My 11 month old son has started burying his face into his stuffed animals while he plays with them. Is there a reason for this?
This is perfectly normal behaviour for most children.
Cuddly toys feel nice - which is why there is a large industry in making things such as Taggies specifically for kids to rub on their face or put in their mouth. I have one child who absolutely loves rubbing her face against a sheepskin rug.
This sort of behaviour even remains into adulthood for some people, but in any case it is a normal healthy reflex.
I do not wish to frighten anyone unnecessarily, but I know that seeking out "smothering" tactile sensations on the body, and essentially cutting off some sensory input (i.e., the eyes--and even the nose, if the surface of the object is not heavily scented) is a little known habit for some Mosaic Down Syndrome children. However, do not panic. Accompanied with that behavior is also often a desire to find quiet, tight spaces, such as nestling tightly against a wall if the bed is touching it, wrapping the body tightly in blankets or sheets, or snuggling deeply into the crevice at the back of a couch. This behavior has been shown to be a defense mechanism for these types of children. What these actions do is essentially to overwhelm the brain with tactile sensations of being immobile (in the case of the wrapping and wedging behaviors), which gives the children a feeling of being safe and secure, and when it is coupled with a quiet location or a sensory deprivation technique of hiding or covering the face, it also adds comfort by cutting off a large amount of incoming sensory data, which can be overwhelming to Mosaic Down Syndrome children.