40 answers

Poll: Boys and Stuffed Animals.

Ok, I'm polling people. My son LOVES stuffed animals. He is 5 years old. My husband believes that he is getting too old for them and it is girly. I disagree, but hey- I could be wrong. Maybe a lot of people think they are girly- I know my mother in law agrees with him. It's not like he's playing barbies or make up or something. (although I don't really care if he does play barbies with his sister either! - hey that's another email- haha) So, my question is, what do you guys think? Do your boys play with stuffed animals? He loves webkins, build a bear, dogs and more. I'm just curious what most people think. I love my husband- he's a great dad, so please, no bashing him. :) Just a poll or your general thoughts- are stuffed animals ok for boys?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

:) Well after talking more, discussing this post, and some thinking- he reconsidered! :) Austin now has a new webkin. Yeah. :) Thanks for all your feedback everybody. I thought it wasn't a big deal, but needed to hear what others thought. Plus, it helped to say LOOK 40 people agree with me! ;) THANKS

Featured Answers

I had a son that had a stuffed snoopy dog he loved, he grew up to be a football player, & is very much a man, whats the worry to love a stuffed toy. I had a neighbor at the same time that had a boy older than mine, that went to bed with so many stuffed toys he could hardly crawl in, and he grew up very much a man. Why can't that me a (father love instinct) just like they say girls have mother insticts to love dolls? And by the way I had two girls and two boys.
I wouldn't worry about him having a stuffed toy to play with at that age.

Proud Mamma of twin 9 yr old boys. One love stuffed animals one does sometimes. I don't see an issue. He will out grow them eventually. It helps with developing his imagination. My Husband has actually helped pick out new ones.
So that is a vote to let him keep playing with his stuffed animals.

He's just 5!! My 2nd son LOVED playing with little dog stuffed animals until he was 6. Then, he sort of just grew out of it. (he's almost 7 now). i never ever thought anything of it. i wouldn't worry about it at all.

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They're absolutely okay. My 12 year still sleeps with his favorite stuffed animal: "Mr. Hippo" and he is all boy. So, I won't bash your hubby, as this attitude is certainly not unique, but I will make a general statement that the seeds for some of the problems in our culture are started by saying things as simple as a certain toy is a "boy" toy or a "girl" toy. While I agree 100% that there are huge differences between the sexes, re-enforcing stereotypes has alot of negative implications, both on a child's self esteem in the near term and in their role in a family and in society in the future. It will not be too long before your son is throwing a full size football in the house, maybe then your hubby will be wishing your son was more into playing with stuffed animals :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I don't really think that it matters what he likes and dislikes being that he is only five! My brother played with barbies forever! And he turned out just fine! He will probably grow out of it soon! Don't rush him, just let him do it on his own and try to encourage other "boy" things to him! That is what my mom and dad did with my brother, just tried to get him involved with sports and such, and he just ended up growing out of it! hope that helps!

I think stuffed animals are fine for boys. Most stuffed animals are...well...animals, and I know my son loves to play with animals-whether they are stuffed or not. ;)

My just turned 9 year old is all boy. He's always filthy, covered in bruises, bringing bugs home, and doing tons of things he shouldn't. But, he would never go to bed without his bear, Purple. He doeasn't exactly play with stuffed animals, but he likes to have them around. I don't think it's a bad thing. I would feel bad wrestling something from him that he loved because of fears they may be wrong for his age/sex etc. As long as he's happy, I'm happy! Most of the time!

It's just a stuffed animal!! He's only 5. who cares. I think its perfectly okay for boys to play with stuffed animals, dolls etc.. and girls to play with trucks. I personally think it's a "man" thing regarding what kind of toys their boys play with. My husband is the same way "no son of mine is going to play with a doll..." every child goes through this and it's perfectly normal.

