My baby girl is about to turn one years old! I can’t believe it’s been one year since she was born. She’s been a fairly easy baby, and I call her my angel baby. That is because she found her own special “pacifier”. When she was about 9 mos old she started using the arm of this tiny stuffed bunny as her pacifier. I am not super strict with cry it out at night, but she still found this bunny to sooth her at night. Since she started she has slept through the night and napped well even when she’s teething or sick. It’s pretty amazing because her siblings never figured that out. But because she sucks on the bunny arm, I have to wash it a couple of times a week to keep it clean. Since I’ve had a lot of practice, I’ll teach you how to wash stuffies.

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How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

How to Wash Stuffies

  • 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 sanitize the stuffie 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. I feel like the heat of the dryer will kill any last germs holding on.
How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
  • 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.
    • WARNING: A softie should have no buttons or plastic pieces to fall off and be choked on by little babies and toddlers.
How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
  • 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. It’s always a sweet reunion after the dryer is done!
How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

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!

How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

  1. 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.How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
  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. The kids play with the toys instead of the toys playing with the kids.How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas


  3. Lovey or a Blanket – My babies have each gotten baby blankets when they were born. It’s so nice to have extra blankets when you need them, but when they turn one it’s nice to give them a special lovey for snuggling at night or during naps. 
  4. Family Picture Book – A lot of our family lives far away, so I love introducing my little ones to all their relatives. I made a soft family picture book with just our little immediate family, but I really want to make one with all our extended family.How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
  5. Special Book – My first child was given the booWherever You Are: My Love Will Find You (affiliate link) which I love. I love how sweet it is, and I love reading lovey books like this to my kids. I literally tear up everytime I read it to one of my children. 
How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
Happy birthday, baby girl!
How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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