My first stuffed animal

My first stuffed animal DEFAULT

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Baby's First Friends

The diverse friends of the Baby GUND collection - featuring classic and modern silhouettes, gender-neutral and trending colors, and a wide variety of animals and teddy bears - are ready to be baby's first friends! Great for collecting and cuddling, our plush looks just as amazing displayed as part of nursery decor and photo ops as it does tucked in the crib as the perfect naptime partner.

Safe Play For All Ages

The Baby GUND collection is appropriate for all ages and features safe embroidered details, super soft plush, and zero hard plastic for added peace of mind. With on-trend colors and animals available as plush, rattles, loveys, animated, sound toys, and more, our collection made for baby makes a picture-perfect baby shower gift basket for mommies-to-be.

Machine-Washable, Baby-Soft Plush

The more hugs with friends, the better! Made from a soft, huggable material that meets famous GUND quality standards, the Baby GUND collection features durable, machine-washable construction (excluding animated and sound toys) for hassle-free cleaning that stays soft even after countless kisses, naptime cuddles, and playtime adventures.


Best Stuffed Animals for Babies and Toddlers

What to Expect selects products based on independent research and suggestions from our community of millions of parents; learn more about our review process. We may earn commissions from shopping links.

For many, stuffed animals are more than just toys. They become part of the family. Many kids have a favorite stuffed animal, also known as a lovey, that comforts them throughout all hours of the day. 

Loveys come in all shapes and sizes — there are bears, monkeys, giraffes, bunnies and blankies. Some infants and toddlers ditch their favorite stuffed animals at a young age, while others keep them forever. In fact, some kids keep loveys through adulthood, passing their plush pals on to their own children. 

Choosing a safe stuffed animal for babies

While stuffed animals are a part of nearly every child’s upbringing, it’s important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics states that newborns and infants should not sleep with any soft items in their cribs, stuffed animals included. And when it comes to picking out a cozy friend for babies, you want to make sure of a few things.

  • No small pieces or choking hazards: It’s best to pick a stuffed animal that has embroidered eyes and noses and stuffing, not beads, in the hands and feet. This can prevent any loose parts from falling or being ripped off and subsequently put in your baby’s mouth.

  • Opt for baby- and parent-friendly fabrics: It’s essential to make sure your baby’s stuffed animal is soft and won’t irritate her skin. Try to avoid fabrics like nylon and polyester, as they contain synthetics. Opt for toys made with cotton or jersey knit, and that are free from harmful dyes. You can also choose one that’s machine washable, which is convenient for those inevitable messes.

  • Pick one that’s age-appropriate: Battery-operated stuffed animals that light up and make sounds are probably better suited for the toddler set than for babies. And keep in mind that if you do have a toddler and want to experiment with a stuffed animal that lights up or plays sounds, some parents find putting in and replacing batteries to be a hassle.

With so many cute, cuddly stuffed animals out there, it’s tough to know what to choose. And while your tot will likely let you know which one she loves, it’s a good idea to research some excellent options. Who knows, one of these may become your little one’s lovey and the newest member of your family! 


Best Overall Stuffed Animal

Baby Gund My First Teddy Bear

baby gund my first teddy bear

Pros:Soft and Durable

Cons:Surface washing only

Why We Love It

For more than 100 years, Baby Gund has manufactured soft, cozy stuffed animals for all kids of all ages. Baby Gund My First Teddy Bear comes in a variety of colors and has the saying “My first teddy bear” on the paw, making it the perfect gift. And if teddy bears aren’t your cup of tea, Baby Gund has dozens of animals and styles, all highly rated, with and without music. Basically, Gund has any stuffed animal your baby could ever desire.

Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 3 inches

Age Range: Newborn and up

Best Organic Stuffed Animal

Under the Nile Giraffe Lovey

under the nile blue stuffed giraffe

Available at Under the Nile starting at $22

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Pros:Made with organic Egyptian cotton

Cons:You need to make sure the organic cotton dries fully when washed to avoid the possibility of mold

Why We Love It

This adorable, easy-to-hold, hand-stuffed giraffe is made from 100 percent organic Egyptian cotton, certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, and made in certified fair-trade facilities. This giraffe is made with a bit of extra love, thanks to its embroidered eyes and nose — and its soft body.

