I get a lot of questions about what stuffed animal eyes are safe for babies.
Even though craft eyes are often called safety eyes – they are not recommended for use in toys for children under the age of three.
I’m often asked, “can I use buttons instead”?
In short, the answer is no.
To explain why, let’s talk about why craft eyes aren’t baby safe for stuffed animals. It’s incredibly unlikely that the washer will accidentally come off of the back of the eye. (In fact, it’s pretty difficult to remove the washer from an eye with plastic ridges, as I showed in this blog post on how to remove craft eyes.)
The danger with craft eyes is that a baby (or dog) could chew through the fabric that the eye is attached to, dislodging the eye. A plastic eye securely attached to a scrap of shredded fabric is still a choking hazard.
Now what about buttons? Many people assume that since they’re sewn on, they’re more secure. But it’s not true. A baby can use their set of chompers to chew through the thread attaching it to the piece. It’s actually easier for a abby to chew through the threads holding a button eye in place than it is to chew through the fabric surrounding a craft eye.
Baby-safe stuffed animal eyes
For completely baby-safe stuffed animal eyes you have a few different options.
For crocheted stuffed animals, the easiest solution is to crochet the eye.
And they look fabulous! Just look at that adorable owl. You can get that owl pattern here, and there’s a tutorial here with a pattern for crocheted eyes that you can use with any stuffed animal.
Another option for baby safe stuffed animal eyes is felt.
There’s a post here with instructions to make felt eyes – including adding that little white spark. You can use felt eyes on both crocheted and sewn stuffed animals.
One more option for baby-safe softie eyes is to embroider them! This also works on both crocheted and sewn stuffed animals. On small stuffed animals you can use this stitch, and for larger eyes I recommend satin stitch or split stitch as fill stitch.
So many options- and all baby safe. Choose the one you like the look of best!