Stuffed toys are perhaps the most universally accepted gift all around for children and even adults sometimes. Every year, millions of these fluffy friends are created to serve as a comforting friend for children all over the world. The benefits that your child can gain by having these friends around are actually quite remarkable and can be a key factor in their development.
Today, we have compiled the 15 best stuffed animals that have been in high demand as dolls for kids and your child will certainly appreciate possessing one of those. Regardless of whether the gift is for a birthday, a Christmas present, or just an occasional special gift, we have it all. All these stuffed toys have a unique character name they go by and before you buy one, you should get acquainted with it too.
Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Stuffed Animals 2021
When you’re buying something for a child, every little thing should be inspected. Even with a stuffed toy, you have to keep several factors in mind before you make your decision.
1. Physical Development Of A Child
Stuffed toys can be beneficial in the physical development of kids in a number of ways. From the sensorimotor skills to their cognitive abilities, they can even have a severe impact on their social and emotional growth.
If the children are too small, that is if they are practically infants, their sensorimotor skills could get a much needed boost from stuffed toys. Plush toys have different colors, patterns, texture, and clothing which babies make note of. Later, when the time comes, it appears as formal knowledge, as if something they have known from the start.
It’s not only the psychomotor development of children that gets a boost from stuffed toys, though. They play an important part in the development of primary emotion in kids. To be clear, a child can’t express in words how much they love the soft texture of the toy. However, they are capable of showing it through their actions. They tend to smile or grin while holding on to their favorite plush toy. This is how they show you their emotions towards the plush toy.
For the slightly older ones, stuffed toys can be an excellent companion in their dream world. They are the perfect buddy for roleplaying. You have seen kids acting like a parent to their toy, trying to feed them, bathing them, and even dressing the toys at one point or another.
As adults, these things might seem as something that kids just do and we may think that it doesn’t help them in any way. However, the truth is that these activities give their creative side a push, leading them to imagine scenarios and situations and solutions to those situations. It has been proven by studies that the more a child gets to make use of their imaginative abilities, the higher is the shot they have at expanding their cognitive abilities. In this case, especially, their divergent cognition gets a visible boost.
One of the foundations for critical thinking, the one we base our logic and scientific thoughts on, is divergent thinking. It is this ability that creates a distinction between highly successful individuals and regular ones. So, it is important to try and expand upon the divergent thinking capabilities of a child, which in turn acts as a base for their logical and critical thinking capabilities.
Like we mentioned before, a huge part of children’s experience with stuffed toys revolves around pretend play. This is actually a good foundation for children to be social as well. They can build friendships which last for a long time and even make way for new ones. They can learn to share their stuffed toys with other kids, which, in turn, makes them a better person.
Usually, stuffed toys are made by stitching different parts of the body together. It’s advised that you pay special attention to the quality of the stitching. Check exactly how all the parts have been connected such as the arms, legs, eyes, tail and so on
If you see plastic parts detaching itself out of the toy when you pull it, it is best not to buy that particular toy. This could act as a choking hazard for kids if they try to munch on the small parts. A good way to avoid this scenario is to settle on a stuffed animal that has fabric for eyes instead of plastic material.
If the stuffed toy isn’t of good quality, it is quite likely to give off colors no one appreciates. Stay away from toys that are too sparkly or have gaudy paint on. Those colors are not usually safe for babies. It’s best to search for toys that are made of dye or organic fabric colors.
4. The Fur
The stuffed animals that have really short fur, a few centimeters long, are best for little kids. This type of fur can’t be torn off easily and will not fall at the slightest tug. Your baby isn’t at risk of chewing on it and swallowing it accidentally, either. They aren’t close to choking on the fur this way too.
5. Electronic Module
There are stuffed toys that produce light and sound effects. While these provide great entertainment for kids, they also have electronic modules inside them for the purpose. These modules should be secured inside the stuffed toy, preferably inside a pouch. They should be way beyond the child’s reach.
These are some of the points that will help you determine whether the toy is safe for your child.
Another thing you should keep in mind is to not let your baby sleep with the stuffed toy. We aren’t saying that they can’t cuddle them before sleeping but once the kids have fallen asleep, gently take it out of their grasp. Otherwise, the child suffers from a chance of suffocation, especially if the toy is big. This is because kids have a chance of rolling over stuffed toys, restricting their airflow in the process.
If your baby is at least over 18 months, you can place the stuff toys on the bed. However, it is best not to do so. Don’t place any kind of toy on your kid’s bed in general. Rather, it’s best to create a separate play area for them and take them there.
