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A duvet is among the most comfortable things in world and when we try and make our children sleep better we wonder if they’d benefit from one of their own.
This article explains why it’s unsafe for a baby to have a duvet and what age it is safe for them to use and what you can do in the meantime.
Are duvets safe for babies?
Duvets can be dangerous for babies for a couple of reasons.
The first is that it can smother them which can lead to suffocation. This is because the baby could roll or move under it and get stuck. Babies need to lie flat and they don’t have the strength to pick themselves up. Duvets may seem light but they are large and cover a lot space which can make it difficult if not impossible for a baby to get themselves unstuck. Not only that, a baby won’t have a real grasp of the danger they’re in and how to get out of it so they’ll likely thrash around making it worse.
Then most likely scenario is that they flail and get completed stuck underneath.
Secondly, a duvet is designed for warmth and can cause a baby (who can’t regulate their own temperature) to overheat. This is also dangerous because it can cause a condition called hyperthermia.
All in all, a duvet is not recommended at all for babies under any circumstances, even if you bed share. Light cotton blankets, next-to-me beds, sleeping bags are the way to go for safe sleeping.
When can a baby have a duvet?
A baby can have a duvet once they’ve reached their first birthday, as advised by the NHS. We think this is still too soon. It’s important to know that this is considered a “safe” age, but it doesn’t mean the child will be completely safe from harm. This is the tricky part about age recommendations.
We still wouldn’t recommend it until 1 and a half or two years old. This is to ensure they are big enough and strong enough to get out of it and can regulate their temperature better.
The same rule applies here. The baby should not be under the duvet or able to get under the duvet until they’re AT LEAST 1 year’s old. Breast-feeding mums can often co-sleep since their feeding schedule can be so relentless. So what can you do?
Using a product such as a sleepyhead can help a lot, which you can place on the duvet and yourself under the duvet. Otherwise, they can be placed on the duvet and the duvet ends pulled right to the top of the bed so they can’t get under. In this instance, go for the lightest and thinnest duvet.
Also, a specially made ‘grow bag’ sleeping bag can be used on top of the duvet, but you still need to ensure the ends of the duvet are not accessible.
Safest method for co-sleeping, however, is a next-to-me crib the is placed right next to the mum or dad for quick soothing should they wake.
When can a toddler have a duvet?
When they become toddlers they are typically 18 months old and above and light duvets are safe to use.
Is it safe to use a duvet in a cot?
Same answer as previous questions – provided they are over 1 and a half, using a lightweight, low tog and size appropriate duvet then they will be fine.