4 Reasons Why Your Child Needs a Warmable Plush Toy
Bongly, was my best friend in childhood. We did everything together, bedtime, meal time and play time. In essence, we were inseparable. Who’s Bongly, you might ask. No he is not a child, but a soft toy.
Even though Bongly has been long gone from my life, I still look back fondly to my childhood spent with him. Worldwide, many children too have a version of their own Bongly. And if you were to attribute it to an 80s quirk (yes I am that old), you will be surprised to know that soft toys continue to fill up toy shops’ shelves till today.
In this day and age where electronic gadgets and high-tech toys are all the rage, soft toys manage to hold its own. Why is it possible that an inanimate object can retain such long-lasting appeal? We need only look to biology for the answer.
According to Harry Harlow’s research, baby rhesus monkeys would seek the comfort of a terry cloth surrogate mother in the absence of their real mother. This is despite the presence of a food-bearing, metallic surrogate. Whereas the metallic mother served a more utilitarian function, the cloth surrogate was a source of great comfort for the monkeys.
So What is a Warmable Plush?
A warmable plush, or microwavable plush, is one that you can heat up using a microwave oven. They are normally filled with fillings ranging from flaxseeds to silica gel. Some can go straight in the oven, but my preference is one where the heating pack can be removed as it is simply more hygienic.
So why are warmable plushes good for children?
Reason #1: Provides a sense of reassurance and security
Just like what Harlow’s experiment have shown, soft toys can soothe babies by helping them feel like their mothers are near. A warmable and weighted plush like SnuggleTike™️ is especially comforting as it mimics the warmth and weight of a mother’s hand.
Just like how weighted-blankets can provide a sense of security for children (and adults alike), SnuggleTike™️ is perfectly weighted and sized for little hands. This helps children to self-soothe and stay calm despite stressful situations.
This sense of reassurance is especially powerful. As Mary Ainsworth’s seminal research on attachment had shown, the presence of a mother (or a surrogate one as Harry Harlow found) greatly boosted the confidence of children. When they know that their “mothers” were around, these children tend to engage in more exploration, one which we know will help them to grow into confident and bright juniors.
Reason #2: Provides a great variety of sensory input for optimal brain development
Children are born to explore. Through exploration, their little brains receive the sensory input which can stimulate their brains to learn and grow. When it comes to exploration, soft toys are a safe way for children to explore their environment.
Well, don’t a normal toy do the same too? Technically yes. The many plastic toys can provide sensory input with their colours and sounds. But with a warmable plush, children are provided with a cacophony of textures and temperatures too. And when it comes to quality of sensory input, research has shown that stimuli in the form of touch is unparalleled for the optimal growth and well-being of a child.
Reason #3: Serves as a confidante
I remember many a nights when I’ve had a bad day. I would hug Bongly and tell him about my oh-so-terrible day. Though he never answered back, just the mere act of sharing my problem with him was cathartic.
A plush toy provides a safe outlet for children to confide with. They can share their fears, frustrations and problems without fear of judgment. Even if these children are too young to understand or put their thoughts into words, just the mere act of hugging the soft toy and sobbing into its fur can still be very calming for them.
Reason #4: Relieves pain
Have you ever had a sore neck or back? How did you feel when you placed a warm compress over it? The feeling of relief washing over you as the pain ebbed away was really amazing wasn’t it?
Research has shown that heat can temporarily deactivate the nerve endings for pain. With tummy aches and sores being a common bugbear of childhood, a warmable plush is thus a superb way to numb the pains.
No other time in recent history has been more stressful for children than right now. With the pandemic raging on, schools around the world have been disrupted. Children have been separated from their friends and cooped up at home on most days. No lively banters with friends. No sunlight and fresh air from the outdoors.
No wonder most children are feeling an elevated level of stress! It is at this time where they most need a trusted friend, someone who can be there for them 24/7. Someone non-judgmental, someone with whom they can bare their hearts to. In this regard, there is no one better than a warmable plush; so human-like and so present.
If you are looking for a fur buddy for your child, do keep child safety in mind as small parts may be swallowed by these curious creatures. With SnuggleTike™️, you can put your mind at ease. SnuggleTike™️ warmable plushes are crafted with your child’s safety in mind and are suitable for use from birth with adult supervision.