Things You Might Want To Know
There are more to stuffed toys than just benefits and safety. Here are some other things you might be curious about.
The cleaning process for stuffed toys involves a complicated solution. There are several ways one can try to do so. The best thing you can do is contact the manufacturer. The label may have specific cleaning instructions for their range of stuff toys.
There are stuffed toys you can put into the washer. There are others who should never go near a machine. A surface wash or lint roller can be used in this case.
2. Making Process
This is dependent on the manufacturer. There are lots of manufacturing companies out there and they all rely on different processes. Some stuffed toys are handmade while others are dependent on machinery.
If we had to describe the initial process and give an overview, it is complicated and simple at the same time. An idea for product development is made and then the design is submitted to the manufacturer. Samples are created so the shareholders and clients can take a look and approve. The raw materials are then ordered for testing.
Then the actual process begins where the fabric is cut and the material goes through a rigorous screening process. All the raw materials are then stitched together to create a lovely stuffed animal for the kids.
Top 15 Best Stuffed Animals for Your Kid 2021
1. Gund Baby Animated Flappy The Elephant Stuffed Animal Plush, Gray, 12″
This adorable 15 ounce gray baby elephant is 7.5 inches in length, 10.5 in width, and 12 in height. The elephant can play peek-a-boo with your kids by covering its eyes with the flappy ear. The stuffed toy also plays the song ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low’. What’s more, it’s in the voice of a cute child. It’s guaranteed to bring immeasurable delight to your kid. It is quite effective in making them feel as if they’re conversing with a living animal too. We can assure its safety for babies up to 2 years and older.
When your baby is playing with the stuffed animal, its ears flap, making your child squeal. The toy is essentially participating in the play with your child. The material for the toys is of high quality. It’s huggable and your child will have an amazing time touching and squeezing it.
While you can’t put the whole toy a machine wash due to the electronic module inside it, a surface wash is acceptable by the manufacturer’s own instruction. Three AA batteries are included with the purchase. It’s mainly for trial though. It is for the best if you buy polaroid AA batteries later on.
The limbs are super soft but what’s more, the gray color should fit just right for the eyes of a kid. It’s a good way to get them acquainted with the color.
2. Wild Republic Cuddlekin Three Toed Sloth 12″ Plush
A sloth isn’t usually the first choice of a stuffed animal for most kids. However, once you see this three-toed sloth and its furry body, it will be hard to resist. The 12 inch friend has been made with the finest fabric. The details are one to pay attention to with the cute button nose, shiny eyes, and brown eyebrows.
It’s the perfect toy for cuddling, what with the company even naming it under the Cuddlekin line. 8 ounces of this pretty friend is suitable for all genders. From head to toe, the toy is about 30 inches tall. If we measure the height while it is sitting, it is about 20 inches.
Of course, we can’t miss out on the educational quality of the toy. Sloths aren’t like other mammals. They spend their lives hanging from the tree branches, preferably upside down. As such, their legs have adapted to the purpose. You will see the stuffed animal sloth has toes pointing towards each other instead of the other way around.
If you gift it to your child, he or she will definitely be curious about this difference as well. While improving their cognitive and sensory skills, they can get some much needed education this way. It will raise the curiosity of your child and might even make them want to learn more about all other different kinds of animals. We have no choice but to admit this is one of the best stuffed animals for kids.
3. Bedtime Originals Plush Monkey Ollie, Brown
Bedtime Originals’ Brown Monkey known as Ollie might be one of the most favored plush toys around. For good reasons – if the yellow blush on its cheeks is anything to go by. The toy makes children feel at ease from the first exchange. It is the fun, cheeky friend every kid wishes to have. This is a plush toy that will be a companion in all their mini adventures.
No extra plastic material has been used for this toy. This all-around safe toy is something you can buy for your kids who are older as you can buy for the infants and babies. The eyes and nose have been stitched together with soft fabric instead of using any dangerous material. Thus, there is no compromise when it comes to the safety of a child.
The monkey’s tail is curled which your child will have fun tugging and playing with. The monkey is barely 8 inches tall and is one of the cuddliest toys you can touch. The color of the plush might be brown, but it’s available in two tones. One is the darker brown for the body and for the face and toes, it’s a lighter shade of brown.
The company has provided some careful instructions for washing the toy. You can machine wash it but keep it on the gentle cycle and tumble dry it on the low setting. Once done, immediately take it out of the wash.
