Overstuffed

Stuffed Animals

Too Cute For Their Own Good

Like so many aspects of childhood, things are rarely good or bad often they are both. Nowhere is this concept acuter than when it comes to stuffed animals. Some call them plushies but my son calls them stuffies. Stuffed animals are soft, cute and perfect for squeezing. The challenge is that rarely does a child simply have one stuffed animal in their room usually they are legion. When a baby is born everyone wants to get the little bundle of joy his or her first teddy bear which results in multiple teddy bears before you even get home from the hospital. Another factor is that for the most part, stuffed animals are not expensive. The price factor creates an environment where most people tack one onto shower gifts and newborn gifts. Once you include all the animals from carnivals, amusement parks, and vacations kid’s rooms become zoos. While this zoo doesn’t require feeding and waste removal it does need a place for all the animals and that place is often the bed. The last challenge is in facing reality. Most kids do not actually play with stuffed animals they are decor.

Stuffie Solutions

One great way to deal with this cuteness crisis is to prevent it from starting. A good way to tell grandparents and well-meaning friends is to steer the discussion to medical issues. Newborns aren't supposed to have anything in their cribs when sleeping and too many stuffies collecting dust can lead to asthma. If you notice your child has one particular stuffy they love, buy two if you can in case of loss, dog attack or drool damage. If your child is old enough explain that there are many kids around the world that have no stuffed animals at all and help them pick ones to send to them. Local libraries often have donation drives specially for stuffed animals and there are many national campaigns. Lastly, some stuffies may be keepsakes and it may be time for them to leave the room and live with the other sentimental items.