Do Many Adults Still Have Their Childhood Stuffed Animals?

Apparently, Peter Pan isn't the only child who never grew up. According to a survey commissioned by Build-a-Bear Workshop, most people like to hold onto their childhood -- literally.

Children aren't the only ones who enjoy cuddling with a teddy bear: around 40% of U.S. adults sleep next to a stuffed animal.
Children aren't the only ones who enjoy cuddling with a teddy bear: around 40% of U.S. adults sleep next to a stuffed animal.

Atomik Research polled 2,000 Americans about their teddy bear habits and uncovered some interesting results. The 2017 poll found that a majority of adults still own a stuffed animal, and 40 percent sleep next to a furry friend.

Among people who own stuffed toys, 56 percent have had the same one for more than 20 years, while 72 percent say they have no intention of ever giving up their little pal.

Where you live also seems to affect whether you're likely to own a stuffed animal. People in the South have the highest percentage of stuffed animal ownership, at 75 percent, but Midwest and Northeast residents are close behind, at 72 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a clinical psychologist with whom Build-a-Bear shared the results, said she wasn't shocked by the findings. "As we enter adulthood and leave home for the first time, it's no surprise that the same object re-enters our life, providing comfort while also helping us work through feelings of uncertainty as we transition into a new life stage," she said.

More "stuff":

  • A German company, Steiff, made the first stuffed animals in 1880, using technology it had developed for upholstery.

  • In 1903, a Peter Rabbit stuffed toy based on Beatrix Potter's books became the first stuffed animal to receive a patent.

  • Unagi Travel in Japan offers tours of the country for stuffed animals; itineraries include water sports and dumplings for dinner.

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