Stuffed animals are a source of comfort for children all over the world, and that feeling doesn’t have to end with childhood. Teenagers, adults and beyond can all still sleep with their favorite comfort toys. So, if you find yourself still snuggling up with your fuzzy companion, know it’s perfectly normal.
According to Saavta.com, in a survey commissioned by Build-A-Bear Workshop 40% of adults admit to “still sleeping with a stuffed animal or blanket from their childhood.” This study is only showing the percentage that admitted it; many more people still sleep with their childhood stuffies as well.
Many experts say that stuffed animals help soothe a person’s nerves. With Anxiety on the rise in the teenage population, such coping mechanisms may prove to be of the utmost importance. According to expert Meghan Sutton, a marriage and family therapist at Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families at Orlando Health Arnold Hospital, “Teaching teens coping skills (self-soothing activities) is critical for building resistance…The idea of a teen using a stuffed animal as a self-soothing skill is a completely acceptable, safe and appropriate response to dealing with life’s stressors, with no known, long-term negative effects.” Since stuffed animals are usually given to people during childhood, people associate them with feelings of safety, comfort, and sleep.
Stuffed animals also promote better night’s sleep, an overall decrease in anxiety, and improved function throughout the day.
The most common argument against teenagers and adults sleeping with stuffed animals is that they are too childish and that they are not fitting for someone meant to be a mature working member of society; however, these views are long outdated. There’s nothing wrong with someone sleeping with their favorite comfort animal at night, and then going to school or their job the next day. As C.S. Lewis once said, “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” Those who complain about people being too childish are still children themselves.
There is no problem with teens and older people continuing to find comfort in their childhood stuffed animals or even new ones they more recently bought, and there’s certainly no issue with them continuing to sleep with them. If you want to keep your stuffed animals, there is nothing to stop you from doing so.