In general, it’s considered safe for toddlers to sleep with a blanket over their heads since they can usually wake up and move things away if they feel suffocated. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the blanket isn’t too heavy, oversized, or equipped with strings that could pose a tangling risk—those situations are not considered safe.

The answer also depends upon the age of a toddler. Since a child is considered a toddler from age 1 to 3, they are very different. A blanket over the face of a 1-year-old is riskier than on the face of a 3-year-old. 

Understanding the risks:

Let me share the risks associated with a toddler’s face covered with a blanket. 

  • Even if a blanket doesn’t fully cover a toddler’s face, it can still limit the flow of fresh air, reducing oxygen intake and increasing the risk of respiratory problems.
  • A covered face can contribute to overheating, especially if the blanket is heavy or the room temperature is warm.
  • If a toddler’s face is covered, there is a risk of carbon dioxide buildup in the small enclosed space, leading to respiratory distress.
  • Even if a toddler can wake up and move things, a covered face may cause discomfort and difficulty in breathing, potentially disrupting their sleep.
  • Sleeping with a covered face may disrupt a toddler’s ability to breathe freely, leading to restless sleep and potentially affecting their overall sleep quality.

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toddler sleeping with blanket

The hidden reason behind such sleeping habits of your toddler

Now, let’s explore the reasons why your toddler might be covering their face while sleeping. 

Just a Habit:

Sometimes it’s just a little habit they pick up. Like sucking their thumb or twirling their hair, covering up with a blanket might feel cozy and nice for them.

Safety, Familiarity, and Comfort:

You know, kids find comfort in the little things. 

Having a blanket over their head might make them feel safe, like a warm hug. It’s their way of feeling cozy and secure while they sleep.

The Room Was Too Cold:

If it gets chilly, they might try to stay extra warm by tucking themselves under the blanket. It’s like their own tiny version of bundling up.

Noise and Light Reduction:

Sometimes your little one wants to escape from the outside world – the noises and lights. 

A blanket over the head creates a quiet, dark space for a more peaceful sleep.

Mimicking the Parents:

Kids are like little copycats, aren’t they?

If they see Mom or Dad covering up with a blanket, they might want to do the same. It’s their way of imitating the people they love.

Sinusitis:

If a toddler has sinusitis, they might sleep with an open mouth. 

From my own experience, sleeping with an open mouth in the open air can be uncomfortable. I have this problem.

When I’m not covering my entire head, I make sure to at least cover my mouth area to prevent the dryness caused by the open air.

Anxiety:

Sometimes toddlers feel a bit anxious. 

Covering up can be their way of creating a little cocoon, a safe space that shields them from the big, wide world when it feels a bit overwhelming.

Some tips for your peace of mind:

Choose the right blanket:

Choosing the right blanket for your little one is crucial for a comfy and safe sleep. 

  • Opt for a lightweight blanket to prevent overheating. The fabric should be breathable.
  • consider getting a specialized toddler blanket that’s just their size.
  • Ensure it has no strings or uncomfortable designs to make bedtime cozy and worry-free.

For example, Hudson baby blanket that is just the right thing for a toddler.

Switch to a sleep sack

Consider making the switch to sleep sacks as a safer alternative to traditional blankets for your toddler’s bedtime.

These adorable sleep companions not only keep your toddler snug and warm but also provide a safer alternative to traditional blankets.

Plus, they come in various sizes, ensuring a snug fit for your little one without the need for additional blankets.

Introduce a lovey or a lovey blanket

Introducing a “lovey” or a lovey blanket to your toddler’s bedtime routine can work wonders for their sense of safety and comfort. 

Loveys are these adorable, small-sized blankets that become a source of reassurance and companionship for your little one. 

Their compact size makes them perfect for tiny hands to hold onto, creating a cozy and secure feeling that can help ease your toddler into a peaceful night’s sleep.

Combine the security of a sleep sack with the comfort of a lovey blanket for your toddler’s bedtime bliss – a perfect duo ensuring safety and a cozy sense of comfort throughout the night!

Don’t overcrowd the crib

Create a serene sleep space by avoiding crib overcrowding. A clutter-free crib ensures a safer sleep environment for your little one, promoting restful and secure nights.

Introduce a small toddler pillow

Opting for a toddler pillow can make a world of difference in your little one’s sleep comfort. However, it’s crucial to choose a specialized toddler pillow designed for ages 18 months and above – small, lightweight, and perfectly sized for optimal support.

Conclusion:

In creating the ideal sleep environment for your toddler, prioritize safety, comfort, and healthy sleep habits.

Opt for a lightweight and breathable blanket, or consider the security of a sleep sack for warmth. Introduce a lovey blanket for added comfort, ensuring it’s small and huggable. 

Remember, a toddler pillow, designed for ages 18 months and above, can enhance sleep quality.

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