The majority of first-time parents worry about letting their baby sleep with stuffed animals in their cribs! Letting a baby keep their stuffed animal by their side while they sleep could be a risky move.
However, as the baby grows up and ages, having toys for cribs is a great way to comfort them and help them sleep better.
Crib toys to help baby sleep are becoming increasingly common for parents to buy for their babies. However, the question still exists: what age can my baby sleep with a stuffed animal?
It is well known that young children don’t always sleep well. Luckily, having baby stuffed animals around them to comfort them may help ease their distress.
Why Let Baby Sleep with a Stuffed Animal?
Sleeping with a stuffed animal can help your baby to sleep better. However, this is only relevant when your baby is old enough to have a stuffed animal to sleep with.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a very real risk for babies who have a stuffed toy in their cot with them while they sleep. Indeed, it is said that the rate of SIDS has doubled since the turn of the century!
As such, young babies should not be given toys to sleep with due to the risks associated with these. Only older babies should be given safe crib toys to help them relax. But when do they reach this age?
When Can Babies Sleep With a Stuffed Animal?
Most people seem to think nowadays that the right age for babies to be given their first baby sleep bear or stuffed toy to sleep with once they are able to move about freely and completely on their own. The logic behind this is that a baby who can roll over, sit up, crawl, cruise, or walk on their own, won’t be at such a high risk of SIDS.
Most babies will hit this milestone at around 1 to 1.5 years of age. So, if you want to get some plush toys for babies to go in your little one’s crib, wait until they hit the 18 month milestone first to be safe.
In summary: once your baby can move about on his or her own, you can look at getting him a stuffed toy. If he cannot do this, though, you should not get him a toy. This is because you may be putting him at risk of sudden infant death syndrome by giving him a stuffed toy or pillows when he is too young!
What will you choose? Toddler Pillows or Soft Toys?
Many new parents will think about getting their little one a toddler pillow instead of a soft toy. These both come with different benefits and drawbacks.
Understanding which type of comfort toy is better for your toddler will help you get him the right sort of comforter.
Pillows for toddlers are one thing that can help your toddler get comfy. Pillows should not be given to babies, though, due to the risk of SIDS. Once your toddler is 18 months or older, and has full control over their movements, a pillow could help them to relax.
However, toddlers do not “need” pillows, and this is a common misconception. In fact, since their heads are so much smaller than an adult’s head, they don’t need the extra neck support that adults and older children benefit from.
It is worthwhile to remember that toddlers are escape artists, too. If you get your toddler a pillow for his crib, make sure you remember that he could potentially use it to climb out!
Soft toys are another option. Soft toys are useful since they allow a toddler or baby to have a sense of companionship.
On the other hand, toys that are too big could potentially pose a danger to a young baby. You should only ever choose safe stuffed animals for your baby’s crib for this reason. But do you know how to choose the right toy?
- Pillows should not be given to babies under 18 months of age, due to the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Once your toddler has control over their movements a pillow could help them to relax.
- Toddlers do not need pillows, and this is a common misconception. In fact, since their heads are so much smaller than an adult’s head, they don’t need the extra neck support that adults and older children benefit from.
- Toddlers are escape artists. If you get your toddler a pillow for his crib, make sure you remember that he could use it to climb out!
- Soft toys are useful since they allow a toddler or baby to have a sense of companionship.
- Toys that are too big could potentially pose a danger to a young baby. You should only ever choose safe stuffed animals for your baby’s crib for this reason.
The Best Stuffed Animal for Baby to Sleep With
When it comes to choosing the best stuffed animal for your toddler, you should consider numerous factors.
The most important thing when you are choosing a stuffed animal is the size. Giant stuffed animal beds are not suitable for babies and toddlers, due to the risk of suffocation.
Toys that are too big can easily fall on and smother your baby. Select a smaller toy instead that won’t put your baby at risk of suffocation.
This can seem a little strange for parents of toddlers. People do not entirely understand what a 3 year old should know educationally. This means that they wrongly assume that their toddlers will be able to get away from a large toy that falls on them. Sadly, this is sometimes not the case.
It only takes a toddler to panic when their toy falls on them for them to get smothered.
Choosing the best-stuffed toy for your baby is easy. You just need to consider a few simple factors.
The best-stuffed toys for babies will be small and lightweight. This will allow your baby to move away from it easily if the toy happens to fall.
Choose a stuffed animal that does not have any eyes, nose, etc that could become removed from the stuffy and become a chocking hazard.
Similarly, baby toys should have no sharp materials. The best ones are made from soft materials such as fabrics.
The best way to check if the toy you have chosen is right is to look at the packaging. Soft toys should have a recommended age on them.
Picking a toy within the recommended age for your baby will help you keep your baby safe with his new stuffed toys.
Further recommendations and guidelines are available from WebMD.