Are Crochet Blankets Safe for Babies?
As a parent, your child’s safety is your number one priority at all times. This is especially true if you’re a new parent with a tiny little baby at home. You probably question everything, from diaper choice to the music played within earshot of your newborn, and that includes that gorgeous afghan baby blanket you received at the baby shower. It’s so pretty, and so lovely that it was handmade, but still, the question nags at the back of your mind: Are Crochet Blankets Safe for Babies?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear yes or no answer to this question, no singular blanket policy. Many factors go into deciding when, where, and how to use not just a crochet blanket but any baby blanket at all.
When to Use a Crochet Baby Blanket
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is an incredibly scary phenomenon in which infants who have been put down for the night simply never wake up. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, because it happens for seemingly no reason. There are a few things that can be done to help reduce the risk of SIDS, though, and a commonly suggested tip is to avoid putting soft things such as pillows and baby blankets in the crib, according to a report from CBS News. That, unfortunately, includes afghans.
So at what point can you start introducing a blanket into your baby’s nighttime routine? Again, answers vary. A couple good rules of thumb include waiting until your baby can roll over or move the blanket without help, according to Patricia-Anne Tom from Popsugar. Other advice suggests waiting until your child is a year or a year and a half, or until they move from a crib to a toddler bed.
That’s not to say you can’t ever use a baby afghan! There are plenty of uses for that beautiful crochet pattern besides sleeping. Eliza Martinez from Livestrong recommends using the blanket for extra warmth while you hold them, or spreading it out on the floor for a soft surface on which your baby can play.
Making A Safe Baby Blanket
Knowing the appropriate times for using a crochet baby blanket is not the only important factor when it comes to proper blanket safety. There are things you can do when you make a blanket for a baby — whether it’s your own or intended as a gift — that will help keep them safe and happy.
- Choosing the right yarn: There are plenty of yarns out there designed for babies, but as Rhelena from Rhelena’s Crochet Blog points out, you don’t just want a yarn for any baby, but one designed for your baby specifically. Babies are different, and as a parent you know what’s best for your child better than anyone. When you buy the yarn, think about factors like the season, which materials would be harmful to your baby’s skin, and whether or not the yarn is sturdy enough to hold up against exploring hands and mouths.
- Avoid open knit patterns: While one of the great advantages of crochet blankets is that they do tend to be more breathable than, say, fleece, due to the small holes in the pattern, that doesn’t mean the bigger the hole the better. Lacy, open patterns run the serious risk of entrapping your child’s fingers and limbs.
- Weave in ends: In a similar vein as above, to avoid fingers and toes getting caught and cutting off circulation, it is imperative to weave in your ends, according to The Lavender Chair. This, as well as the other tips in the section, can be applied to any baby crochet project, not only blankets.
Baby Blanket Projects
If you do decide to go the crochet baby blanket route, there are plenty of wonderful DIY projects to choose from. These are some of our best baby blanket patterns.
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