21 answers

My 9 Month Old Doesn't like Stuffed Animals!

Hi everyone,
Just wondering if anyone else has come across this...My 9 month old daughter doesnt want to have anything to do with any sort of stuffed animal. I have put little ones in her toy boxes, and she only touches them, to get them out of the way to get to the "hard toys". Is this common at this age, and will she every like cuddly things? She is also a very "uncuddly" baby. If you try to cuddle her, she pushes away. Is this a stage where she is exerting her independence?

Any advice would be appreciated!


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Thank you everyone for your advice. I feel much better now!!!

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Just a thought.....is she teething? Maybe she likes the hard toys to chew on, and doesn't get any satisfaction from the soft toys. They like the noises they can make with the hard toys too. And yes, they become more and more independent and don't want to cuddle with mom very much at this age. It's so sad! P. M

It is OK for her not to like stuffed animals. In fact maybe it is good, since they harbor so much dust and dust and other allergens! My two grandsons are soon to be 6 and 4 and have just taken a liking to stuffed animals in the past year or so!

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Just a thought.....is she teething? Maybe she likes the hard toys to chew on, and doesn't get any satisfaction from the soft toys. They like the noises they can make with the hard toys too. And yes, they become more and more independent and don't want to cuddle with mom very much at this age. It's so sad! P. M

My mother-in-law said she had one out of her seven that was very un-cuddly like you speak of. This particular child even lashed out at my MIL and scratched her if she tried to hold her outside of just feeding her a bottle. It hurt her at first, but she got over it. This child is a mommy now and doesn't seem to have problems with affection with her own child...so I guess it was just her temperment.

My mother said I was not very cuddly with her but I would with my father. I often pushed my mom away and would play all day by myself but would climb all over my dad when he got home. It hurt my mom since I was her first and I think it got us off on the wrong foot from the beginning. We have both grown out of our issues (I'm 40 she's 62) Actually we have been over our issues for years. I'm very affectionate with my own girls, but I nursed both of mine and though I notice some of the same behaviors from my girls that I exhibited...I try to ignore the hurt feelings and remember they are just little ones.

My oldest insists that I hurt her when I comb her hair...she will cry and whine the whole time. If my husband does it or anyone else for that matter she's happy as a clam. I know it is just some sort of dynamic with mommy because I did the same to my mother...but it is annoying at times. Same thing with suggestions...if mommy suggests a certain color shirt or whatever...she will go for the opposite. If papi suggests something she's all for it.

Oh well, don't be worried. I'm sure she will be fine. She might just not like the feel of plush things. I hated the feeling of velvet growing up (it made me practically gag to feel it) and to this day I can't stand to walk on dry soft beach sand that squeaks. It sends shivers up my spine like you wouldn't believe.

She'll be fine.

I'm not sure if it's "normal" or not, but my 4 yr old still doesn't like stuffed animals. I think they're just too boring for him. He needs a lot of stimulation, so noisy toys, flashy toys, or anything that moves is far superior to a boring old teddy bear.

It definitely could just be that she's a more independent personality. My oldest was never really into stuffed animals--she always preferred hard toys, and now that she's 4 she's crazy about cars and blocks. She wasn't much of a cuddler either--she'd rather chat than snuggle.

(As a side note though, my second child is the snuggliest snuggler ever, and she's made her sister a little more interested in hugging--because she hugs her all the time, whether she wants it or not!)

Hi A.
My daughter is also not fond of stuffed animals or soft blankies. She is NOT a snuggler at all. I nursed her for over a year, actually still nurse her to sleep at night and she's 14 months old. She'll snuggle if I nurse her, but otherwise, pushes away. I know when she was an infant the dr. said she had an immature nervous system, because she would have this really scared sounding cry if there were a loud noise for instance my other two children screaming or fighting etc. It could have something to do with sensory overload. She might not like the texture of the stuffed animals or the feeling of being held tight. Perhaps place her on your lap facing out and rock her- tht's what I try and sometimes, it is successful. I am sorry don't have many ideas really, but wanted you to know you're not alone. My other kids snuggled like crazy, so it seemed odd to me to have her be so pushy and kind of stiff. I didn't know babies could be that way. I thought they all snuggled. ANyway- maybe mention it to the dr.
take care

Hi, A.,
I don't think there is anything wrong with your daughter not liking stuffed animals. However, if she has many of them, you might want to make a shelf for them and personify these little toys in her eyes... For example... use each of the animals to teach what that animal likes to eat... what sounds they make... what personality they normally have. Children like to play with toys with which they have a personal relationship. The little stuffed animals might need names (named after the person who gave her the toy, perhaps) and 'feelings'... IE: "Oh,my, look at little bunny under all these heavy toys! He might feel lonely under there!" This also teaches kindness (saving the little bunny) and compassion/empathy (how does the bunny feel?).
If after you spend several hours and days and months playing with the animals with you daughter... then, let her be! She will be attracted to something that appeals to her and be happy with those toys! Stuffed animals and dolls have always been the perfect 'relationship' teaching toys. But you can teach those in other ways... Just enjoy your daughter as she grows... What a blessing little girls are!

all you're suspecting is correct. as they get older, they will come to love 1 or all of their stuffed animals. DS, now 3, started loving them around 15 mos, I think it was. And now he asks for a certain few to have in bed. all my DD (also 9 mos, born 6/1/07) wants on stuffed animals right now is the tags! :-) Be patient. Just enjoy watching them explore and experience everything. They get big so fast and will even talk to you some day! :-)

I wouldn't worry about her not liking stuffed animals or not liking to be cuddled. Some children just like to play with toys that do something. I was one of those children. I would rather play with trucks and blocks when I was growing up and my mother and uncle tell me that I didn't like to be cuddled. Once my children and grandchildren came along that changed.

