Stuffed animals are soft and cuddly, which make them great companions for babies and toddlers. The innocent, cute-looking toys may seem like the ideal choice of toys to buy for your baby or someone else. But are all soft toys suitable for babies? Are they safe for babies of all ages? How do you pick the right one?
Find the answers to these questions and more in this MomJunction post on buying stuffed animals for babies and the 15 best options for infants and toddlers.
Things to Check When Buying A Stuffed Animal Toy
You should be careful about the type of toys, including stuffed toys, you buy for babies and toddlers. Here are the five things to check when buying stuffed animals for babies.
- Check the stitching: Stuffed animals usually have many parts stitched together. Check the quality of the stitching, and how the other parts, such as the eyes, tail, and nose, among others, are attached to the toy before you buy it. Small, detachable plastic parts can come off the toy when pulled and could become a choking hazard for the baby. You may avoid the risk by choosing stuffed animals that have eyes made of fabric and not plastic.
- Inspect color: Some inferior quality stuffed toys may give away color. Avoid toys with gaudy and sparkling colors since the paint may not be baby-safe. Pick toys made of organic fabric colors or dyes.
- Short fur for young babies: Stuffed animals with short fur, of a few centimeters, are safer for babies. The short fur doesn’t easily come off or fall, and removes the risk of the baby chewing or swallowing strands of fur they could choke on.
- Electronic module out of baby’s access: Some stuffed toys have an electronic module that is used for producing light and sound effects. Such components should ideally be nestled and zipped in a pouch within the toy beyond the baby’s access.
Check these points to ensure the toy is safe for the baby to play. Also, go for washable toys.
Most importantly, ensure that the baby does not sleep with the stuffed animal toy, as it could increase the risk of suffocation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, stuffed toys could increase the risk of suffocation since the baby can roll over the soft toy, which could restrict their airflow (1).
Stuffed toys could be placed on the bed when the baby is 18 months old and is allowed to sleep with a pillow (2). However, it is best to avoid placing any toys on the child’s bed. Let them play with the toys in the play area or play gym.
Next, we give you a list of stuffed animals you can consider buying for your little one.
15 Best Stuffed Animals For Babies
1. Infloatables Llama Stuffed Animal
- The tiny stuffed animal toy is shaped like a llama and comes with an adorable little blanket of its own, with the words “No ProbLlama” written on it.
- The toy comes with a jovial faux birth certificate for parents to fill.
- It comes wrapped in a ribbon, which makes it an ideal toy for gifting.
- The plush toy is made from high-quality materials.
2. Gund Baby Animated Flappy The Elephant Plush Toy
- A button on each foot of the elephant toy activates the electronic functions. The stuffed animal flaps its ears to cover its eyes automatically to play a game of peek-a-boo.
- The surface of the toy’s fabric can be cleaned with a cloth soaked in soapy or plain water.
- The material is soft and huggable.
- The details, such as the eyes and the claws, are embroidered and not made of plastic.
3. Ebba Lil Benny Phant
- The baby elephant stuffed animal stays in a seated position and features an adorable facial expression.
- The huggable toy is made from plush fabric.
- The materials used to make the toy are soft and durable.
4. Gund Philbin Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal
- This stuffed animal for babies and toddlers is available in two sizes: 12 and 18 inches.
- The bear is designed to stay in a seated position.
- One of the impressive features of this toy animal is its adorable paw pad accents.
- The front arms are arched to allow a child to hug the teddy bear.
- It is surface-washable.
5. Melissa & Doug Penguin Giant Stuffed Animal
- The life-like penguin stuffed toy stands on two feet, which makes it a suitable toy for older toddlers.
- The soft fur fabric is made entirely of polyester.
- This soft toy captures the features of the penguin, such as flippers, webbed feet, and colored neck, in detail.
- The toy stays in a standing position just like a real penguin.
6. Baby Gund My First Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal
- The eyes and nose of the teddy bear are embroidered into the stuffed animal for safety.
- The entire toy is made from soft and plush fabric, which makes the teddy bear quite huggable.
- It is machine washable; you can toss the teddy bear into the machine for a thorough wash.
7. Jellycat Bashful Beige Bunny Stuffed Animal
- The toy is available in seven sizes ranging from five inches to 50 inches.
- It is made out of polyester.
- The bunny-shaped stuffed toy is designed to be cuddly and comfortable for a baby to hold.
- Only surface-washable.
8. Aurora World Miyoni Fawn Stuffed Animal
- The stuffed animal is shaped like a fawn in a crouched, seated position.
- The attention to detail with the use of realistic fur, color choice, and patterns give it a realistic look.
- The plastic eyes appear realistic and are stitched close to the body.
9. Ebba Loppy Giraffe Stuffed Animal
- The stuffed animal has embroidered eyes and horns, thus making it safe for use by the baby.
- The neck of the soft toy is of the right size to be grabbed by tiny hands of a little one.
- A rattle stitched within the belly of the stuffed animal makes sounds when the toy is moved.
10. Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse
- It is shaped like a large, cuddly seahorse with endearing eyes and an innocent expression.
- Its electronic module can play five minutes of music, eight minutes of lullabies, and soothing ocean sounds.
- The belly of the stuffed animal glows when the toy is gently squeezed. The light has a soft yellow glow to it.
- The electronic module can be switched off, and parents can also control the volume level.
11. EpicKids Penguin Plush Stuffed Animal
- The stuffed animal for babies stands at only five inches, which babies can hold comfortably.
- You can carry the toy in a bag while traveling with the baby.
- There are no buttons or plastic eyes on the toy. All parts are embroidered.
- The toy can be washed by hand in cold water.
12. Wild Republic Cuddlekin Sloth Stuffed Animal
- The stuffed sloth toy has an incredible amount of detail, including fur made of high-quality fabric.
- The soft and cuddly toy makes an ideal gift for toddlers.
- The arms of the stuffed animal are long enough to be wrapped around the neck of a toddler.
13. Melissa & Doug Burrow Bunny Rabbit
- The stuffed toy is made of soft, plush fur, realistic nose, eyes, and paws.
- The hind paws of the stuffed animal are broad and make it look cuter.
- The large floppy ears can cover the eyes – you can make the baby play peek-a-boo with the toy.
- The fabric is made from soft polyester and is surface-washable.
14. Gund Nayla Cockapoo Dog Stuffed Animal
- The stuffed toy resembles the Cockapoo, a cute breed of dog. The toy features a fur color that is same as the that of a Cockapoo.
- The materials are soft, plush, and comfortable for a baby to cuddle.
- The soft toy is surface-washable.
- The eyes of the stuffed animal are stitched firmly close to the toy. It helps prevent the eyes from coming off.
15. Marsjoy Green Stuffed Dinosaur Plush Stuffed Animal
- The dinosaur is made from plush material and is filled with soft polypropylene cotton.
- The stuffed animal is designed to stand on its own, on all four legs.
- The toy is surface-washable for easy maintenance.
If your baby has a favorite animal, getting them that specific stuffed animal toy can make them happy. Just make sure that the toy is safe for the child – the fabric used and the attachment if any should not pose a risk to the baby’s safety. Keep checking for any tears or damages to the stitching that could reveal or let out the small pieces of foam or other stuffing that the baby can put in their mouth.
What is your baby’s favorite stuffed animal? Do tell us in the comment section below.
2. Safe Sleep: Bedding, Pillows, Safety and More; United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
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