Modern soft toys are so much more than just fluffy teddies. They are designed to stimulate and comfort, plus they are oh-so-stylish too. If you are buying for a newborn, a softie that can soothe is just right. For a toddler, you’ll want one that engages their senses and maybe encourages some imaginative playtime too. We’ve picked out our favourite eight that make the perfect besties for kids...

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IDEAL FOR FUN ON THE FLOOR

Perfect for babies who can sit independently, Tumbler Puffin by Fabelab introduces cause and effect from an early age. Its weighted base means it wobbles about as it is played with, but its soft form makes it cuddle-worthy too. Compact in size, it can be moved around easily for play time anywhere.

A GREAT FIRST GIFT

Ideal from day one, Piu Piu The Octopus by Nattou is a soft toy for newbies. Created with twisted tentacles that are reminiscent of the umbilical cord, it’s grey-scale design is also ideal for brand new eyes which can’t focus on colour yet. Tiny hands will love to grasp on to the eight twisted legs that will have them daydreaming about life in the womb.

PERFECT FOR TAKING ON JOURNEYS

A soft toy that’s ideal for baby sensory, the Musical Cloud Mobile Toy by Minene plays Brahms' Lullaby when the string is pulled. The senses of touch and sight are also catered for with a squishy design and embroidered facial features that babies will have all the heart eyes for. 😍 Little in size, but bursting with character, you can attach the loop at the top to the pram or car seat, making it a perfect softie for travel.

CREATED FOR SOOTHING

Babies often find real comfort in a muslin, so the Muslin Bunny Rattle by Nogaravin is a great soft toy for everyday soothing. Combining a plump, cuddly form with soft jersey and muslin materials, little ones won’t be able to resist a cuddle with this modern snuggle bunny. But it does more than just lapping up the hugs, with a little rattle inside for some gentle, auditory stimulation.

GREAT FOR STARTING A COLLECTION

Designed for cuddles, Skye Starfish from the Jellycat Ocean Life collection, combines softer than soft faux fur with a textural corduroy back, for tactility that little hands will love to explore. It's great for baby play but as Jellycat’s range continues to grow, kids can create their own characterful, plushie collection, that could become heirlooms for their own children.

PERFECT FOR PLAYFUL KIDS

Soft toys don’t have to be big and cuddly. The Whale by Picca LouLou is small and perfectly formed, presented in an illustrative box, which makes it a ready-made gift. With a hat on, this modern party animal is ideal for inspiring some imaginative play but it will look awesome on a styled bedroom shelf as well.

DESIGNED FOR TEACHING TOTS

Just like us big ones, little ones will get by with a little help from their friends too. Flippy Friend by Liewood is the best kind of cuddly pal, created to comfort, stimulate and teach tots. It’s a soft toy but it’s a book as well, with pages dedicated to different times of the day that babies can learn to flip through. But if they just want a cuddle, that’s okay too.

THE BEST FOR NAP TIME SNUGGLES

Made from the softest faux fur going, Cuddle Friend Elphee by Done by Deer is everything its name suggests. Filled with bean bags and fibres, it’s a soft toy which doubles up as a comfy cushion as well, making it the perfect companion for nap time. Designed with visible taggies, it’s also a great product for children who find comfort in rubbing labels.

These are eight of our favourites, but we have so many other great softies too... Check out our entire soft toy collection here.

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Our IDEAS articles are based on our own experiences as parents & a need to find gorgeous, genuinely useful stuff for baby. That’s why you’ll always find our fave picks below our tips. Yes, we’re good to you ;)