Stuffed animals for infantsĀ  are a great way to encourage your baby to interact with their environment. They also help build the child's self-reliance by helping them feel comfortable without your support. They also teach kids about empathy by requiring them to consider other people's feelings and needs. Some studies have found that a stuffed animal can even reduce stress, anxiety and pain in children who've been exposed to trauma. The best stuffed animals for infants are soft, safe, and embroidered so that fewer parts come off to pose a choking hazard. They're also usually short in fur, which prevents babies from chewing or swallowing strands of fur they could choke on. The Ultimate Guide to Infant Bibs: Types, Styles, and Uses A stuffed animal can also provide comfort during big life events, such as welcoming a sibling or getting a new pet. This is especially helpful for small children who are unable to fully respond to a human's touch or voice. Some stuffed animals can be interactive by having sound effects and lights. These should be located out of your baby's reach. To keep your baby's stuffed animal clean, it should be regularly washed and disinfected, following the manufacturer's instructions. If the stuffed animal is stained, it should be dry cleaned or thrown away. It's especially important to clean stuffed animals that are made of materials that could be a choking hazard, such as plastic, foam, and fabric. It's also important to check that the stuffed animal is flame retardant or flame resistant so it won't catch fire.