4. Ebba Lil Benny Phant, Grey Plush
When it comes to the best stuffed animals, elephants will always be a fan favorite among kids. Elephants from different manufacturers are famous for their excellent quality. In this case, Lil Benny Phant is a lovely, gray plush toy whose popularity can be attributed to the facial expression and body of the toy. It is endearing, to say the least. Really young kids would enjoy touching it while older ones would feel the sudden rush of protection and parental feelings.
You will often see your kids feeding and trying to bath the small plushie. It’s soft to the touch and made so that children will enjoy touching the toy. The huggable toy has an interesting texture so that when little kids try to reach for the toy, their hand reflexively flexes on it. The plush barely weighs anything – about 1.6 ounces. Extremely small children can bear the weight without any problems.
In fact, the age range for this toy starts from 3 years old to 15 years old. Older children can enjoy sleeping with it while the younger children can play with as much as they want, but you shouldn’t let them sleep with the toy. The toy also has button eyes made of plastic so if you are planning on buying it for children younger than 3 years, do not do so.
5. Aurora 8″ Bitty (Bunny)
Aurora’s bunny, who is popularly known by the name Bitty, is one of the top choices for kids on Amazon. The age range is practically non-existent with this one. You can never be too old for this 8 inch sized toy who will make your insides melt. You don’t necessarily have to buy it for a child. You can buy it for a teenager or an adult as well. Adults might not gain anything on the sensory development or cognition department with this toy, but they certainly enjoy having a small bunny to hold on to while they’re trying to sleep.
However, we will recommend not giving this plush toy to a kid who is younger than 3 years of age.
The stuffed animal is made with the finest quality of material one can find. It weighs about 5 ounces and we have no doubt when it comes to the quality of the material. This is because of Aurora’s reputation as a toy company established back in 1981.
The company has made a name for itself as world class leaders in the toy industry but, even beyond the title, the company is known for the characters it makes up for the toy and the designs they come up with it for it. Look at the bunny, don’t you think the name Bitty suits it?
Bitty is brown in color – a cute furry friend whose hands are almost touching each other as if he’s holding a carrot in his hand. You child will have a fun time pretending to play and feed with the plushie.
6. Aurora World Inc. Flopsie Plush Goldie Labrador Dog, 12″
The first stuffed animal on the list that’s based after a puppy and we start with one of the best stuffed animals when it comes to puppies. In this case, it is Aurora’sGoldie Labrador Dog who is 12 inches in size. From the first look, it can appear so realistic that you might even mistake it for an actual animal. Your kid most certainly will have an easier time pretending they have an actual animal companion at home, what with the golden fur and puppy-like eyes of the labrador.
Despite the high quality of stitching in the fabric and the good material used for it, the stuffed animal is quite inexpensive. The fabric is soft and just the right kind of fabric you usually want to imagine for a plush toy. In fact, the company is a leading manufacturer when it comes to plush toys.
The toy is manufactured in countries like China and Indonesia. Extreme care is given while stitching every part of the body. Despite its size, the toy itself barely weighs 4.8 ounces. If your child is older than 3, the toy is safe enough for them. You can machine wash the toy but you have to put it on the gentle cycle. It is best if you rely on hand washing, however.
7. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe
Yes, you can even have a giraffe as a stuffed animal. This one is particularly awe-inspiring one. From the company Melissa & Doug which sells toys for kids of all kinds and has made a name for itself, the giraffe is one of their finest toys. It looks realistic to a fault with all the patterns and details you can find on a real giraffe. There are the marks you find on the body of a giraffe and the wire-framed legs are made of soft polyester fabric.
The long neck of the giraffe is where your kids will want to stuff their faces while hugging the mini toy. It’s perfectly suitable for any kid who has reached the age of 3. The craft and construction on this are enviable and ensure longevity.
The giraffe is four feet tall. Yes, it is quite big. Other than using it as a toy that’s good to hug at night, it’s just as suitable as an addition to a playspace or for room decor. When your friend’s children visit,or even when a fellow parent visits, you’re going to find them looking at the toy frequently. It’s simply that eye-catching and acts as a perfect showpiece.
8. Melissa & Doug Burrow Bunny Rabbit Stuffed Animal
Your giraffe doesn’t deserve to be lonely. Not when it has a best friend in the form of the stuffed rabbit animal. The rabbit is too realistic looking, what with its white surface and extra-long ears. The fur is soft and feels great to the touch. This floppy eared bunny has been handcrafted with the best materials. In this case, it is a soft polyester fabric. This leads the toy to not only be a durable one but also one of the best stuffed animals that children can hug to sleep.