Your child may have sensory issues. She probably does not like the feel of the soft items, and her brain has to be conditioned to get used to touching soft things. My son used to wipe my kisses off of his face as an infant and I wondered why he did not want any cuddles etc. He is now the most cuddly kid on the block! I went through early intervention with my twins, and learned alot about sensory integration disorder through my therapists. There are alot of books out there, and I am sure lots of information on the web. At 9 months, it is probably not necessary for therapy unless you feel it is affecting her developmentally. You should talk to your doctor if you feel that she is not developing normally because of these issues, They can arrange for you to have a global evaluation from your local early intervention team.
Good Luck!

Hi A. -

Is it possible she has sensory issues? Are there other behaviors that might indicate this? Sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, crowds. Is she generally a happy baby? Does she have good eye contact and does she smile at you? Does she pay attention when you show her something and interact with you? I have friends whose children had/have sensory processing difficulties. You might want to do some research online under Sensory Integration and see if any of it sounds familiar. Maybe talk to your pediatrician next time you go. I certainly don't want to alarm you, but trust your instincts.

M. G.
mom to Joshua (9) and Ethan (8)

Maybe you should sit on the floor while playing with baby and YOU play with the soft toys and cuddle and talk to them end have a little tea party with them. Then leave that toy where it is and play with another soft toy. Baby might catch on and want to play with what you prefer to play with. You can't force but she may end up wanting what you play with. Life seems to be a game from early on....remember ALL toys have germs so wash them on gentle and a softener. Then dry, of course. Wish it were me playing with the child. Mine are grown and gone. Enjoy these times of their lives. Also, soft toys are safer. Maybe you can find soft trucks, train car, auto, and soft doll to ride the others.

My son was cuddly through his colicky months.

And then...

once he could roll over on his own, started crawling, and was walking around 10 1/2 months he became disinterested in cuddling unless he is really tired.

Don't take it personally - I chalk it up to my son being curious and wanting to check everything out about his newly discovered world. Oh, how I miss it though...but I know it is better for him to explore and learn.

I think it's just fine.My son never cared about stuffed animals either. She could be exerting her independence, but she could also not be very affectionit. My daughter is just turnning 10 months, and she just started to give kisses (only when she wants to.), but she isn't a huge one for cuddling. Never has been with the exception of when she was a newborn. My family is huge on kissing, hugging, and loving eachother. My son still wants to sit pretty much on top of me if where watching a movie. I think some people love lots and lots of cuddling, and others can do just fine without it, as long as a child know's there loved. There is one other point that she's still pretty young and all though there developing there personalities, There not competely there yet,(probably not until about 2 yrs of age) with any behavior. At 9 months they usually have crawling down pat and are so interested in what's going on all around them, they just dont have time. Hope you feel alittle better, it's never easy when your child doesn't want to cuddle with you, after all, just 9 months ago you were in the worst pain you have ever been in just to give her life.

My daughter has a ton of stuffed animals but she didn't get interested in them until she was over a year old. Then for a while she couldn't get enough of them and would try and carry all of them around the house at once. Now she is almost 18 months and she has developed a serious fondness for just 2 of them (Baby a newborn cabbage patch and a Minnie Mouse that is as big as she is). She plays with the others now and then and can name all of the animals and the sounds they make, but Baby and Minnie get the most attention and need to be available at all times.

Don't worry.


None of my three daughters has wanted anything to do with stuffed animals until they were older, like a year to 18 months. They were also non-cuddly. Now they carry around their bears and dolls and give me hugs and kisses all the time, so I wouldn't worry about it. Just stash them away for later.

My 2 year old has never wanted to play with stuffed animals, he prefers the hotwheels and cars to anything. He doesn't have a blanket or really anything that is his favorite thing, no lovies. I wouldn't worry about it she just likes other stuff.

As a parent with allergies, I would be thrilled that my daughter doesn't like stuffed animals. To me they are laden with dust mites and allergens. If your interested in your daughter becoming attached to a "lovey," try a silky material such a silk night shirt (with the buttons removed), or silk material bought at Walmart or Target. Much easier to wash and replace.

It is OK for her not to like stuffed animals. In fact maybe it is good, since they harbor so much dust and dust and other allergens! My two grandsons are soon to be 6 and 4 and have just taken a liking to stuffed animals in the past year or so!

HI Sadie,

Congrats on your on your first child!. I think its ok for kids not to like stuffed animals, in fact its healthier! Stuffed animals are cute but can harbor all kinds of germs,drool, dirt when they fall to the ground. Kids then pick them up and put them in their mouths, yuk!. Consider yourself lucky. My daughter had a teddy bear that was so gross I wanted to throw it out constantly but she would cry. I tried to wash it and it got matted. I finally did toss it and got her a plastic doll that I could wipe. As for her not being affectionate, some kids feel smothered. Try holding her hand or patting her back or some other non smothering form of affection. We all want to hug and kiss our little ones , but they too need their space and she is letting you know it.

Hope this helps,


It's not uncommon... my son was the same way at 9 months. I think, developmentally, a 9-month old just doesn't get the stuffed animal thing nor does s/he intentionally reject your affection. My son is now 17 months old, loves his stuffed animal "Duckie" and loves giving hugs and kisses!

C. L

Can you blame her? They just sit there. All the other toys seem so much more interesting with the buttons and flashing lights and wheels. My son just recently started playing with some of his stuffed animals. He just started having imaginative play, too. So, I wouldn't worry about it. I tried to discourage family and friends from buying him stuffed animals but to no avail. I already have a huge bag in the attic of them. Did you know the salvation army won't even take them?!

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