Your Child’s Safety Lovey: How to Replace a Lost Stuffed Toy and Keep Favorite Stuffed Animals Safe
One day, your little boy receives a stuffed animal as a gift. The plush is cute and soft, so you won’t be at all surprised when your child happily accepts this gift. Although you have many other stuffed animals in your home, over the next few weeks you begin to notice that this one in particular has slowly become your child’s constant companion. The other stuffed animals are still used for playtime, but this is the one your child just wants to have around, to snuggle up to and cuddle with at bedtime. Your child has found a love!
A security or transitional object can be a wonderful part of childhood; many adults have fond memories of the comfort a special stuffed animal gave them as they grew up. The attachment that a child feels for a loved one means that the loss of this item can be very distressing, both for the child and for the parents.
There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of your child’s special stuffed toy getting lost and to increase the chances of being able to provide an identical replacement should the item be lost. The most important thing is to follow these steps as soon as you realize that your child has chosen a love.
1. Make a rule that the loved one cannot leave the house; This alone will greatly reduce the chance that it will ever get lost. Let your child choose a different stuffed animal to take to daycare or the store with the firm explanation that the loved one needs to stay home. Some children like to make a routine of placing their loved one in a window to “watch” him come home, or placing him in a special place on a shelf so they can easily find him when they return home.
2. Tag that sweetie! Despite your best efforts, the stuffed animal will likely be taken out of the house at some point, so you’ll want to label it in some way. Some parents simply write their cell phone number on the tush tag of the stuffed animal, along with the words “if found, please call …” Be careful not to put too much information on the toy, for safety reasons , no more information than a cell phone A generic phone number or email address must be included Also, it is important to ensure that whatever labeling method you choose is completely safe for your child.
3. Buy a backup (or two)! The reason people have such a hard time finding replacement love is that a line of stuffed animals usually only sells for a short time before being retired to make way for newer designs. The longer a stuffed animal has been off store shelves, the harder it will be to find one to buy. If the stuffed animal you are looking for has recently been recalled, you may be able to find one by talking to the managers of the retail stores that previously sold the item. Sometimes they will be willing to check if they still have extra stock in the back. A call to the company that made the plush can yield results in the form of information on where the item can still be purchased, or even an opportunity to obtain the plush directly from the company.
4. Know the details! I have spoken with parents who are desperate to find a replacement for a loved one, but do not know the brand or any other information that allows me to help them. Take a minute and write down the make, the store it was purchased from, the year, a model number, basically any identifying information, and then keep this note in a safe place. If you need it, you will be happy to have it!
5. Take photos! Take some photos of the love for yourself. These can come in handy if the love affair goes missing, either so other people can keep an eye on the stuffed animal or to help you find an identical one to buy.
Following these simple steps can reduce the chances that a special stuffed animal will be lost and improve the chances that a lost loved one will be found!