Dimensions: 9 inches tall

Age Range: Newborn and up

Best Stuffed Animal for Newborns

Little Giraffe Little G Plush Stuffed Animal

stuffed giraffe toy

Available at Maisonette starting at $48

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Pros:Modern, classic design

Cons:More expensive than others like it

Why We Love It

Known for its modern aesthetic, pastel colors and minimalist prints, Little Giraffe is the perfect plush pal for newborns. The simple and classic style, which comes in blue, pink and celadon, makes it a great addition to any nursery.

Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.06 x 9.06 inches

Age Range: Newborn and older

Best Stuffed Animal for Infants

Taggies Dazzle Dots Soft Toy

taggies stuffed animal monkey

Pros:Looped ribbon tags for babies to play with and explore

Cons:Need to keep an eye on the tags; if they start falling off, you should remove

Why We Love It

Taggies is a stuffed animal with a twist. The patent-pending looped tags made from different materials like silk, felt, cotton and satin, provide infants with added tactile stimulation babies love for development, making Taggies a sweet and sensible pick for infants.

Dimensions: 12 inches tall

Age Range: 4 months and up

Best Stuffed Animal for Young Toddlers

Jellycat Bashful Beige Bunny Stuffed Animal

jellycat stuffed bunny

Pros:Jellycat offers books to go along with their stuffed animals, giving young toddlers a way to bring their character to life through stories

Cons:Spot clean only; not machine washable

Why We Love It

Jellycat stuffed animals are a consumer favorite, with nearly 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. The plush characters are comfortable to snuggle with, while the storybooks bring those favorite stuffies to life. Plus, the combination of books and toys provides hours of endless entertainment.

Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 12 inches

Age Range: Newborn and older

Best Stuffed Animal for Older Toddlers


squishmallows pineapple

Pros:Super soft and collectible


Why We Love It

When it comes to stuffed animals, Squishmallows are the hottest trend. They are the beanie babies of today and have dozens of collectible characters, each with their own name, personality and unique story. The fluffy-as-marshmallow stuffed animals are infants’, toddlers’ and kids' current obsession these days. The Squishmallow Squad is real!

Dimensions: Sizes range from 3.5 inches to 24 inches

Age Range: Newborn and older

Best Washable Stuffed Animal

Lambs & Ivy Jungle Safari Gray Plush Elephant Stuffed Animal

lambs and ivy stuffed elephant

Pros:Machine washable

Cons:here are beads in the hands and feet

Why We Love It

Kids are notorious for making a mess. The last thing a parent wants is to constantly spot clean a beloved stuffed animal. Lambs & Ivy, a female-founded company headquartered in California, manufactures soft stuffed animals that are machine washable for easy cleaning. It’s recommended to air dry this toy after washing, but some owners suggest putting it in the dryer once it’s almost completely dry for five to 10 minutes to make the elephant soft and fluffy.

Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 13 inches

Age Range: Newborn and older

Best Handmade Stuffed Animal

Red & Olive Sassy Cassy + Beanie Set

red & olive doll sassy cassy

Available at Red & Olive starting at $78

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Pros:Stuffed animals help support Peruvian artisans who hand make each doll

Cons:High price tags

Why We Love It

Founded by a mom and stepdaughter design team in 2020, Red & Olive dolls come with either matching beanies or bows so your little one can twin with her new best friend. Additionally, they are made by women artisans in Peru. Proceeds from the purchases go to support these women and help break the cycle of poverty for their families.

Dimensions: 20-22 x 7 inches

Age Range: 1 to 10 years old

Best Stuffed Animal With Music

Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Plush Toy

baby einstein octoplush musical toy

Pros:Plays a variety of classical melodies and teaches colors in English, Spanish and French

Cons:Some parents report the toy stops playing music after a few months

Why We Love It

Baby Einstein’s Octoplush musical toy provides babies with hours of entertainment thanks to the different song options. The volume control means babies can listen on their own; mom or dad don’t have to hear the same songs blasting on repeat.

Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 11 inches

Age Range: 3 months and older

Best Soothing Stuffed Animal

Cloud B Sleep Sheep

cloud b sleep sheep

Why We Love It

Cloud B’s Sleep Sheep is a baby registry staple and is also a sound machine that is proven to soothe babies to sleep. There are two sleep timers so it can automatically turn off after 23 or 45 minutes. But the coolest feature is that it soothes babies with an actual in-utero recording of a mother's heartbeat. Plus, the Sleep Sheep comes in a travel size, so you can bring the soothing toy with you on the go.

Dimensions: 13.9 x 9.8 x 7 inches

Age Range: Newborn and older

Written by Aliza Friedlander

Aliza Friedlander is a writer and PR strategist, celebrating both the triumphs and tribulations that come along with the work, mom juggle. Friedlander is passionate about providing parents with a space to express all their feelings and is an open book when it comes to her experience as a parent and a professional. She lives in Maryland with her two daughters and her husband.


Friedlander is a former TV news producer and has appeared on Today, GMA and Motherly

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Babies and toddlers adore stuffed animals and plush toys. Why? Stuffed animals make perfect playtime companions and offer little kids comfort when they’re working through some big feelings.

New parents will soon find themselves sharing their home with a whole menagerie of baby stuffed animals. But that doesn’t mean you should give baby any old toy. The best stuffed animals for babies and toddlers are cute, huggably soft and well-made to safely withstand endless loving.

Adorable plush toys make wonderful gifts for babies and kids of all ages. Whether you’re a friend shopping for a baby shower gift or a new mom looking for a first birthday present, here you’ll find the best stuffed animals for newborns, babies and toddlers. From classic teddy bears to knitted dolls and furry critters, read on to find the perfect cuddle companion for the little one in your life.

When Can Baby Sleep With a Stuffed Animal?

Babies should not sleep with stuffed animals in their cribs until they turn at least one year old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), soft objects—such as plush toys, loose bedding and pillows—should be kept out of baby’s sleep area to reduce the risk of overheating, suffocation, strangulation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Tips for Choosing a Safe Stuffed Animal for Babies and Toddlers

The best stuffed animals for babies and toddlers aren’t just utterly adorable, but also reliably safe. Here are the main toy safety considerations to keep in mind when shopping for plush animals.

Check toys for loose parts: Plush toys with plastic eyes and long strings or ribbons can be a choking hazard for young children. Opt for stuffed animals with embroidered eyes and check to make sure that there are no loose parts before you give the toy to baby.

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Invest in stuffed animals that are well-made: Good quality stuffed animals will withstand even the most rambunctious toddler games. Look for toys that are machine-washable and check that the seams and edges are tight so no stuffing comes loose during playtime.

Choose stuffed animals that are appropriate for your child’s age: Always read the brand’s age guidelines to ensure that the toy is suitable for your child’s developmental stage.

Best Stuffed Animals for Newborns

A stuffed animal is the perfect present to welcome a new baby into the family. From super-snuggly plush bunnies to soothing sensory toys, we’ve selected the best stuffed animals for infants below.

Image: Courtesy Jellycat

Jellycat Little Chick Stuffed Animal

Treat your little chicken to this cuddly baby chick stuffed animal. It’s small enough for little hands to clutch when you embark on new adventures with baby. This fluffy baby plush toy would make the perfect gift for newborn boys and girls.

Buy it: $18,

Image: Courtesy Manhattan Toy

Manhattan Toy Adorables Pig Peaches Stuffed Animal

This little piggy is one of the best stuffed animals we’ve seen. The plush toy is sweet, snuggly and built to last. It’s made from an unbelievably soft peach fabric, has embroidered nostrils and heat-sealed eyes for added safety. Plus, at only $10 this toy is affordable to boot!

Image: Courtesy cuddle + kind

cuddle + kind Lucy the Lamb Little

Ready to splash some cash? Cuddle + kind is among the best stuffed animal brands on the market right now. Crafted by artisans in Peru, this adorable knitted lamb is made from 100 percent premium cotton and naturally hypoallergenic stuffing. The best part? This is a company that gives back. For every doll purchased, cuddle + kind will donate 10 meals to children in need.

