Can a Baby Sleep With a Blanket?

By: Jenn Kelner, CPA, CA
Certified Child Sleep Consultant

Maggie asks:

What is best for a newborn baby in the winter, a warm snuggly blanket or a thin baby blanket? I always worry that my baby will be too cold at night but a friend insists that a baby should just have a thin blanket. What is the best type of baby blanket for sleep?


If you want the absolute safest place for your baby to sleep, the best type of baby blanket is no blanket at all. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that there is no loose bedding in the crib, including bumper pads, quilts, comforters, duvets or pillows until the child is at least 12 months old. They do say however, that a light blanket can be used, but it’s better to dress the child in a warm sleeper to eliminate the need for blankets.

baby blanket

As Winter rolls in, it’s tempting to turn up the heat in the house but the whole family, babies included, will sleep better if the room temperature is cooler. Keep the air temperature around 20 degrees Celsius, but dress your child warmly. I love sleep sacks as an alternative to blankets because they are safe, they will keep your child warm, and they become a nice part of the bedtime routine. You can get thin, cotton sleep sacks for the warmer months, and thick, cuddly sleep sacks for the colder months. The sleep sack will become a sleep cue for your child, and help them get nice and drowsy for sleep. As an added bonus, sleep sacks can help prevent your curious toddler from climbing out of the crib.

When in doubt, go the safest route and avoid using any loose bedding or toys in the crib. All these items are a suffocation risk and have shown to increase the risk of SIDS.