Stuffed animals are an integral and popular part of many of our childhoods. Just reading this, you might envision your little cuddly companions that you stuck by as a child. That time of our lives may have been wonderful, but unfortunately it came to an end when it was “no longer acceptable” for us to sleep with plushies. Once we were labelled as “weird” for having a teddy, we chucked them away and never looked back.
Oh, and before you ask, I was in fact one of those toy-chuckers. As a child, I slept with my Curious George stuffed toy because I felt safer with him in my presence. When I got older though, he became more of an annoyance than an asset. So, like many others, I put George aside for good. In general, my experience was no different than anyone else’s: I kept my stuffed toy until I “outgrew” him and felt I no longer needed him.
To those of you who still cling to your stuffed teddy bear when you sleep, there’s no need to worry. One piece of advice I can give from my Curious George experience is that the time to let go will come to you naturally. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where stuffed animals in bed become more trouble than they’re worth. I mean, how can you get into a deep sleep with the risk of rolling into this inanimate object, and anyway, why would you want such an inconvenience?
Can you really criticize an adult for having a stuffed animal when you had one at one point? If I asked ten random people how old they were when they stopped sleeping with stuffed animals, they would certainly give different answers. And that’s just it—there is no set age where you must give up stuffed toys. So how can one person call another weird, just because they’ve chosen a different age to abandon the stuffed animal phase of their life?
There’s also one factor to this phenomenon that is overlooked—many people have stuffed animals for reasons other than it being a cute cuddle-buddy. The toy may be worth a lot, like a collectible. It could also be for childhood keepsake—this is exactly why I kept my Curious George toy for all these years. It represented something special to me—something special about my childhood.
Having said all this there are valid arguments on both sides, and frankly, none of them are wrong. But at the same time, whether you’re for or against, it seems most of us have reached the conclusion that it’s weird for adults to use them when they serve as a possible detriment to their sleep. So, what can we draw from all this? If the toy means something special to you, owning stuffed animals is fine, regardless of your age. Never let society push you to let go before you’re truly ready. That being said, I must leave you with this warning: if you choose to sleep with a stuffed animal after a certain age, you may be considered weird.
Staff Writer (Volume 49) — Yusuf is in his third-year completing a major in English and double minor in Cinema Studies and History Of Religions. Following an anticipated return to campus he sought to get involved and his ambition led him to join The Medium. In addition to developing his writing skills further he has found his experience contributing insightful as he’s learned about other fields on campus he wouldn’t know about otherwise. When he’s not studying or writing he enjoys listening to music and browsing the internet. You can connect with Yusuf on LinkedIn.