A lot of people remember their first stuffed animal. Some of us even still have it! Let’s hear from some of the Her Campus at Geneseo team about their favorite or oldest stuffed animals!
I unfortunately did not bring her with me to college (my parents talked me into bringing a different stuffed animal), but one of my oldest and favorite stuffed animals is an orange koala named, you guessed it, Koala. I’ve had her for as long as I can remember. She may not have been my first—at least, I don’t think she was—but if you look at any holiday picture of me from when I was around two years old to now, there’s a very good chance Koala is going to be in the picture with me.
The two most significant stuffed animals in my life are both dogs. I was given Sassy by my aunt when I was in the hospital at age three with a broken arm. I was having the worst time ever and she bought her from the hospital gift store, I think. She said her name was Sassy, which to three-year-old me totally tracked because I thought all dogs looked like my aunt’s dog Sassy. I slept with her every night for years, until I got my other significant stuffed animal. Elroy was my first Webkinz, a chihuahua, and I took him everywhere with me for the longest time, even to school. In late middle school I decided I was too cool for stuffed animals, but when I went off to college, I knew I had to bring him with me to cuddle with at night. I have slept with him every night since. As for Sassy, she is sitting proud and certainly not forgotten on my bedroom bookshelf at home, watching over my childhood room until I come back to visit. When I move out for good, she is of course coming with me.
I had a lot of stuffed animals growing up so my favorite ones at the time would cycle in and out a lot. I remember I had this cute unicorn though that appeared in a lot of pictures, but I don’t remember having an attachment to it. I guess I was different and never chose an absolute favorite. My blanket was more of a comfort item. Right now the oldest stuffed animal that I still have is a dolphin Pillow Pet that I got the day my grandpa died. I named him Jorge. The pillow pet, not my grandpa.
The oldest stuffed animal I own would probably be this weird Yosemite Sam one. I say probably because I had dozens of stuffed animals growing up and my mom loves to save them all so it’s hard to pinpoint which I’ve had for the longest. I think the Yosemite Sam was originally my mom’s and she passed it on to me. It still hangs in this basket in my room at home. Although this one is the oldest, my favorite has to be a giant unicorn I have that my sister gave me. I love it because it takes up half my bed so I always have something to cuddle.
The oldest and most special stuffed animal I have is a teddy bear that I was given right after birth. I fondly named him “Bear-Bear” (creative, I know). While he must have been soft originally, in even my earliest memories he was rough and matted from love, his pink fur perpetually just a little bit crusty, I used to suck on his left ear, so it is the CRUSTIEST area of his fur. But I do it out of love, of course! I feel like an important side note to add is that he is always accompanied by his best friend, “Uni” the unicorn, not to mention often riding her as a means of transportation. Name a more iconic duo—I’ll wait.
My all time favorite stuffed animal is my stuffed penguin, Chilly. He was given to me as soon as I was born and he’s been by my side ever since. At this point, all of his fabric is faded and washed out. He also has four giant rips down his belly, one of which has been sewn up. He has a little winter hat and used to have a scarf, but that is long gone. Though Chilly is physically pretty torn up, he remains my comfort stuffed animal to this day. I remember one year, I accidentally left him in a hotel room in Vermont and I cried for hours. Luckily, my grandma called and we got him shipped back to me. And before you ask, yes, he did come to college with me.
The oldest stuffed animal in my possession would probably have to be the first Webkinz that I ever received. I think it was a birthday present, but I honestly can’t say that with 100 percent certainty. Nevertheless, it was a yellow lab named Bella (after my grandparents dog whom I shared a birthday with). As of now Bella is sitting in my closet, living her best life.
I received my oldest—and favorite—stuffed animal when I was two years old. I don’t know the full story and I never really asked, but I was in the hospital for something with my kidneys. My dad got me a stuffed teddy bear to make me feel better. My dad named him Boo Boo Teddy (very self-explanatory—I was hurt and it was a teddy bear). He sits on my headboard in my bedroom. The stuffing has made Boo Boo bottom heavy, but he’s still perfect to me! I hope to pass him down one day.
My dad gave me my oldest stuffed animal when I was about five years old—he was a Hershey’s-colored bear from the Hershey’s factory, and had “Hershey’s” written across his chest. Creatively, I named him “Hershey.” I never had much attachment to Hershey as a child, but have always had a need to hold something while I sleep. I’ve transitioned in and out of different snuggle buddies throughout my life—on my bed now, there are two Squishmallows (a donkey named Benji and a dinosaur named Squish), a bunny named Maureen (a graduation gift from my best friend) and a teddy bear named Cuffs (a long-distance gift from my partner). The recent development of an affinity for Squishmallows has been a costly one and I am hoping to get well soon.
My official “oldest stuffed animals” are all in storage by now, and so I don’t have much to say about them, but the oldest in my possession is a grey elephant aptly named Peanut. I got her at the North Carolina Zoo (disclaimer: not a current proponent of zoos) at seven years old, and she hasn’t left my side since. I don’t get particularly attached to stuffed animals, so it says a lot about Peanut that I brought her to college with me — and I’m glad I did; she’s acted as an emotional support elephant for my college friends on multiple occasions, and I even let one of my friends keep her for a few nights during a particularly difficult midterm period.
My oldest stuffed animal doesn’t even qualify as a stuffed animal. It is a blanket with little lambs on it which I so creatively named, “Lamby Blankie.” My grandma gave me this blanket when I was born. It has absolutely no emotional value to my grandmother; she bought it at the hospital gift shop. Nevertheless, I loved that blanket more than anything. I did not bring it with me to college but it does sit rolled up on my bed at home with around a dozen other random stuffed animals from my childhood. When I say I was addicted to buying stuffed animals as a kid, I mean it. My closet has a stash, my attic has about six garbage bags stuffed full of the ones I deemed least important to me. Am I still obsessed with buying stuffed animals? Duh.
I didn’t bring him to college, but I’ve had a pink stuffed bear since birth. His stuffing and soft fur has been worn away with age and use, so now he’s more of a bear-shaped bean bag than an actual stuffed animal. I’d creatively named him Pinky, and I took him with me everywhere I went when I was younger. Nowadays he stays in my room, and honestly I’m too scared of him falling apart to take him most places.
My both oldest and favorite stuffed animal was a walrus from a Long Island aquarium my cousin bought me after I begged my mom to take me to the giftshop and she DIDN’T. My cousin’s name is Anthony so naturally I looked at the walrus and decided his name was King Anthony. He has been with me on countless road trips as a kid and now inhabits some dark corner of my room. I now feel really guilty about this and am making a plan to bring him back with me to college in the fall. Senior-year-me will need all the emotional support I can get.
The oldest stuffed animal I have is a stuffed bear. I’m unsure where it came from, who gave it to me, or honestly when I got it. All I know is that I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. The only way I know how to describe it’s smell is kind of like an old book smell. It just smells comforting and it’s hair is matted down (I know, gross) but it’s what gives my bear it’s je ne sais quoi, so to speak. Interestingly, I can’t cuddle it when I go to bed because I toss and turn through the night and I know it would end up on the floor. That just can’t happen! Instead, it just sleeps right next to me alongside a superfluous amount of pillows.
If you still have your oldest or favorite stuffed animal, be sure to give it some love!