I have 3 boys. One is 13, one 11 1/2, and 8. the oldest is still very much attached to his stuffed toys. i do get him to clean out the ones that are cheap from time to time. and he does , but we still have a pretty big collection. he doesn't play with them he just likes them. like penguins are his favorite animal. and he has several. i don't think it is anything unusual. he says he wants to be a vet. so there you have it. he also rides a skate board and spikes his hair, likes the beatles, and beating up on his little brother. we have about 13-14 boys in the neighborhood where we live, and no-one teases him, and some of them have them also. because i know their moms and i go into their houses. i think it is mostly your husbands insecurities. but your son will out grow it when he is ready if everyone just leaves him alone. he is only 5 for pete's sake. let him have his toys. there will come a time when he will no longer want them. if you think about the fact that he will live to be about 80, and he will be an adult from about 20 on, then he has 60 years to be an adult and only 15-20 to be a kid. don't make him grow up to fast. a friend of mine, her little boy liked an old dress he found from one of his older sisters. that gave his dad fits when he would wear it over his clothes, but mom was cool, he is just exploring, and everything is fine now. he is a happy healthy 5 year old boy playing war with the rest of them. the real question is why is your husband so threatened by the stuffed toys? and his sister? no need to toughen them up to early there is enough in life to do that for you. i am not bashing your husband, just wondering why it bothers him so much. you would think that he would want him to be tender and compassionate and kind and caring. well this is part of it. and remember he learns what is around him. are you his primary caregiver. maybe he is playing school, or vet. or wants a pet to call his own. no telling, but i think everything is fine. make him watch animal planet and subscribe to ranger rick magazine or zoo books and explore his love of animals.
good luck,

My son is 9 1/2 and still loves his stuffed animal collection. He still plays, cuddles, and sleeps with them. Let me assure you, he is quite the boy, too. He is an all star athlete in everything he plays...soccer, basketball, baseball, track, and we're adding football to the list this fall. Oh, he's also a motorcross star, he races his 2 dirtbikes every other weekend when dad is off work. I do not see a problem with the animals and would rather my son play with them than guns, swords, or video games all day. I am also thrilled that my son is growing up with a sensitive side that knows how to wind down from the days activities with a good snuggle! Maybe I need to get his dad a stuffed animal to practice with!

I have a 4 year old and he has lots of stuff animals and his imagination goes wild with them he makes all kinds of stuff up. He also has a maonkey that he has had since a baby and he sleeps with it, I think its cute when he carries it around and hugs it. I would say don't discourage your son from playing with stuffed animails he will internlize it and think theres something wrong with him. As a person with a degree in Early Child Development we are always tought that there are not things that are gender specific, children should be allowed to play with what ever they want.

I am a preschool teacher for 5 year olds....the boys like the stuffed animals just as much as the girls.

My son had a bear that he carried around as a 4 year old. I repaired "Bear's" nose many times. I had to practically pry it away from him in order to the SA to go to hospital (sewing room) to get nose fixed. When he was 7 we moved from one assignment to another Bear came with us as security with the move. (His sister had a blanket the she dragged around). After we got settled in (3 or 4 months), Bear and Blankie went away.

So no it not uncommon for a boy to have stuffed animals. My son is now 34 and still remembers his Bear. He has a 10 yoa son and he drags around a bedspead I made him. So go figure. Let a child be a child they eventually grow out of one phase into another. It's called change and we all do it. By the way my son is sensitive and gentle but all man and loves playing and coaching football when not an electrician.

My son is 4 my nephews are 7 and 3 and they all play with stuffed animals. We do stray away from the girlie like ones at all possible! The pink poodle at build a bear or a white cat with a dress that kind of thing. But they have played with stuffed animals all their lives and its natural and gives them some nuturing instincts too!
All the boys play with my daughters girlie toys also!

Stuffed animals are fine for boys, he's 5 yrs old for goodness sakes! If dust mite allergies or asthma are an issue, that's different, but stuffed animals are not a predicting factor of wussiness in a boy.

I don't think there is a problem with a 5 year old playing with stuffed animals especially if he has an older sister. He is imitating her. My son is 3 and likes to play with his sisters' stuffed animals, my little ponies, etc. I think it is good for him as it helps his imagination as he does a lot of playing by himself when his sisters are at school. So I think that your husband should just relax let him have fun and I think he will grow out of it in the next year or two and if he decides to go to college with a stuffed animal under his arm, then maybe worry ;-)

It's totally okay. I have a good friend who has two boys, 5 & 11 and they both love webkins. The 5 yr. old really likes them and he still sleeps with a SA as well. My little boy is only 2 and he still sleeps with his "lovie" plus a couple other SA's. HTH

My Son is 8 and he has stuffed animals he loves. Although he does not carry them around all the time, he does enjoy sleeping with them and if a friend is over and has one, they can sleep with theirs together. My son is ALL BOY! He loves to fish..fast cars..tractors and farm equipment..and anything to do with weather and the solar system. My husband and I do not worry when our son sleeps or carries a stuffed animal around. It is part of being a kid.

