I have encountered some health practitioners saying that it is OK for a baby over 6 months to sleep with a special toy e.g. a teddy for comfort if the child is waking lots at night needing comfort. What is the red nose stance on this? What age would it be OK for a child to sleep with a teddy?
Red Nose recommends the following:
“Keep soft toys out of the sleeping environment for babies under seven months of age because they may cover the nose and mouth and interfere with breathing.”
“The risk posed by suffocation by the presence of soft objects in the baby’s sleeping environment outweighs any benefit to the baby from a soft toy. It is therefore advised not to place soft toys and other soft objects in the cot for babies under seven months of age.”
“However, some babies over seven months of age may appreciate a small object such as a soft toy to provide comfort and connection (transitional object) during times of separation from their parent.”
It is important also to remember that some older children may use toys and other soft objects in the cot to help them climb over the side.
“Older babies in a cot can be at an increased risk of a sleeping accident by using pillows and bumpers as a step to climb up and fall out of the cot. It is safer to wait until the child starts to sleep in a bed before introducing a pillow or other soft bedding.”