Study Shows Babies Who Sleep on Sheepskin Are Less Likely to Develop Asthma

As if you needed another reason to break out that cozy sheepskin blanket, a recent study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress indicates that babies who sleep on animal furs, like sheepskins, during their first three months have a lower risk of suffering from asthma and allergies at age 10. You know what this means, right?? There is actually scientific evidence out there indicating that shearling hides can help keep your family healthy. So, the next time you go to swaddle your infant, put your baby down for a nap or lay down for a quick doze yourself, consider using a cozy sheepskin patchwork quilt instead of your usual blanket.

Sheepskin Can Help Regulate Temperature

The practice of using animal fur as bedding in babies’ cribs has long been popular in Germany, where new parents often use the wooly hides to create a soft, cozy sleeping environment for their little ones. Sheepskins in particular are the animal fur of choice in this case, because they are usually pesticide-free and the skin’s hollow fibers can naturally regulate the baby’s temperature, keeping him or her warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The same applies to our collection of cozy sheepskin slippers, vests and boots at The Sheepherder, which the whole family can wear year-round in warm weather and cold.

Lower Risk of Asthma & Allergies With Shearling

There may be another benefit to adding a sheepskin throw or blanket to your baby’s crib though, according this new study, which found that kids who slept on shearling and other types of animal furs as babies were less likely to suffer from asthma, wheezing, hay fever and other allergies later in childhood, by age 10. And while some warn that soft sleeping surfaces may be unsafe for babies, the researchers involved in this new study of 2,441 German children found plenty of benefits associated with exposing babies to animal furs during their first three months, with sheepskin being the most popular type of hides.

Sheepskin and the Hygiene Hypothesis

The idea that exposure to animal furs like shearling hides can result in healthier kids dates back to 1989, when David Strachan, an epidemiologist in Britain discovered that babies born into households with several siblings, and those who attended day care, were less likely than other kids to suffer from asthma and allergies as older children. Over the past 25 years, numerous studies have supported Strachan’s hypothesis, known as the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that babies exposed to small quantities of bacteria and germs at a young age have stronger immune systems when they get older.