What parent hasn't pulled their hair out in front of the overflowing shelves of a stuffed animal store ? “ What if I got him an elephant cuddly toy? Or a musical stuffed animal? Oh look, giant stuffed animals! ".
To see more clearly, La Pelucherie has concocted a special guide on baby stuffed animals : the benefits, the pitfalls to avoid, and the right choices for each age. Let's go !
The benefits of soft toys for babies
We all know that baby soft toys are essential . But as parents, we want to understand! For what ? Why does baby love his stuffed animals so much? What do they bring him? The list of benefits is very long:
- Softness and Hugs
- Comfort and Safety
- Sleep and Relaxation
- Sensory Awakening and Activities
- Affection and Complicity
- Stories and Role Plays
- Imagination and Creativity
- Trust and Sharing
- Responsibility and Empathy
And at every age, its usefulness ! If for a newborn the soft toy is cuddly and reassuring, it will become a source of wonder from 6 months, then a real playmate for early childhood.
Baby soft toys therefore have a significant impact on his development for many years. So, as long as you do, you might as well choose them well from the start!
Baby stuffed animals to avoid
As you can imagine, the first thing to take into account when choosing baby soft toys is safety!
Take a good look at the stuffed animals before buying and avoid at all costs:
- “Made in China” soft toys, of poor quality, and poorly sewn, which could easily tear and leak dangerous threads and stuffing materials for babies.
- Small detachable parts such as eyes or nose that baby might swallow, as well as any wire or rope that might get wrapped around their neck.
- Toxic materials such as phthalates (used to make stuffed animals softer), bisphenol A (used to make stuffed animal eyes and noses), or lead (used to stabilize certain dyes in stuffed animals).
- Soft toys that are too soft can also present a choking hazard for infants.
Ensure security and prefer :
- High quality stuffed animals , "made in France" or in Europe
- Baby soft toys certified to safety standards , such as European standard EN71 . These soft toys have passed safety tests on part size, material toxicity, strength, resistance, etc.
- Natural, organic, and hypoallergenic materials , such as cotton or wool for example.
- Washable stuffed animals! Good hygiene is also part of baby's safety. Good baby soft toys are easily washable, preferably in the washing machine.
- From trusted manufacturers. Always prefer stuffed animals from well-known brands with an irreproachable reputation, such as La Pelucherie which, in addition to being a guarantee of quality and safety, guarantees its stuffed animals for life!
The different types of baby soft toys
Two pieces of good news await you on the baby soft toy market: firstly, there is a wide variety of different models, ranging from newborn comforters to giant soft toys and activity soft toys . You are spoiled for choice!
Second, baby will be delighted to have different stuffed animals! In fact, it is even advisable to vary the pleasures. Rather than offering him 3 birth comforters, combine the benefits and get him a comforter, an awakening plush, and a giant plush, for example!
So let's take a complete tour of the different types of baby stuffed animals!
1. Birth soft toys: 0-6 months
La Cigogne , My first baby comforter, La Pelucherie
It's usually a small soft toy, very cute and easy to grab for baby's little hands. The cuddly toy is made of soft, washable fabrics so that baby can cuddle it and keep it close to him in complete safety.
Most cuddly toys are small stuffed animals like the stork, the elephant, or the bear, great classics. Others are simply squares of soft fabric with or without a pacifier clip to help baby calm down and fall asleep.
My First Teddy Bear , La Pelucherie
2. Early learning toys: 6-24 months
After the cuddly toys come the awakening stuffed animals. Also called activity stuffed animals or sensory stuffed animals, these baby stuffed animals are generally introduced around 6 months and up to about two years .
Like all cuddly toys for young babies, activity cuddly toys are soft and often take the form of adorable little animals .
But they have many surprises in store and are there to stimulate baby's sensory awareness, curiosity, and fine motor skills: bright colors, varied textures, fun sounds, little mirrors, pull tags and much more !
3. Baby musical soft toys: 0-36 months
Some cuddly toys also incorporate musical functions. But if we talk about musical stuffed animals exclusively, they are generally small stuffed animals equipped with a musical box which triggers music when baby (or mother) presses a button or pulls a string.
Depending on your mood, the musical stuffed animals can play a soothing melody to help him fall asleep or, on the contrary, lively songs to entertain him.
4. Giant stuffed animals for babies: 0-99 years old!
Lucien, The Giant Teddy Bear from La Pelucherie , A great gift for baby!
Having a giant stuffed animal at home is like having a pet ... but without the hair and the need to pick it up!
The Big Ones from La Pelucherie are so big that baby can ride them like a real animal. Imagine him snuggling up to his huge teddy bear after a long day of play.
These XXL baby soft toys offer an extra-large cuddling experience and will quickly become baby's favorite companion for many years!
Read Also : Why Give Your Baby a Giant Comforter?
5. Interactive baby soft toys: 12-36 months
More than stuffed animals, interactive stuffed animals are more like toys for babies. Modern and fun, they are equipped with sensors and buttons that respond to movements and sounds, creating a personalized gaming experience .
Depending on the model, the interactive plush toys make noise, sing songs, chat, tell stories and can even repeat baby's first phrases.
To be reserved for older babies, from around one year.
6. White noise soft toys: 0-36 months
White noise soft toys are soft toys that emit a regular, soothing sound , described as “white noise” and similar to what babies heard in the womb.
Some studies have shown that white noise soft toys can help babies relax and fall asleep more easily .
7. Other baby soft toys
You have understood: with baby soft toys, there is something for all tastes and for all needs, whether for cuddling, music, awakening, playing, sleeping, or anything else.
You will also find hot water bottle stuffed animals, night light stuffed animals, and even stuffed armchairs !
Baby girl plush toy vs. Baby boy plush toy: What does it matter?
It's important to think about gendered upbringing when it comes to purchasing baby stuffed animals.
Baby and children's soft toys are often separated into two categories: soft toys for girls on one side and soft toys for boys on the other . And while girls' soft toys are often pink with hearts and glitter, boys' soft toys are mostly blue and shaped like wild animals or superheroes.
But this gendered division is not necessarily necessary, even desirable, and even less so for babies ! Whether girls or boys, babies love pink, blue, green or yellow soft toys! In fact, what they love most is stuffed animals .
And you want a secret? Children prefer realistic stuffed animals to Disney stuffed animals . After all, what they want is to experience the Real World, right?
Personalized baby soft toys!
Whether for a birth or birthday gift, offering a personalized plush always has its effect!
At La Pelucherie, we offer several options for customizing your stuffed animals. You can simply have baby's name embroidered on the pouch or even on the paw of his new friend (available for certain models only ).
Even better ! You can imagine a custom-made soft toy , just for your baby. And we take care of bringing it to life!
Have Baby's Name Embroidered On The Paw Of Their Dog Plush Toy!
And you ? Which soft toy(s) did you choose for baby? Does he or she have a favorite stuffed animal? We'd love to hear your picks and read your stuffed animal stories!