The toy is suitable for children who are at least 3 years old. The plush toy has a place in the home for both boys and girls. The height of the toy is 9 inches while the length is 10 inches. The width is 6 inches. So all in all, we can assure you the toy will make your child think of a rabbit.
Children can engage in a range of play-pretend activities with this toy. They can snuggle it before bedtime or even read a story to the bunny. Often, as for older children, they fall asleep quite fast when they read a book before bed. As they pretend to read the book to their furry friends, they’re going to enjoy doing some reading, thus accelerating the sleeping process.
9. Cuddle Barn 12 Dalton The Storytelling Dragon Recites 5 Fairy Tales Light Up Book
Not every stuffed animal you buy for your kid has to be a realistic one. It doesn’t have to be an animal that exists or used to exist and has now gone extinct. It can be something like the legendary dragon every child is fascinated by. This blue storyteller dragon has a book of a fairytale it is always clutching in its hands and green horns and nails. It’s soft and children will have a wonderful time cuddling.
This plush toy isn’t only for cuddling though. It is approximately 12 inches tall, making it an adorable lightweight companion for kids as they drag it around the house. This isn’t what differs the toy from others though. It’s the fact that the dragon is actually capable of reciting tales.
This cuddly adorable dragon will recite five magical fairy tales to your kid. Going by the name of Dalton, the dragon can tell the tales of Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Ugly Duckling, and Sleeping Beauty. The mouth and head of the plush toy moves as it speaks. This will make your kid slowly fall into the rhythm of the story and make them feel sleepy quicker.
There is a switch at the bottom of the toy to activate the storytelling. The battery required is 3 AA which is included in the package. The toy is for kids who are around 18 months and older. Don’t wait to grab this excellent one.
10. Gund Pusheen Snackables Ice Cream Plush Stuffed Animal Cat, 9.5″
We have shown you a dog, a monkey and even a dragon on the list. Is it not the time for a cat to make its appearance? The cat known as Pusheen is about 9.5 inches tall. The perfect height to cuddle for kids who are 8 years old or older. The toy is made with polyester fiber and the material is soft and huggable. It perfectly meets the GUND company standards.
The plush toy Pusheen is quite famous for its love for snacks. You can always see it with ice cream between its fingers. The sweet tooth of the kitty is soothed with the ice cream cone.
The cleaning of the toy is easy. You can put it into the washer to give it a good wash. If your child is into kittens and has always shown a preference for the felines creatures, he or she is going to love having Pusheen around. The cuddle kitty has other counterparts where it eats other kinds of snacks such as cookies and cupcakes. If you aren’t satisfied with the ice cream one, you can look for others in the same range. The kitty has really cute expressions that your child will instantly fall in love with. We certainly think this is one of the best stuffed animals for kids.
11. Plush Treehouse with Animals – Five (5) Stuffed Forest Animals
From Unipak, the stuffed animals come in the form of five friends instead of one. Honestly, why make your child settle for one plush toy when you can gift them five at once? Not only that, you will get a treehouse in the packafe too. For a toy that comes with a pack of five, the stuffed animal is on the inexpensive side.
The treehouse, which is the carrier of the toys, is sturdy and soft. The animals included are one of the cuddliest of the lot. They aren’t the pets you can keep at home. They are the pets you can only find in a tree in a forest, though they won’t be so friendly as they are as a plush toy.
The color of the bird among the toy can vary for each package. The five forest friends are a squirrel, black bear, fox, raccoon, and bird. The toys are washable by hand or in a washer. If your child isn’t using the toy, you can use it to adorn the tree stump. It can stay in the playroom as a showpiece and attract the attention of visitors. Remember, when you’re buying it for a child, make sure they are older than 3. The toy does pose some choking hazards for kids.
12. Aurora World Plush Tubbie Wubbie Lion 12″
Another one of the contributions from Aurora, this time we have the king of the jungle – the lion. Except, he is way more adorable as a plushie and known as Tubbie Wubbie. The 12 inch tall lion is one of the most realistic ones you will come across. It’s just soft and cuddly. The fur is nice to the touch, though the one on the hair is a little long. As such, we don’t recommend taking it to close to children who are too young.
It’s one of the best stuffed animals you can give as a birthday present to your kids. The fabric is of the finest quality. We have already talked about how much we believe in quality when it comes to the toys from Aurora. It’s only 8 ounces in weight so your child can carry it around anywhere they want.
