When Loveys Get Lost
There once was a bunny, aptly named Bunny. He was soft and brown and furry, like good bunnies are. Originally an impulse purchase for an impromptu Easter photo shoot when Landon was 4 months old, it later became a beloved item that he simply couldn’t do without. Bunny went on every car ride. Bunny visited the playground, joined us on picnics and watched cartoons with us. Bunny slept snuggled next to Landon every night. This went on for a very long time.
One day, Bunny disappeared. I searched high and low, in the car and at the playground, all to no avail. Landon was devastated. I thought about replacing it, but there just wasn’t anything similar out there. I contemplated inventing a trumped up story about Bunny’s going to live at a farm, but didn’t want to lie to him. Of one thing I was certain: Bunny would not easily be forgotten. So what could I do?
According to an article titled “Life with Lovey,” on www.Parents.com, “About 60 percent of toddlers are devoted to comfort objects.” These objects can vary per child, ranging from pacifiers and bottles to prized stuffed animals and blankets. Tracie Fobes, mom of three, says, “My daughter has a little pink blanket that she can't sleep without. She is 5 and has slept with it since she was about 4 months old. If we lost it, that would mean sleepless nights for a while until we could convince her to use something else.”
What is it about these objects that hold so much sway over our children and our sanity? In “Losing a Lovey” on www.Parenting.com, therapist Linda Goldman says, “A security object is so important at this age because it helps kids feel safe. It soothes them at bedtime and helps them keep up their routine when away from home." Once children become more mobile and therefore more independent, they begin to realize the world is full of change. This is a huge transitional period for them, and having a lovey can make them feel much more secure in different surroundings.
If your child’s lovey has been lost, you can do several things. First, let your little one know that it’s okay to feel sad. If appropriate, let her say good-bye. Sometimes, it helps simply to have that closure. Another option would be to allow your child to pick out a new lovey. Perhaps it can’t fully replace the previous one, but it can certainly help restore a bit of their routine, especially if they are able to pick it out themselves.
If none of these avenues seems to work for your little one, don’t lose hope. www.LostMyLovey.com is a site dedicated to parents on the prowl for their children’s beloved objects. It is a forum where people can post that they have lost something, found something or are trying to find a replacement. You can even order “LostMyLovey” ID tags. Kansas City Craigslist also has a lost and found section that you could check out.
We (thankfully) ended up finding Bunny. Landon was overjoyed, and Bunny remained his lovey for several more months. He has since begun to grow out of the lovey phase, but I know he will always be fond of Bunny. Just in case, I’ll tuck him into storage with all of the other precious milestones.
Jennifer Bosse is a freelance writer who lives in Kansas City with her husband, two young sons and their loveys.