Are Crochet Blankets Safe for Babies? (How to Make Them Safer)

 Crocheted blankets are one of the nicest gifts to make for a baby because they’re thoughtfully handmade and beautiful. But whether you’re a parent, or the crafty friend of a parent-to-be, you may be wondering: are they safe? 

It’s NOT safe to put anything soft, including crochet baby blanket, in the crib with an infant under 12 months old. You can start using blankets in the crib with the baby when they turn 1. Until then, there are many other ways the baby can safely enjoy the blanket. Crocheters can follow a few steps to make a safer baby blanket. 

Anything soft such as blankets, toys, or pillows should not be placed in an infant’s crib until the child is a year old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. These items can cause smothering, suffocation, entrapment, or Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

It’s thought that soft objects may end up in the baby’s face and block their airway. Babies can’t roll over until they’re 4 months old. They may not be able to pull an object away from their face. 

How to Make Blankets Safer

People used to think that the gaps and holes in some crocheted blankets makes the blankets safer for babies. But these holes lead to other risks. 

A granny square blanket

A baby’s fingers, toes, and even limbs can get caught in these holes. Lacey blankets or sweaters are not recommended for baby items for this reason. They look beautiful, and can be wonderful props for a photo shoot. Lacey items should only be allowed near the baby under careful supervision. 

Beads and ornaments may be pretty, but they’re best left off baby blankets. There’s the risk they may come loose and turn into a choking hazard. 

Tassels and ribbon strands are also not recommended. These can become wrapped around the neck of the baby and choke the child. 

Any yarn ends in a blanket should be carefully weaved in. Edgings or borders should need to be secured to prevent them from unraveling. If any of these come loose, the baby could end up putting it in her mouth and choking. 

Wash the blanket before giving it to the baby. Yarn can pick up all sorts of things in the store. I have purchased yarn that somehow ended up with a heavy fragrance on them. The scent must have been rubbed off from other merchandise in the store, or it may come from perfume from another customer who picked them up. The scent lasted months, and gave me allergies every time I worked with that yarn. 

Yarn is exposed to many substances during the manufacturing process. Some of these may be irritating to the skin. This is another reason to wash the blanket before giving it to the baby.

When washing, use fragrance-free and dye-free soap if possible, and leave out the dryer sheet. Dryer sheets can contain substances that can lead to skin reactions, allergies, or asthma. 

If you are crocheting a blanket and gifting it to a family with a baby, it’s a good idea to let the family know whether or not you have pets. They can then wash the blanket and ensure it’s free of pet dander. You can wash it yourself, but it’s likely that your washer or dryer already has fur or dander in it from previous loads of laundry. 

Ways to Safely Use Baby Blankets

But the baby can still enjoy that thoughtful gift of a handmade blanket, under supervision.

The blanket can be used to keep the baby comfortable and warm while she’s being held by an adult. 

Crocheted blankets also make beautiful props in photos withe the baby. 

They’re wonderful as decoration in the baby’s room, as long as they’re kept away from the crib. Do not drape it over the crib, because it may fall in. 

A baby sits on a blanket

You can also place the blanket on the floor to provide a soft and warm place for the baby to sit during playtime. This should be done under careful supervision. 

When the baby graduates from using a crib to a toddler bed, you can use the blankets to start keeping her warm, according to First Candle, an organization dedicated to preventing SIDS.

Many people consider it a good rule of thumb to start using blankets when their baby is able to roll over on her own, at around 6 months. But this can still be dangerous. There have been fatal accidents involving blankets and babies who were old enough and strong enough to roll over.

The general consensus is that it’s better to leave blankets and soft items out of the crib until at the baby is at least 1 year old.

Other Crocheted Items That May Be Dangerous for Babies

You can still crochet wonderful things for a baby. Just know that some precautions should be followed. 

A crocheted toy with embroidered eyes

Crocheted toys, also known as amigurumi, are a very popular gift for all ages, including babies. Many people use safety eyes in these toys.

Safety eyes are named as such because they have a washer that attaches to the back of the eye, which should hold secure it to the fabric. This is supposed to make it safer. However, sometimes, both the eye and the washer can come loose together, and pose a choking hazard. 

For this reason, safety eyes are not recommended in any toy for children under 3 years old. Instead, you can crochet a circular or oval eye, or sew on a felt eye. Embroidering an eye is also a popular and safe alternative. 

Make sure your toys have no small parts that can be pulled loose. There should also be no gaps in the fabric, so that stuffing can’t fall out or be pulled out. Stuffing can become a choking hazard. 

Because they’re soft, such toys should not be allowed in the crib with the baby unsupervised. 

Crocheted mobiles may look cute and match the nursery decor, but it’s safer to not use them above the crib. There’s a risk they can fall into the crib with the child. 

For the same reason, any artwork above the crib should be removed. As the baby grows older, she may be able to pull items onto herself, or get herself tangled up in them. 

How to Keep a Baby Warm at Night

If young babies can’t sleep with a blanket, how do they stay warm at night?

Babies can keep themselves pretty warm as long as they’re dressed properly. With the right clothing, a baby will be fine without a blanket.

First, remove all items from the crib, including crib bumpers. The mattress should have a tightly fitted sheet on it. 

Dress the baby in a soft, breathable fabric like cotton. Make sure the clothes fit snugly. 

Footie pajamas, swaddles, and sleep sacks are popular choices for keeping babies warm and comfortable overnight. 

Keep the room around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (which is 20-22 degrees Celsius.) It’s recommended that the room be on the cooler side to prevent overheating. 

The crib should be positioned out of the way of any drafts from the windows, the heating vent, or the air conditioner. 

Check in periodically to make sure the baby is comfortable. 

If the baby is too hot, her chest might feel hot, her face may be red, she may be breathing quickly, or she may be sweating.

If the baby’s chest feels cold, she may need more clothing. You can put on an extra layer. 

Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS in a baby, so don’t overdress her. Generally, the most a baby will need in the proper environment is one more layer than what you would wear. 

One thought on “Are Crochet Blankets Safe for Babies? (How to Make Them Safer)

  1. I have found your information very helpful, thank you. I have been crocheting for many years, I’m 91 and usually crochet a triple stitch because it is pretty. I have made afghans, baby blanket, and even king size blanket. I also have made scarves for children and adults and hats. I use acrylic yarn mostly except for baby items. I am glad to see 6-8 inches is an acceptable width for scarves, I have been told that is too wide but I don’t agree with that.

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