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Disaster strikes: Your child's blankie, teddy bear, or other lovey has gone missing. Is it okay to replace it? Sure, but kids have an uncanny way of recognizing a replacement lovey as an imposter, even if it's identical to their original.
Here, our site parents share stories about what they did when their little one's comfort object was lost. You'll find tips on how to prepare for losing a lovey and tales of lost loveys found.
Check everywhere for lost loveys
"Lamby disappeared last week – worst night ever! I swore we'd lost Lamby at the store, so I found my son a new one and told him it got new hair (the old Lamby is white and the new one is blue). He bought it. Then I went to put away the toaster in the cabinet and found the original Lamby. I almost ripped my own hair out!"
"My 4-year-old lost her lovey at the mall. It was an old T-shirt of mine that she snagged a couple years ago. I crawled around the parking lot and called every store she might have dropped it near. Sigh… I even tore the car apart. I'm going to let her pick a new shirt."
"We once lost my son's stuffed cat lovey – or so I thought. I paid $35 for a new one to be overnighted. A week later we found his cat in the pots and pans cabinet."
"Our son hid his blankie after watching a Charlie Brown episode in which they take Linus's blanket away. He cried for six hours before finally falling asleep. Dad found it the next day in his underwear drawer."
Keep extra loveys on hand
"My little brother had a lovey, and I can't tell you how many times we had to search for that damn thing. We've had to drive to people's houses at night for it, or look around outside. Because of that, I gave my older son huge cloth diapers to hold when he went to sleep – so we have a ton of identical loveys. I give him a new one every night so he doesn't get used to the smell."
"I bought six fleece blankies and three teddy bears for my daughter, who's now 19 months old. I rotate them every few months to break them in equally. That way, I can wash the loveys and my little one won't have to do without!"
"The minute I realized my daughter was getting attached to her blanket, I got on eBay and bought her two more. I switch them every few days to ensure even wear."
But there's nothing like the real thing, baby!
"We have a backup Ducky for my 3-year-old. When she was about 1 1/2, her Ducky fell in the toilet (gag!) right at bedtime. We quickly substituted the imposter (exact same duck, just new). It was so funny, but also sad, because she knew it wasn't the real Ducky! She was rubbing it under her chin, smelling it. Her face said it all. It looked like her Ducky, but she knew something was up. She still slept with it that night, and we brought the real Ducky back in the morning, after it had been washed."
How to replace a lovey
"We had to get a backup lovey, and I knew my daughter would notice the difference. So I threw the new one in the dryer and told her I'd washed it and then had her get it out of the dryer with me. When she told me it was not how she liked it, I said that was because it was clean now... totally worked, and she loved it just like the first one."
"I got lucky, I guess. Hayden lost her Froggie and I was able to find a replacement on eBay. I told her Froggie went on a trip but would be home soon. He came in the mail and she opened the box. She was so happy to see that frog. She took a very close look at him, but he must have been good enough. He hasn't left her side since."
"My older son lost his lovey (a puppy that he named Copper) at an airport when he was 3 1/2. I told him Copper had gone away for a couple of days to 'grow up,' and I bought him a larger, similar-looking puppy stuffed animal. My son was happy and never really questioned it. He only wanted his lovey when he was sleeping, though, so it wasn't something that he carried around all day."
"We ordered a really similar bear. When it came in the mail our daughter could tell something was different, and she gave it a weird look. I was terrified she would reject it. Then she shook the bear, and when she heard the rattle inside, her look changed to, 'Okay, I guess this is my teddy.' A week later, she noticed that the new teddy didn't have a bow. I said it must have gotten lost, and we made a new one for it. Whew! Crisis averted."
Loveys lost and found
"My son has a teddy dressed in a rabbit costume that we lost in the toy section of a big store. Luckily, someone found it and put it up high where we could see it. It never left the apartment again."
"I took my 3-year-old shoe-shopping last week. She brought her bear that she's had since birth. We left the store, and a couple of hours later I realized the bear was gone. I went back to the store, ran around like a crazy person in the shoe department, and then finally asked the staff if anyone had turned in a bear. At first they said no, but then they found it. I was so relieved!"