When is it safe to add a stuffed animal to the crib of a baby

Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Quinn Dombrowski

Babies and stuffed animals just go together, right? But sadly, stuffies can be dangerous for sleeping babies. They increase the risk of the so-called SIDS.

It’s well known that stuffed animals have a lot of benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for example suggests to parents to use stuffed animal to comfort their child.

They can use stuffies to help kids fell to sleep or when they are stressed out. Specialists call the toys “transitional objects” which help kids transition from dependence do independence as they grow up.

But while stuffies do help, they can also be dangerous to infants. They can fall onto the baby and actually suffocate the child, since he or she is not strong enough to move it.

This is why it is best to keep a stuffed animal with the baby before he or she falls asleep. Then remove it from the crib then the baby is sleeping. The same goes for pillows and blankets, too. Instead, keep a well tucked sheet. Also, keep the baby sleeping on their back in a crib.

After your baby turns 1-year-old and is big and strong enough, you can add a plushie to the crib during sleep, too. Again, keep the toys to a minimum and opt for small enough stuffed animals that are easy to move.

The stuffie should not have detachable pieces, buttons or hard eyes. If it has clothes, they shouldn’t be removable.

And that’s pretty much it. You should hold off on keeping a stuffed animal in the crib during sleep until the baby is at least a year old. Before that keep it only until she or he is awake and you are also keeping a very close eye on the situation. This way stuffies will be able to bring only good things to the daily lives.