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?

  • 7
    My daughter does it too. She does the same with our clothes and most other soft things (sofa, bed, pillow, etc.). I have no idea why. I think she maybe likes the sensation of different materials on her face?
    – Dariusz
    Sep 20, 2014 at 6:22
  • 1
    This may sound weird, but I used to do this too. With my parents clothes, it was because I liked the smell. With other things, I sometimes liked the smell, and other times, I just enjoyed the sensation.
    – Justin
    Sep 28, 2014 at 20:38
  • @tippy - do you mind providing an update on your son? Mine does something simialr.
    – csb123
    Jan 3 at 3:45
  • At 4 months old, my son is already grabbing and pulling his favorite stuffed fox toy directly into his face - usually to suck on the nose for teething, but sometimes just to hug it.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 6 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


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.

  • While your first paragraph is slightly useful, pointing out a possible (though very uncommon) reason for this behaviour, the rest of your wall of text does not answer the question and is not necessary here.
    – Rory Alsop
    Sep 29, 2014 at 7:24
  • SO I have edited to keep in your first paragraph, and excised the wikipedia-like description of Down's Syndrome
    – Rory Alsop
    Sep 29, 2014 at 9:44

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