44% of adults have held on to their childhood teddies and dolls, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night

‘My bears are my lifeline’: the adults who sleep with soft toys

If you share your bed with a furry friend well into adulthood, don’t be ashamed – sleeping with soft toys is more normal than you might think. “It’s very common,” says Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, who has researched our attachment to childhood toys. He tells me that about one in three of the people he has questioned still sleep with teddies, and that it is probably more common for women, as it is more socially acceptable for them to do so.

Why are we hanging on to our cuddly toys? “My hunch is that it’s to do with sleeping practices,” Hood says. In western cultures, we tend to separate children from their parents after the first year – after which they sleep on their own, and self-soothe using blankets and soft toys. “T… Continue Reading (6 minute read)

12 thoughts on “44% of adults have held on to their childhood teddies and dolls, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night”

  1. nutria_twiga

    Was homeless. Dad needed a new shirt for a job interview. Went to a thrift store. I saw a white bear in a bin and fell in love. He got me the bear and skipped the shirt.

    I didn’t understand the significance when I was a kid. Still sleep with her well into my 30’s. Dad passed about 11 years ago. 🙁

  2. Evadrepus

    Got a stuffed animal for getting straight A’s in 3rd grade. We were very poor. Was one of the first toys I ever got that was just mine.

    He’s in my office bookcase, half a century later.

    Edit, since this is my highest voted post ever, by a very long way, I feel obligated to give my oldest friend some credit. Here’s [Bentley](https://imgur.com/a/9A5kRdV), sitting on the shelf. Yes, I did give him a hug.

  3. Bluehat5000

    I got a stuffed rabbit when I was like 6 years old and I still have it, sortof.

    The original rabbit I gave to my cousin Holly so she could sew up a tear, her mom took it and put it somewhere and I never saw it again.

    I was pretty devastated as that guy had pretty much been my best bud for a very long time.

    So I did with any normal healthy human would do I went on eBay and I started purchasing every single one I could find.

    I now have nine rabbits.

    Also, these rabbits I’m buying off eBay all have similar features, example their fur is trimmed by scissors. There’s less fluff than I remember, and the stitching isn’t the same. They all seem to be brand new as well, they should be around 30 years old.

    I’m starting to think someone out there is creating these stuff rabbits from my childhood as brand new knockoffs.

    EDIT: [Here](https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcS-gf_1W9QceREuRyA_ILfUDwEuOTvBtPasmQ&usqp=CAU) is a pic.

    Playful Pals stuffed rabbit sold at Mervyns in the 80s.

  4. -OrLoK-

    50 years old here. still have one of my first Teddies.

  5. SafeSecks

    My sister has a rabbit she sleeps with nightly still. Can’t go on any night trip without it ..she’s 27. Not judging, but if she finds it comforting, let her do her.

  6. 02K30C1

    I had a stuffed bear I got when I was about 8. I took him everywhere with me, even when I joined the army and went on deployments.

    My daughter took him when she was around 6, and insisted that he preferred to sleep on her bed. She took him on Girl Scout camping trips and high school band bus trips. Later he went to college with her.

    Now my granddaughter has him. She just turned 6. The poor guy has been sewn up a few times and lost a lot of fluff, but he’s still hanging on.

  7. LukeLovesLakes

    I mean, ya, I’m an adult and I sleep with a soft toy. It never used to be that way though, I’m just getting older.

  8. rafibomb_explosion

    All these people who are dogging it, why? I’m a grown man and I think it’s adorable. It’s a little childish, but who cares? It’s a physical item someone can hold when times are tough. It isn’t hurting anyone.

  9. Brewe

    We definitely need to do our own research on that number: [strawpoll](https://www.strawpoll.me/21137742/r)

    Edit: I should specify that you should be 18+ to vote on this one, since the data in question is about adults.

  10. IAmHoltron

    I think it’s nice to keep that part of childhood intact

  11. sassylittlespoon

    I’m 41 and I only don’t have my stuffie anymore because my car was stolen earlier this year and she was in there. To be honest I’m still pretty devastated.

    I’d had her since I was born.

  12. Ghost_In_Waiting

    The little tiger had always been there. From the time I was little. I don’t remember who gave it to me. Maybe an aunt or a distant uncle. Anyway, the little tiger had been with me as far back as I could remember.

    I can remember when I imagined that the plush toy would talk to me. “Don’t put that in your mouth” or “Don’t stick the keys in there because you’ll get hurt.” Silly stuff that I knew my own mind was warning me about to keep me safe.

    I can remember one time when my Dad had a little too much to drink. I had been sleeping in my “Unicorn Fortress” when I heard the voice. Not like an adult’s voice but not like the voice in my head. It was kind of hard to describe.

    “Daddy has fallen asleep but stove is on. We have to hurry. Things are burning.”

    Clear as day yet also like something said underwater. I woke up and scooted down the big stairs. Dad was asleep in the recliner and the pan on the stove was boiling up hot oil. No one else noticed. I was the only one awake.

    I took the pan off the stove and turned off the burner. Mom had shown me how. Daddy was snoring. I kissed him on the forehead and fluffed myself up the main stair back to my bedroom. The house smelled like hot oil but not things on fire.

    My little tiger said “That was very brave. I knew you could do it. You are a very special girl.”

    I was sleepy and really didn’t care. I just wanted to go back to sleep. Eventually morning came and I dragged my little tiger down the steps for breakfast. Dad was there puttering about making “The World’s Best Pancakes” and Mom was on the deck drinking coffee waiting until she’d have to clean up.

    Tiger is with me to this day. I imagine that I hear him sometimes even now. Sometimes about a boy, sometimes about a job, sometimes when I just don’t know what I want. I know it’s silly but I like having tiger with me. He’s been with me so long I can’t imagine living without him.

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