I don't think it is girlie at all. My nephew is 9 years old and sleeps with his favorite stuffed animal every nite!! And his favorite stuffed animal changes often!! I am facing a similiar situation...my husband thinks it is too girlie for my 9 month old to play with a purse!! He just opens it and pulls things out!! I try to tell him its just what babies do they wanna learn, doesn't mean he is gonna grow up and be a cross dresser!!

It's okay. My son is 7 and loves his. He sleeps with several every night. Several of his friends, boys & girls, do too.

Hi L M !
My son is 17 and still has most of his stuffed animals that he has collected thru the years. I don't see it as a problem. My son is a normal male teenager. He doesn't play with his stuffed toys anymore, but still hates to let go. I told him he could share them with his kids one day.
Everyone has their own opinions and your husband is entitles to his. This is one you have to work out between the two of you!

Good Luck & God Bless!

Just call them action figures and the ordeal is over!!


My husband LOVES all things manly, but helps my boys 16, 11 collect all kinds of "stuffed" animals. We have about 6 old 80's pac men dolls, (off ebay,) and quite a few stuffed animals, kitties, dogs etc. Nothing too girlie... I'm glad you asked for no man bashing. :) My sixteen year old even invented a voice for pac man that he used on 'his' pac man until his voice changed and ruined it. I haven't seen any adverse affects from this behavior and it bothered me more than dad.... GL with this. If dad is adamant and it becomes an issue, see if replacing his stuffed animals with other toys helps ease the change for your boy.

Many blessings!!

I had a son that had a stuffed snoopy dog he loved, he grew up to be a football player, & is very much a man, whats the worry to love a stuffed toy. I had a neighbor at the same time that had a boy older than mine, that went to bed with so many stuffed toys he could hardly crawl in, and he grew up very much a man. Why can't that me a (father love instinct) just like they say girls have mother insticts to love dolls? And by the way I had two girls and two boys.
I wouldn't worry about him having a stuffed toy to play with at that age.

Dear LM,

I don't think stuffed animals are girlie at all! My boys play with them and they are 10 and 7. (My 7 yr old even plays barbies with his sister and he's not effiminate at all!) While my girl "loves-on" her stuffed animals, the boys play rough with them. I think that's their nature. But even when they love-on their animals, I don't see anything wrong with it.

Hope this helps.

My newphew is 8 and loves webkins. Stuffed animals are not girlie. Just don't go buying him some pink unicorn or anything. LOL!

My oldest son is 17, and my "baby" is 3 (just turned, both of them). My oldest son had his "stuffies" until he was about 10 or so (at least, that is when we had to put a LIMIT on them, because of space!). "Stuffies" is also his word for them; I thought it was pretty cute that he gave them that collective name! At 5, I would not be worried about him having stuffed animals. If we want our boys to know how to care for their own children, how else are they supposed to learn? Plus, if he has a few "stuffies", he can "pretend" to care for them (pretend feeding/watering/walking, etc), and that will help him learn how to care for pets, too!


I have a 7 yr old and he loves stuff animals and pets. I think he might want to be a vet. I do curve how many he has and now I have him give 2 away if he wants a new one.

Totally cool...just had stuffed animal night at church and the boys were just as into it as the girls. In our group, 5-year-olds, the boys are some of the most attached to their webkins in particular.

My VERY boy-ish manchild that is 13 - plays paintball, wakeboards and hunts monsters in the creek by our house in full camo gear with his friends. And has a huge collecion of very fuzzy very soft and cuddly stuffed animals well hidden under his bed lest anyone should find them :o) I am probably the only one who really knows about it bc when he has friends over, they mysteriously appear in the back of my closet :o)

My 15 year old wore lipstick and necklaces and carried a purse until he was probably 3-4. ANd he is just as much of a rough guy as his brother and has a girlfriend.

I wouldnt wory about it at all. Hes jsut a baby and these things are soft and comforting to him.

Good luck!

I think its totally ok for boys to play with whatever they want to play with. Where is it written (except maybe in a mans mind) that boys cant play with stuffed animals and girls can't play with trucks. I have four daughters and two sons, they have all played with each others toys and we have never worried about it. I think that boys that have something soft and cuddly to love grow up being more sensitve caring men who love to cuddle their wives and their children, who ever said it wasn't "Manly" to know how to be sensitive and loving? Would you be worried if your daughter was playing in the dirt with a truck, not usually, so why worry about a boy playing with a stuffed animal.

