Can a baby sleep with stuffed animals in the crib

Can a baby sleep with stuffed animals in the crib
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Quinn Dombrowski

Stuffed animals are very cute and we all love them. But it turns out they could be somewhat dangerous if a baby sleeps with them in the crib. Or is it so?

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) claims about 2600 lives each year. Little is known why this happens, but the general belief is that it has to do with possible build-up of carbon dioxide in the crib if it can’t ventilate properly due to the overuse of blankets and/or stuffed animals.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is saying that the risk of SIDS from stuffed animals is minimal after the age of 12 months. Naturally most babies would have formed a bond with a stuffie or two by that time, so they will want to have them at their side all the time.

There are several ways you can handle this. One is to give babies who are about six months old small stuffies that tare to be used by them. Another, even better way, is to monitor the baby and remove the toy as soon as the baby falls asleep. Also, don’t keep too much blankets in the crib.

A third way is to keep the toy suspended above the crib or near the crib but on the outside. Not all babies would approve that, though.

Also, keep track of the baby development when he or she plays with the stuffed toys. If the baby is able to sit up, roll over and push objects, especially if they fall on his or hers face, this is a good indicator the baby hand handle objects.

Before introducing a stuffed animal into the crib, make sure the toy doesn’t have any buttons or easily removable accessories, eyes and so on. You don’t want them to be torn off by the baby and possibly eaten.

Keep the toy regularly cleaned and fresh. This will ensure it is as germ-free as possible.

If you have doubts about your baby being able to handle not just a stuffed animal, but any toy, then stay on the safe side and only let them play with it when supervised and don’t keep the toys in the crib until the baby is above 12 months of age.