When Can Babies Sleep With A Stuffed Animal? (2022 Updated)

When Can Babies Sleep With A Stuffed Animal? (2022 Updated)

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Watching a baby sleep surrounded by stuffed animals sure looks adorable, though experts don’t prescribe placing plushies in your baby’s crib. However, the comfort of stuffed animals can help your baby sleep better at a certain age. 

But when can babies sleep with a stuffed animal? 

The Appropriate Age Babies Can Sleep With Stuffed Animals

Appropriate Age Babies Can Sleep With Stuffed Animals

By convention, most parents wait until the baby grows and can move about independently. Only older babies can roll over or even sit up if the stuffed toy makes them uncomfy.

Soft toys like the conventional stuffed animal are not as harmless as you think because they may cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) [1].

Most baby toys use soft materials so they can’t injure physically but can cause congestion or suffocation in extreme cases. 

What The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommends

AAP’s recommendation to prevent sudden infant death syndrome sits closely with most parents’ preconceptions [2]. According to the experts, parents must keep babies’ cribs free from clutter, including soft toys and crib bumpers, to reduce the risk factors and ensure safe sleep. 

Introducing soft materials into baby’s bear cribs is allowed once mobility is developed, typically after their first birthday (12 months), added the sleep consultants. 

Why Aren’t Babies Allowed To Sleep With Stuffies Yet

Why Aren’t Babies Allowed To Sleep With Stuffies Yet

The reason why stuffed-animal-sleeping has a bad rep among parents is because of sleep-related infant deaths. Though toys provide comfort to aid a child’s sleep, putting soft objects like new stuffed toys can be a risky move.

Any stuffed toy, blanket, or pillow in your child’s sleep space can easily fall on the baby’s face, resulting in accidental suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But what's the best stuffed animals for babies?

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Letting Babies Sleep With A Stuffed Animal

Pros:

Promotes Sleep

Most parents wrongly assume that sleeping with an infant stuffed animal can promote better baby sleep. While true, this only applies to a child who understands the psychological sense of peace and comfort brought about by the special toy. 

Otherwise, such items only introduce kids to danger, albeit not made with sharp materials.

Promotes Calmness

Promotes Calmness

Any form of fabric like a blanket or pillow-like toys adds warmth to your child’s bed, keeping your baby safe. Aside from helping your baby sleep, stuffed animals teach young kids to self-soothe and reduce their anxiety.

Plus, a cuddly companion develops their empathy. However, these concepts don’t apply to young babies. 

Promotes Imaginative Play

Every child needs a healthy dose of imaginative play, especially babies, since relating to their surroundings facilitates cognitive development.

Fluffy items like the good ol’ teddy bear can be an infant’s first companion and best friend, while safe crib toys like the toy hangers can stimulate the senses. 

Cons:

Risk of SIDS

Risk of SIDS

First-time parents worry about giant stuffed animal beds due to the prevalence of sudden infant death syndrome. While not the leading cause of SIDS, any fluffy baby toy can pose a very real risk to a baby’s well-being due to numerous factors.

Can Lead To Sinus Congestion & Breathing Problems

Any infant stuffed animal surrounding a baby is a choking hazard as they can collect dust over time which may adversely affect a baby’s breathing, resulting in clogged nostrils.

On the other hand, when a toy drops over a child’s face, it can lead to accidental suffocation.

Read: 

Is It Safe For Babies To Sleep With Stuffed Animals?

Is It Safe For Babies To Sleep With Stuffed Animals?

It depends on the baby’s age. A baby below the age of 1 shouldn’t sleep with stuffed animals because they pose health risks that can lead to death in extreme cases. 

Although soft toys have their benefits, like helping a child sleep better, the cons of exposing infants to plush toys are far too grave to risk. After a year, the risk of SIDS drops dramatically.

How To Choose The Right Stuffed Animal For Your Baby

When selecting the best-stuffed toy for kids, choose a smaller toy as they’re less invasive. Parents want what’s best for their children, but sometimes this means the larger toy, the better.

Unfortunately, even mobile toddlers are not free from SIDS if they get dropped with an oversized plushie, so it’s better to go with smaller stuffies in the first few years. 

FAQs

Where can you buy safe stuffed animals for babies?

You can find the best of the best stuffed toys in Toynk. We have everything from the online sensation Squishmallows to your famed Disney characters!

Just make sure to get your baby a plushie once they’re a little older (about 12 months) to eliminate SIDS risk factors.

What is the best-stuffed animal size for babies?

Smaller animal plushies are ideal for babies. Anything too big can increase SIDS risk if the large toy falls on them. A smaller stuffed animal is a perfect sensory toy and companion without being too much of a health concern for parents.

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying the benefits of having stuffed animal plushies surrounding children, but there are much larger risks when you fill a baby’s crib with soft objects.

The best course of action is to forego any stuffed animals until age 1 to reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths.

After the time, feel free to get them as many animal plushies as you like. Make sure to visit Toynk for the best stuffed animals!

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References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20352800
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK566620/

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