We have a 2 1/2 year old and he sleeps with a giraffe. I don't think it is a problem. If he enjoys it, he should play them. My child sometimes plays with stuffed animals, not a whole lot. I think they are fine for all kids to play with. We've had older kids from 3-12 years old. We've had one boy who liked some of the Mexican small guy figurines that come from a candy type vending machine.

Proud Mamma of twin 9 yr old boys. One love stuffed animals one does sometimes. I don't see an issue. He will out grow them eventually. It helps with developing his imagination. My Husband has actually helped pick out new ones.
So that is a vote to let him keep playing with his stuffed animals.

boys and girls both play with whatever stimulates their creativity! this love of stuffed things only highlights his individual desire to care for and show interest in caring and loving others than himself. tell hubby that this behavior is perfectly normal and if it is stifled, will only lead to stereotipical reactions to the boy/ girl "appropriate play toys" world that leads to more problems with adjustment issues in the future.

Nothing to worry about, Mom. (And, I agree about Barbies, too. My 17 year old son had to have a Ken doll to play with because his older sister had so many Barbies!!) My oldest son had a bear he slept with until he was too old to admit to in a public forum. And he's nothing if not all guy!! Trust your instincts and let them be little as long as possible!

P.S. My husband didn't much like the stuffed animals after a certain age either; but, he just ignored it.

I say no big deal. He likes them, they're around the house, why not? They're just toys.

Not at all! My son is almost 5 and sleeps with a stuffed animal. My BFF's son is almost 11 and still sleeps with a stuffed SpongeBob, and neither of those boys are any less MALE.

My 2 year old won't touch them, but he has tons that people have given him. They will just sit and accumulate dust until his sister is old enough to enjoy them. But no, I don't see a problem with them for A 5 year old. My nephews, age 4 and 6 like theirs. He'll grow out of them eventually, until them let him have his innocence. Your hubby will soon be longing for the day your son wanted to play with his stuffed toys!

My son had a sleep over when he was 7. All five boys had stuffed animals packed in their overnight bags. He still keeps the animals in his bed, but is not as dependent on them. My younger two boys both have a "lovey" that they sleep with (3&6). I think that it builds nuturing qualities for their future wife and kids!


He's just 5!! My 2nd son LOVED playing with little dog stuffed animals until he was 6. Then, he sort of just grew out of it. (he's almost 7 now). i never ever thought anything of it. i wouldn't worry about it at all.

If it bothers your husband, have him redirect your son. Tell him to teach him 'boy stuff', to play with him more often, and take his son with him where ever he goes and show him what men do. Boys do need time with their dads to learn to be a man. So tell your husband to take the job, and teach him!

My oldest son had a Molly dolly (Big Comfy Couch) for the longest time. I think he may have been about seven when he gave it to his little sister. That wasn't all he played with. He was just as happy to grab a stick and slay dragons. We never made a big deal about his choice of toys, except for the potentially dangerous ones. He's now 11 and still keeps a small zoo of stuffed animals on his bed. He doesn't play with them, but he likes to have them close and he definitely doesn't want anybody to touch them.

I don't think it's girlie in the least! I'm mean is he playing with a pink unicorn or just a love of animals? Let's get real here. I have an eight year old son who still sleeps with his "Beary" which is an Anne Geddes bear (the one that looks like a baby dressed in a bear outfit). It's actually his second one, the first was worn out so we bought another about 4 years back. This one is VERY loved as well. He'll decided when it's time to put it away, until then Beary is just a loved family member.

I have three boys and three girls and my boys love their stuffed animals just as much as the girls. The boys stuffed animals are more along the bear, dog, frog animal lines where the girls are unicorns, cats and white bears. But it's perfectly normal. I believe it shows a kindness in your son. I think it teaches children to have compassion for the "real" animals of the world.

Maybe mention to your husband that it is normal, and your son will choose when it's time to let go of the stuffed animals.

I think it's perfectly fine. If he likes them and wants to play with them, I wouldn't be concerned with him loving to play with stuffed animals. My boys are younger, however they have play dates with other 5 year old boys who like playing with stuffed animals. I hope this helps validate your little guys preference for playing with stuffed animals.


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