When Can Baby Sleep With Lovey? An Age-by-Age Guide

You finally found the perfect lovey for your little one, and you can’t wait to put it in their crib. But when can baby sleep with lovey?

The guidelines around safe sleep change so often it’s hard to keep up. As a new parent, you have enough worries without adding more uncertainty.

The good news is there are some clear rules of thumb to follow based on your baby’s age.

Whether your little sweetheart is still a newborn, a few months old, or over a year old, this guide will give you the lowdown on when it’s okay for them to cozy up to a lovey for sleep.

Following the recommendations, the toys can be a safe and soothing addition to your baby’s bedtime routine. So read on to find out when your little love bug will be ready to cuddle up to their special friend at night.

Newborn to 6 Months: Keep Lovey Out of the Crib When Baby Sleep

Keep all loose bedding, toys, and loveys out of the crib for the first six months.

Newborns don’t have the motor skills to push away or lift their faces out of soft fabrics, so loose items pose a suffocation risk.

Once your baby can sit up unassisted, usually around six months, you can introduce a toy for sleep.

Look for a small stuffed animal, blanket, or toy roughly the size of your baby’s palm. Ensure loose parts like buttons, bows, or long ribbons have been securely fastened or removed.

Only put one lovey in the crib at a time, and avoid anything with small parts that could be a choking hazard.

It’s best to rotate 2-3 of them to wash one while the other is in use.

Always place it near the foot of the crib, away from your baby’s face.

Once your little one can scoot, roll, and crawl confidently, usually between 6 to 8 months, they will start moving the lovey around independently.

This might help you find out when babies roll over. At this point, keep a close eye to ensure the lovey stays safe from their face while sleeping.

Between 6 to 12 months, these toys offer comfort and security for your baby, but safety should always come first.

If you have concerns about the lovey posing risks of suffocation or entrapment, don’t hesitate to remove it from the crib.

Your baby’s safety is a top priority, so you can never be too cautious during these early months.

6 to 12 Months: Supervised Tummy Time With Loveys

Once your little one has mastered tummy time and sitting up, it’s time for supervised play with lovey during waking hours to ease the introduction of the toy when baby sleep.

Around 6 to 12 months, babies can start bonding with unique stuffed animals or blankets, but safety is critical.

Always supervise your baby during playtime with any toy.

At this age, everything goes straight into the mouth, and loose threads or stuffing can pose a choking hazard. Only introduce one lovey at a time so your baby isn’t overwhelmed.

Look for sturdy, well-made toys specifically designed for infants.

Placing the lovey just out of your baby’s reach will encourage them to scoot, crawl, or roll over to grab it, helping develop motor skills and coordination.

This also makes it more rewarding when your baby finally holds it! Let them explore the texture, then demonstrate how to pet or cuddle the toy gently.

Repeat the name of the lovey as they play to help them start associating the word and object.

Around nine months, your baby may start to prefer a particular toy. Once they can sit steadily without support, you can let them play with it while you do an activity nearby.

Always keep safety in mind and continue close supervision. With time and consistency, the lovey can become a source of comfort and security for your baby. Sweet dreams will be just around the corner!

12 Months and Up: Loveys Are OK, but With Precautions

Once your baby turns 12 months, it’s generally safe for them to sleep with a small stuffed animal or blanket, known as a “lovey.”

At this age, the risk of suffocation from these objects is lower. However, there are still some precautions you should take to ensure your little one’s safety and comfort.

Only introduce one at a time.

Don’t add multiple new stuffed animals, blankets, or toys to the crib simultaneously. Start with a small stuffed animal or blanket and see how your baby responds before adding anything else.

Ensure any lovey is appropriately sized for your baby and won’t pose a choking or entanglement hazard.

Check that the lovey is made of breathable, non-toxic materials. Soft cotton, fleece, and plush toys are good options. Avoid anything containing loose fillings like beans, pellets, or foam pieces.

Place it at the foot or side of the crib, not under your baby.

This prevents them from rolling or pulling the lovey over their face. You can also secure it to the crib or playpen to avoid bunching.

Use clips, Velcro, or ties to attach it to the side of the crib in a way your baby can’t easily undo.

Remove the lovey if your baby is teething or going through a developmental stage where they frequently put things in their mouth.

Wait until this passes before returning the toy to the crib. It’s also a good idea to wash loveys, stuffed animals, and blankets regularly according to the instructions to keep them clean and fresh.

With some precautions and close monitoring, introducing a toy can be a comforting next step for your 12-month-old.

But if you have concerns about their safety or sleep, don’t hesitate to remove the lovey from the crib. Your baby’s well-being should always come first.

Conclusion

It may seem like a small thing, but having that particular little stuffed animal or blanket to cuddle can mean the world to a baby and help them sleep more soundly.

Every baby is different, so watch for signs your little one is ready, and be sure to keep safety in mind.

That favorite little lovey will be well-loved for years when the time is right. Sweet dreams!

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