Image: Courtesy Little Giraffe

Little Giraffe Little G Plush Stuffed Animal

Looking for a gender neutral gift for a newborn? Check out this adorable baby stuffed animal. This little giraffe, with super-soft spots, comes in three neutral color variations. How’s that for a sweet stuffed animal for newborns?

Buy it: $48,

Image: Courtesy cloud b

cloud b Sleep Sheep 8 Sounds Soother

A newborn baby may be too small to actually play with a stuffed animal, but sensory toys are a wonderful way to engage their senses. Introducing the Sleep Sheep by cloud b. This plush toy plays eight soothing songs that’ll help lull your little lamb off to sleep. Plus, it has a handy hook fastener so you can attach it to a crib or a stroller when you’re on the move. Talk about clever stuffed animal toys!

Image: Courtesy Lambs & Ivy

Lambs & Ivy Jungle Safari Gray Plush Elephant Stuffed Animal Toy

The best stuffed animals for infants are snuggly, sweet and practical. And that’s where this best-selling (not to mention adorable) elephant plush toy comes in. This furry grey elephant is machine-washable and has no hard parts, meaning it’s 100 percent baby-safe. Wahoo!

Image: Courtesy Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse in Blue with Lights & Sounds

Here’s yet another plush toy that’ll mesmerize newborn babies: The Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse. Not only is this toy soft and cuddly, it lights up and plays ocean sounds plus eight different songs. After five minutes of continuous play, the music and lights will fade, allowing baby to peacefully drift off to sleep. Stuffed animal toys that make bedtime easier? Sign us up.

Image: Courtesy GUND

GUND Baby Oh So Snuggly Bunny

You can’t beat a classic stuffed animal, which is why we love this snuggly bunny by GUND. The floppy bunny has embroidered details as well as quilted feet and ears that promote tactile play. And because having a newborn can be a messy business, this plush toy is machine washable.

Best Stuffed Animals for Babies

As babies grow older and gain new fine motor skills, they begin to explore the world—and toys—around them, with their hands and with their mouths (of course!). Read on to discover our pick of the best stuffed animals for babies, from classic teddy bears to cuddly rattle toys and soothing loveys.

Image: Courtesy finn + emma

finn + emma Rattle Buddy

How sweet is this hand-knit stuffed animal? It’s made from certified organic cotton and has a rattle inside, meaning baby will have lots of fun shaking and squeezing their new furry friend. Bonus: There are eight animal characters to choose from.

Image: Courtesy Levtex Baby

Levtex Baby Bailey Fox Plush Toy in Brown

Next up on our list of the best stuffed animals is this sweet fox plush toy. The faux fur is ever-so-soft—perfect for snuggles with baby. And this toy is machine washable, so if it gets a little mucky, just pop it in with your next laundry load.

Image: Courtesy Jellycat

Jellycat Bunny Soother Blanket

A lovey is doubly adorable as baby can use it as a security blanket and a cuddly toy. This option has a plush bunny hugging the edge with long floppy ears (perfect for grabbing and gumming). How sweet!

Buy it: $20,

Image: Courtesy Zestt Organics

Zestt Organics Organic Cotton Classic Knit Unicorn

The best stuffed animals for babies will last a lifetime. Case in point: this heirloom-quality unicorn baby plush toy. The knit-doll is handmade from organic cotton yarn, making it sustainable, biodegradable and easy to care for. Trust us, this toy is one your kid will treasure forever.

Image: Courtesy GUND

GUND Crinkle Caterpillar Plush Toy

Check out this awesome caterpillar plush toy by GUND. Each section of this clever toy contains a fun surprise for baby, including a squeaker, crinkly fabric and a rattle. As if that wasn’t good enough, the bright colors and different fabrics promote tactile and sensory stimulating play.

Image: Courtesy Steiff

Steiff Honey Teddy Bear

How about a classic teddy bear? Steiff are masters of their trade, as they have been crafting hand-sewn teddy bears since 1902 and still use the same artisan techniques to this very day. The result? Quality stuffed animals that are huggably soft and worthy of becoming baby’s new best friend.

Image: Courtesy Melissa and Doug

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Animal stuffed my first


My Stuffed Animal Collection! 🐻 🐱 🐷


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