The boys slept in this morning, which was great. It was after 9 when Bryson started waking up, but rather than rush to get him I had one of those feelings. Zachary always wakes first. He might not always make “get me” sounds, but he’s always awake first. Instead of opening Bryson’s door, I opened Zachary’s. A few steps in, I could see his hand stretched out in his crib and could make out that he was laying oddly, half on his back and half on his side. His hand wasn’t flat on the mattress, palm up, partially open. I followed his hand up to his arm, to his shoulder… and my heart stopped. His blanket was covering his face, over his head, and wrapped around his neck.
I don’t remember making it the next few steps to the crib, but I do remember pulling the blanket off of his neck and seeing him move his head, relief as I realized he was actively sucking his binky. I could see him breathing. He was stirring, he was alive, and he was going to be waking up so I got out of his room quickly, since he can kinda freak out if you’re standing there staring at him when he wakes up.
It took me over an hour to stop shaking. There’s a video monitor in both rooms, but in Zachary’s room it doesn’t have a view into the crib since we moved things around. We really didn’t think it would would be essential to see better into his crib with his being older, but we’ve learned our lesson and will be rectifying this as soon as possible. I had looked in on him, but couldn’t tell he was in trouble… and he really was. He was in trouble.
At 20 months, he’s well over the recommended age for a blanket, which is 12 months. Some experts even say that some children can have blankets as young as 6 months. He’s usually very good with them, can cover himself when he’s cold and will even untuck himself after you cover him just to cover himself. It’s one of his big boy things. I’ll never forget how proud he was of himself when it clicked for him and he showed me that he covered his legs, flashing me that huge smile and rubbing the smooth shiny side.
The point of all of this is that he’s above the recommended age. He’s used his blanket as a blanket should be used for months. Recently he discovered the joy that building a tent out of blankets brings, and he’s been “hiding” under blankets… my best guess is that he woke up and either “hid” or was “tenting” then laid down, rolled, went back to sleep, and could have slowly suffocated had I not walked in.
- Don’t assume that you don’t need to see into your crib since your baby is older. Your baby is still a baby, even if your baby is a toddler. Things can happen, and you need to know. This is when it’s great to have a video monitor, but it doesn’t do a damned bit of good if you can’t see into the crib.
- If you’re going to give your baby a blanket, put it over your face first. Hold it there. Can you breathe? How easily do you think your baby would be able to breathe?