Your child only has to be older than 3 years. They can also be 15 years old and you can give the plush toy to them without feeling as though you will embarrass them. The most important thing about a toy is how adorable it is. A 3 year old would at least want a toy that has a nice facial expression so that they can feel love rushing through them while they are playing with it. The Tubbie Wubbie most certainly has it all.
13. Gund Slumbers Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal Plush, Brown, 17″
When it comes to stuffed animals, the one that comes to mind at first will always be the soft, brown teddy. This one has been named Slumbers and has a realistic design. The mark on the paws are visible along with tan chest patch. If your child is one year old, this is one of the most suitable toys for him or her.
The frame and fabric stitch of the toy complies with the famous GUND standards. When it comes to height, it’s taller than a lot of plushies. It is about 17 inches in height. It’s bigger than most other plushies so you have to make sure you get it out of your kid’s grasp before they fall asleep. The surface of the toy is washable.
Currently, it is 9.4 ounces in weight. So, it’s not heavy. Your child can carry it around if they wish to. From the reviews, it can be seen the toy is loved and known for the softness.
14. Wild Republic Wolf Plush
Wild Republic’s Wolf Plush might be the most adorable one you will have the chance of coming across. Your child can be friends with this adorable wolf and his wolf club. The soft fabric used for this is of high quality and the plush toy is barely 12 inches. It invites your kid for wonderful cuddling sessions.
Cleaning the toy isn’t a problem to maintain. It is washable on the surface and can be cleaned by giving it regular wipes. The features are quite authentic for the toy with the bold muzzle and wild dark eyes. Your kid can have all the fun they can imagine with a wolf. You will see them running around the house often with this plushie. There is nothing that doesn’t stop us from dubbing this as one of the best stuffed animals.
15. Aurora World Sweet and Softer Perky Penguin 9.5″ Plush
The giant birds with white body and black arms and legs, Penguins will always be a kid’s favorite. Such is the case for Aurora’s plush toy that’s only 9.5 inch tall, has a pretty yellow beak and round button eyes filled with wonder.
The perky penguin with grey fur soft silky plush toy which is manufactured mainly in China and Indonesia. Created with the highest quality of fabric, you can wash it without worry. The penguin is best suited for children who are over 3 year old. A Lithium ion battery is needed for the toy to function. While it’s not part of the package, you can buy it from a local store.
Criteria We Used For Evaluating The Best Stuffed Animals 2021
Each stuffed animal has been chosen with the child’s safety expressly in mind. The toys are all different from each other to fit various age groups. When the children are younger than 3 year old, we have carefully selected plush toys that have eyes stitched and sewed from fabric.
If the children are older than 3 and understand they can’t swallow small pieces, the stuff toys have plastic eyes and nose. We have also taken care to select toys that are tough and durable. We know children have a tendency to put their toys through immeasurable abuse and we want to ensure your investment will be worthwhile.
For little kids, their stuffed animals are pretty much everything. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a doll that’s their constant travel companion or a stuffed bear that that sleeps beside them on the bed, it’s hard to take out the stuffed animals from their small hands.
When we keep this little problem in mind, we decided it’s important that we chose products you will be able to clean easily. We have given mild preference towards products that can be machine washed because of the ease of time spent.
The stuffed animal on this list is also prepared to deal with naps, hugs and playdates with children. Unlike other toys, the maintenance for this is minimum. Let your child hug and squeeze it all they want!
When we were selecting stuffed animal, our main goal was to look for toys that are soft and feels good to hug. Of course, one of the criteria was the adorable appearance as well. We didn’t want your kid to in anyway end up with a stuffed animal they can’t sleep with, so we searched specifically for toys that are huggable.
These toys will be the companion they need on days they feel down and the one they’re going to seek after waking up from a horrible nightmare. Your child can squeeze, hug and love the stuffed toys to their heart’s content. We can predict these stuff toys becoming your child’s favorite toy once you gift them this.
Bring The Cutest Smile On Your Child’s Face With The Best Stuffed Animals Today!
After going through this list of 14 best stuffed animals for a baby to sleep with we are certain you have found the one. If you’re still unsure about the one you should go for, you can just save them all for different occasions. These are some of the best quality stuffed animals and we have no doubt over the quality of the product.
However, if you can only opt for one, a word of advice we can give is to go for the animal your baby has as a favorite. Getting one in the character of the animal they adore can make them quite happy. The only thing you need to do is conduct a personal check of the toy to make sure it is completely safe. Give it a thorough look for any visible damage or tear. If such damages exist, the foam or other stuffing from inside the toy could be harmful to children. Return the toy immediately if that is the case.
We hope you’ve found the one you’re looking for! Until next time!