Weighted stuffed animals are plushies that pack a little extra heft — they can weigh up to five pounds. That extra weight isn’t just for show, though; these special plushies can help people of all ages feel calmer. They provide a sensory input that’s similar to the feeling of a bear hug, which can be soothing for kids and adults with anxiety or stress.

The key to choosing the right weighted stuffed animal is balancing comfort and safety. It’s important that the toy doesn’t feel too heavy, which can be a problem for toddlers and children who may not have the strength or coordination to move the toy if it becomes uncomfortable. A general guideline is to choose a weighted toy that is no more than 10% of the child’s body weight, but we recommend speaking with your pediatrician before making a decision.

There are a couple of different ways to add the weight to a stuffed animal, depending on its size and structure. Some people use a simple method that involves placing bags of weighted materials in strategic areas inside the toy. Others make it more like a weighted blanket, creating pouches and attaching them to the inside of the toy at various points. If you’re making a larger toy, such as a dragon or other large creature, this method can be easier since it allows you to place weighted material where needed without ruining the integrity of the design. weighted stuffed animal