Have you ever noticed that plush toys and stuffed animals start flooding in as soon as you announce that you are pregnant? There is just something about those fuzzy, cuddly buddies that we believe in and kids pick up on, even in infancy. No doubt, there will always be a favourite, and as a mum, you want it to be the one you bought, right! But, with all the variety of plush toys out there, how do you pick the perfect one for your baby?
How to choose the perfect cuddly buddy
When buying a stuffed animal for a baby, make sure the eyes, mouth, nose, and other marks are all embroidered to prevent beads and other embellishments from falling off and posing a choking hazard. “To avoid allergic reactions, go for plush without scents, fragrances, or other artificial additions, as well as natural fibres and textiles,” says Charlene DeLoach of Toy Insider. The Big W specials usually carry an assortment of cuddly little buddies that are designed to be safe, snuggly and perfect for your little one’s playtime.
Choose brightly coloured, sound-making, battery-operated stuffed animals and toys be used exclusively during the day (under adult supervision, of course). Consider soft and muted hues instead if you’re searching for something comforting and cuddling for your infant.
The second thing to think about (which may be very useful for you, Mama) is looking for machine-washable plush animals. That way, you can toss it in the wash without having to worry about dirty toys strewn about your child.
Why are plush toys good for babies?
There are plenty of reasons why your baby could become attached to plush toys, and it’s okay.
1. To develop sensory abilities
Soft toys can be an excellent way for babies who enjoy touching and feeling new textures to enhance their sensory abilities while also increasing their social and emotional development. At a young age, infants begin to grasp the various sizes, colours, and textures of their surroundings, and soft toys are a terrific way for them to experiment with new things.
2. To relieve anxiety
Anxiety and distress are common in children, just as in adults. The world may be a terrifying place for kids, and showing them their favourite cuddly animal is one way to help them relax and feel safe. Plush toys can help children cope with stress and anxiety by providing familiarity and reassurance.
They can also help newborns soothe themselves. This is also important for your baby’s capacity to settle himself without help from mum or dad. Big life milestones, such as the arrival of a sibling, can feel less frightening when your kid is accompanied by a beloved stuffed animal. Apparently, cuddling a soft toy helps young children rely on their own skills to seek comfort. If they are presented with unpleasant circumstances, having a stuffed animal by their side may help them seek peace and provide the illusion that they are with a loved one.
What is the efficacy of plush animals as a source of solace? They can also aid children who have been exposed to conflict and terror, according to one study.
3. To develop social skills
Ever wondered why kids like to talk to their toys? They become so engrossed in pretend play for hours on end at times. They replicate what they’re used to, such as pretending to eat, chat with their parents, or play with a sibling or other friends. This is a good way to improve their social skills. If you watch and listen closely, you will also pick up how your child is feeling from the conversations. This could be especially helpful for the quieter ones who still need to learn how to express themselves confidently.
4. To become more nurturing
Plush toys can become your child’s best friend. Pretending to care for a stuffed animal encourages kids to be nurturing. Because young children tend to identify with stuffed animals, playing with one helps promote empathy and compassion, according to experts. Doing so promotes how they then interact with other kids and their natural environment.