Posts Tagged ‘stuffed animal’

It’s OK to Have a Lovey

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

It's OK to Have a LoveyWhen I had my daughter, I was afraid she would develop bad habits or strange obsessions. I became nervous when she sucked her thumb or loved her pacifier at just a few weeks old.  Both of those habits didn’t last. Around 6 months of age, a new habit formed. She fell in love with a pink bear we affectionately named, “Teddy,”  who has convinced me that loveys or transitional objects are a great thing for a toddler to have.

My mom bought Teddy at a local convenience store for Johanna when she was a little baby. I wasn’t impressed. He plays “Jesus Loves Me” and he’s soft, but that’s about all he has going for him. We are currently on Teddy #3. Teddy’s belly has a battery in it, so we can’t wash him. He gets frequent sponge baths. Also, Teddy can not be found anywhere to my knowledge these days except for Ebay, where I have to pay way too much for him. But, like I said, he’s a part of our family, and I love him. He goes with us everywhere. He usually stays in the car, thankfully. He sometimes eats dinner with us, and plays on the swing set.  He’s just that special.

It’s important to remember that toddlers need loveys because of the intense emotions they experience–fear, anxiety, tiredness, etc. My daughter especially turns to Teddy when she is sleepy. Toddlers also depend on loveys for security. The toddler years are full of changes–new bed, potty training, more language development, new social situations. Loveys create normalcy for them. Loveys can cause some stress for mom and dad, and tantrums, however. My daughter used to get upset if Teddy couldn’t go in the church nursery with her. Handle these issues with compassion. It may seem silly to you but to them it’s a big deal.

Types of Loveys

Johanna has learned responsibility from Teddy. He helps her put up her toys, get ready for bed, and he even finishes her breakfast sometimes. They teach a sense of self. Your child picks the lovey. They choose what object represents comfort and security to them. Loveys also teach your child to share. Other children are going to want to touch the object or play with it. They can also teach your toddler how to care for a new brother or sister. Our Teddy nurses regularly and gets burped after feedings.

Just remember to let your child take the lead on this one. Be sensitive to the issue. I don’t know how long we will have Teddy as part of our daily lives, but I’m letting Johanna decide that one. Stock up on an extra, so no meltdowns occur if the lovey gets lost. Keep it clean and teach your little one about their world with their lovey. You never know what a pink stuffed bear can teach a 2 year old.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She loves her daughter’s lovey, Teddy.