A common question is what toys, if any, you should have in the crib with your baby. This article will go over some pros and cons to having baby toys in the crib when it comes to your baby’s sleep.
Baby Toys in Crib – Newborns
To keep SIDS risks low, you should refrain from putting any soft objects in your baby’s crib, and that includes soft plush toys, blankets, pillows, etc. Make sure you read all information to reduce SIDS risks.
A mobile is a good toy to put above the baby’s crib, away from her face. A mobile provides visual stimulation and promotes brain development. Keep in mind that some mobiles are meant to stimulate baby and others are meant to soothe baby to sleep. Make sure you use it at appropriate times. If your baby gets too excited by the mobile, he might take longer to fall asleep or have trouble settling down.
Baby Toys in Crib – 8 to 12 Months
As your baby gets older, you may start to feel more comfortable adding more toys to your baby’s crib. You might consider introducing a baby lovey for comfort and adding a crib toy he can interact with such as this Ocean Wonders Musical Aquarium. The nice thing about a toy like this is that a) The music is soothing for sleep, b) It gives him something to play with if he isn’t quite ready for sleep, rather than cry, and c) once he is old enough, he can turn it back on himself in the middle of the night.
Baby Toys in Crib – Toddlers
There is one drawback to the crib toy mentioned above once a baby becomes a toddler (or sooner), depending on your baby’s perceptiveness. Too much to play with and it can get in the way of your baby or toddler going to sleep. At one point my son started playing with his aquarium (above) for up to an hour before falling asleep. He loved that toy, though, and he’d often turn it on in the middle of the night to help himself go back to sleep (bonus!), so I hated to remove it. One thing we did do, though, is make sure the light was off on the toy (there are 3 settings) because too much light made him stay up too long at night and stimulated him too much and we kept the volume low. We kept the aquarium until he went to a toddler bed around the age of 2 and I phased it out to avoid that “play factor”. We later got him a Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light along with a music CD to “keep him company” while he falls asleep (it stays on for 45 minutes with stars on the ceiling). It’s nice to cuddle at night “under the stars”, but thankfully there is nothing for him to “play” with, just his imagination.
The bottom line with baby toys in the crib is to find a good balance that is not too stimulating, but keeps her happy while falling asleep or when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Amazingly, there was a phase in my first son’s life where I actually would go in *too soon* in the morning while he hung out and relaxed. Coming from a time when he was a 4 month old baby who hated to be alone EVER in his crib, I was shocked to say the least!