Is this a normal child's behavior?

Is it normal for children to dress their favorite stuffed animal? I’m thinking this is harmless. The child loves the animal and treats it as if it was human. Perhaps it is a form of parenting? The child seems himself as the parent and thus dresses the stuffed animal as if it was his “child.” Anyway, am I right in thinking this is harmless and may actually be a good thing as the child is learning responsibilty?

It certainly sounds harmless. I know I sometimes dressed my stuffed animals when I was little.

It’s a very natural thing to do. I dressed all my toys when I was little, whether they were stuffed animals or dolls, and so did all of my little friends. I didn’t think that real animals needed clothes, or that my toy animals were actually people. It was just something to do while playing.

Kids have a very limited experience, so when they play games they often copy things that they do in their “real” life. It’s good practise for them, and shows that they care for anything that belongs to them.

I’m wondering why you’re asking though - are you new to spending time with children, or has someone been telling you that dressing up stuffed animals is strange? It really is a very common thing for kids to do, and I would think it’s part of normal development. Plus, it’s very cute to watch them do it :slight_smile:

I am confused–in what way would this possibly be harmful? This seems on its surface like the least controversial question ever asked on these boards :).


I even put earrings into my stuffed animals’ ears, after I’d gotten my own pierced.

I’m very new to children. Since I’ve worked in education for six years, although always in the office, I’ve decided to get out and spend a lot of time with real children. So, I’m volunteering to spend time with children, mainly Katrina evacuees, but any children who need company.

I’d say it was completely normal. Then again, my son is obsessed with our Roomba vaccum, pretends to feed it and even puts a blanket over it before he goes to bed at night because he’s afraid it’ll get cold…
Hmm, on second thought perhaps I’m not the best person to define “normal” child behavior. :smiley:

Kids dress dolls and toy soldiers. My wifes’s cousing even dressed her (real live) cat. Dressing things is probably about as normal and harmless as it gets (though there are some cats one shouldn’t try this with).

Whenever I got a boo-boo as a child (probably not much beyond preschool age), my two favorite teddy bears also got Band-Aids in the same spot as mine.

When my son was little he had a Mickey Mouse doll that was meant to be dressed. It had a little zipper, and buttons and shoes with laces to be tied. It was supposed to help teach kids how to dress themselves and practice coordination.

Hell yes it’s normal. Growing up, my sister and I used to dress up our dolls and stuffed animals in our old baby clothes.

“My child likes to laugh and play. Should I be concerned?”


If people at the dog park can put sweaters on dogs, then a child dressing a stuffed toy seems fine to me.

I am pretty sure I did the same thing as a kid. It’s just modeling how one’s parents dress/care for the child.

I’d be worried if the child was ripping apart/setting on fire, etc. to a toy.

No, it is the exact oppostie. It usually involves the child making sure the animal has a blanket if it is cold and making sure the animal is wearing clean underwear!

Quite normal. Even if it weren’t, it’s a kid’s job to be weird.

I did this to both the cats we had growing up. They were married to each other multiple times, despite them both being (neutered) males. One of them seemed to enjoy it, and the other didn’t. It might have had something to do with the fact that they were both always brides. Poor Patches, insulting what was left of his manhood. I’m sure the frilly bonnet didn’t help. That’s pretty progressive for a cat.

**Greywolf73, ** that’s too cute.

It’s perfectly normal to dress one’s stuffed animals. Kids have been known to do much weirder things.

Those are the early signs of a serial killer. You better start the electro-shock therapy.

OK, so that’s normal… but how about this?

My cat tells me what to wear. And he gets REALLY mad if I don’t listen to him. Sometimes, he starts to burn a hole in my brain, right thru the tinfoil hat. Is this normal? 'cause it’s been going on for like, a few years now. I mean, usually he has great fashion sense and stuff, but it does seem, kinda, ya know, weird.

Oh, OK. When I first read this I thought you asked "Is it normal for children to dress AS their favorite stuffed animal?

I still think that dressing as their favorite stuffed animal is pretty normal for a child, unless your child is 22, subscribes to “Furry Fandom” and refuses to get out of his Otter costume for weeks at a time.