Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Infants? Everything You Need to Know

Worrying about your baby when he or she is sleeping is par for the course when you’re a parent. 

Is she safe? Is she too hot? Is she too cold? Is she still breathing? These are all very real questions we ask ourselves at night after we put our kids to bed.

As more than 3,000 babies die each year as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation or strangulation, our concerns are very real. That’s why it’s important to take the right precautions when we leave our babies to sleep in their cribs. 

What are the rules and recommendations when it comes to blankets, weighted blankets and sleep sacks?

The truth is that there has been a bit of confusion among consumers surrounding one of our most popular products here at Dreamland Baby, our weighted baby sleep sack, so we’d like to review the corresponding research and clear up any doubts in this article.

What does the AAP say in its Safe Sleep Recommendations?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a professional association of pediatricians that is dedicated to providing resources on the health, well-being and safety of infants, children and adolescents, has published its opinion in its Safe Sleep Recommendations.

What do they recommend when it comes to blankets, weighted blankets and sleep sacks?

The AAP recommends that parents do not put blankets in the crib with children under one year old at least. In fact, they expressly state that “Soft objects such as pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and loose bedding can obstruct an infant’s nose and mouth.”  

Furthermore, they say “Infant sleep clothing is preferable to blankets and other coverings to keep the infant warm. A large percentage of infants who die of SIDS are found with their head covered by bedding. Therefore, no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could obstruct infant breathing or cause overheating should be in the bed.”

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) echoes these same recommendations here.

It goes without saying that weighted blankets would also pose a risk to babies, especially given that they weigh more than normal blankets and, of course, babies would not be able to remove them if they were to cover their faces. Weighted blankets in the crib would pose a serious danger to your baby’s well-being.

In short, parents should not put blankets—weighted or otherwise—in the crib with children if they are under 1.

In view of these dangers, Dreamland Baby’s created an innovative product that takes into account the AAP’s and CDC’s recommendations, is completely safe, and can help your baby sleep better: its weighted sleep sack

It’s important to note: this is not a weighted blanket, which could be potentially dangerous but, rather, a weighted sleep sack.

What is appropriate infant sleep clothing?

You should dress your baby in appropriate sleep clothing at night and no more than one layer more than you would wear to reduce the risk of overheating.

The AAP says, “If you are worried that your baby is cold, use a wearable blanket, such as a sleeping sack, or warm sleeper that is the right size for your baby. These are made to cover the body and not the head. You can use layers of clothing if necessary when it is very cold.”

Wearable blankets are a wonderful sleep solution when it comes to keeping your baby warm. They do not pose a danger to obstructing your baby’s breathing and there are countless models available, including with and without arms, to keep babies warm but protect them from overheating.

We can see the AAP’s sleep sack recommendations echoed here, here and also here

Dreamland Baby’s weighted blanket

Sleeping with a weighted blanket has a wide range of benefits but it clearly poses a risk for babies. 

With this in mind, Tara Williams and her team created a totally unique weighted sleep sack for babies.

As they are wearable blankets, this prevents the risk of suffocation, and they are sleeveless, which reduces the risk of overheating. The weight is conservative, at just 10% of a baby’s body weight, which gives it a gentle, soothing effect that does not impede movement.

Babies can roll, sit and stand easily in their weighted sleep sack and essentially do anything a baby could do in a non-weighted sack. 

The AAP and the CDC offer general advice and do not recommend or dissuade consumers from buying specific products. 

Neither the AAP nor the CDC has ever told consumers not to buy Dreamland Baby’s weighted sleep sack. 

What they have said is that babies under 1 should not sleep with loose blankets or weighted blankets. Our product is neither of those.

In the news

There was one known incident involving a loose weighted blanket. In 2014, an infant in a licensed childcare facility died as a result of SIDS after a weighted blanket was placed over the child’s legs when he was lying face down.

What’s unclear is how heavy the weighted blanket was, but we can assume it was heavy enough to pin the child down. It’s also worth noting that the blanket was homemade, loose and unregulated.

Dreamland Baby’s product for infants is a sleep sack, not a blanket, and it is 10% of less of your baby’s body weight. A pilot study showed that these were safe at 20%. Models are available for babies aged 0 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months, and 12 to 24 months.

Wearable blankets are safe, regular and weighted blankets are not

Just to recap: Does the AAP recommend weighted blankets for babies? The answer to that is “no.” 

Does the AAP recommend any kinds of blankets in babies’ cribs? They do not, nor does the CDC. Weighted blankets, and blankets in general, can pose a danger to babies under 1 sleeping in their cribs.

What they do recommend are sleep sacks or wearable blankets, which is what Dreamland Baby sells, with the added bonus that they are lightly weighted, giving your baby the sensation of being hugged while he or she sleeps.