One of my friends recently spent $100 on two backup bunnies in case her daughter loses her favorite animal. “I figured the risk-benefit was worth the cost,” she wrote on Facebook.
We’re lucky that our daughter hasn’t yet formed a strong attachment to one particular stuffed animal or blanket, so we haven’t yet had to spend money on replicas.
I attribute our luck to a rotation strategy that we’ve been implementing for the past five months or so, a strategy that is today’s hint.
In my daughter’s room, we have a basket full of animal blankets (otherwise known as loveys) that we received as gifts. Ever since I first felt comfortable putting them in the crib with my daughter (sometime around the time she was nine months), we have put two in the crib at nighttime and during naps.
And most importantly, we make sure to rotate the animals that get the place of honor every week or so in hopes that this will prevent my daughter from growing too attached to one particular friend (we also rotate the toys in her living room play area for a slightly different reason).
To be sure, lovey rotation is no guarantee that my daughter won’t eventually develop a deep attachment to one particular stuffed friend, toy or blanket. And it may be that our rotation strategy isn’t the reason she’s lovey-free. She may just be one of those kids that never has a special toy friend (unlike her father and mother*), and she may just be using the animals as pillows (as it often seems she is doing).
Beyond rotation, you also could potentially save on the costs of backup loveys in other ways. You could encourage attachments to items you already have multiples of (like my daughter’s animal blankets), items that aren’t too expensive (like Beanie Babies) or items that are easy to replace (Mary Ann Romans writes about one boy who was attached to tissues).
Of course, when kids already do have an attachment, as the comments to my friend’s Facebook post pointed out, backups are worth every penny, though you may be able to find gently used versions for a little less. A number of sites also specialize in helping you find harder-to-find backups. Parent Hacks shared a site that specializes in selling just these kind of backups, and other similar services include LostMyLovey.com (which has very sad Pinterest boards) and Plush Memories.
Once you find the backup, you’ll need to do a different kind of rotation: Make sure to rotate the backups so they become just as worn as – and just as loved — as the original.
What are your strategies for avoiding lost lovey disasters?
* I had a raccoon named Puffy that I was lucky to never have lost (even through close encounters with hotel laundry rooms) and that now lives in my daughter’s room.