- I have found that it's best to wash the stuffed animals in a hot, regular cycle with mild detergent. Some of our stuffed animals have been in the middle of a sickness so they have definitely needed to be washed. The animals lose a little bit of their softness, washing changes the feeling of the fur slightly, but it's not noticeable enough to my kids. You can also sanitize it if your washing machine has that option.
- I also dry all the softies that I wash, because my child rarely can wait any longer to get their special friend back. I have never had any issues with putting sofies in the dryer.
- Each of my kids have a special softie. My son has a puppy, my daughter has a kitty, and my baby has the bunny. If you want to give your child a softie you should check what it's made out of and the care instructions. The fibers should be easy to clean like polyester or cotton. I often ignore the care instructions and do it the way I think is best. After learning about fibers and textiles in college I realize that a some of care instructions are just trying to protect the company. Also, a softie should have no buttons or plastic pieces to fall off and be choked on by little babies and toddlers.
- My kids get afraid of their softie being washed, so I always let them be apart of the process. They get to put their stuffed animal in the wash and then help move the wet wash to the dryer. They get excited about helping and feel so grown up. It helps them take responsibility about keeping their softie clean also.
Here is the bunny, clean from the washer and fresh from the dryer. The day after I washed this bunny and took pictures, the bunny was literally thrown in the toilet. So right back into the wash it went!
5 First Birthday Gift Ideas1. Cute Stuffie - I love giving a new stuffed animal to my babies when they turn 1. It's a toy that they'll actually play and snuggle with. I fell in love with this Super Elephant Doll from Estella. I love that it's a superhero and that it's an animal. Estella has their hand knitted items ethically made by women in Peru. Besides being completely adorable, I love supporting companies that manufacture ethically. The little cape is removable. Since I'm giving it to my baby girl, I decided to hand sew the cape on and the knot closed. I didn't want to worry about the cape falling off.
2. Active Wooden Toy - Both my older kids loved wooden toys that they could be really rough with. (Or as rough as a one year old can be.) My son loved the Pound and Roll Wooden Tower (affiliate link) and my daughter loved the MULA Multicolor Stacking Rings. I love wood because the knicks and scratches just make them look loved and worn. I also love that these toys require imagination and involvement;
Striped Whale Lovey. I love that the tail comes off the edge for a perfect little hand hold.
soft family picture book with just our little immediate family, but I really want to make one with all our extended family.
5. Soft Rattle - My baby still loves shaking rattles and making noise so a little rattle is perfect. Especially for those outings where she needs to be occupied in the stroller or in my lap. Rattles are great for throwing in a gift to give it that little extra something. This Pineapple Rattle is just adorable. Estella has lots of "food" rattles, and they are so quirky and perfect. They also have lots of cute animal rattles like this Owl Rattle.
Happy birthday, baby girl!