I recently asked a bunch of other mom friends about loveys. Whether it’s a blanket, a stuffed animal, pacifier, or some other object, loveys all help a child feel secure and happy when the parents aren’t right there. It’s hard to know what the kid will attach to or what kind of habits will develop until it happens, but I felt it was time to introduce a lovey to Theo. But which one?
My niece has one special part on her blanket she likes to rub. Another sucks one finger while twirling her own hair behind her ear. Kids are sensory creatures and the sense of touch is such a strong thing.
A while back, I noticed that Theo likes to twiddle my hair when I had him on my shoulder, rocking him before putting him down to sleep in his crib. So when choosing a lovey, I wanted something that was soft and cuddly.
My own lovey was a stuffed duck puppet I lovingly dubbed “Mama Duck”. Let’s get personal, here…I slept with her almost every night well into my twenties! (And sometimes when Tobias isn’t here and I feel I need cuddles, I still do.) She originally looked something like this (found via etsy, but already sold):
And now looks like this:
A little worse for wear, but oh so loved. (With a button eye and the pinky from a leather glove as a beak after that one time my dog chewed her up…Mom sewed her back up for me.) Hard to believe it’s the same duck!
I asked my mom the other day where she’d gotten Mama Duck, and was surprised to hear that she was a drugstore find, bought at CVS around Easter time. As she got older and more worn (the duck, not my mom ;) ) my parents tried to replace her with other ducks. Sometimes it works, but with me, it didn’t. So the other ducks became Dada Duck and Grandma Duck. Also loved, but not as much as the original. But it did cure me of being scared of ducks.
The story behind that is that my mom had this nice quilted duck on the floor when I was a baby. Once, when I was crawling over to it, my mom yelled out, “Aaah aah aah aah!” to try to stop me from touching it. That startled me, I cried, and was afraid of all ducks after that. Ha! So, in an effort to cure me, she bought me Mama Duck at 9 months. Not sure how it worked, but I fell in love and took her everywhere.
Here’s a picture of me with her when I was a little tyke:
So, back to Theo. For Christmas, my cousin Liz gave all the kids the same stuffed beaver. Short back story: when we were kids, for some odd reason, beavers were my favorite animal, and we got a little obsessed with them. Liz likes to buy beaver-themed gifts for the kids now, and it’s awesome.
Enter the Scentsy beaver. It actually has a zippered pouch in its back where you can put scent pouches in, but I haven’t used it for that purpose yet. But he seemed to like the beaver one time when I gave it to him at nap time, so I made up my mind about this being the lovey I’d like to try and get him attached to. (So many nice options, so hard to choose!)
I scoured Pinterest and found some great tips for introducing a lovey to your child over on Emily’s Little World. Following her advice, the beaver is now nearby for cuddles when nursing before bed and at booktime. I say, “Goodnight, Theo. Goodnight, Beaver,” give him a kiss, and put him down next to Theo before leaving the room. It’s really sweet to come back in and see him asleep, peacefully cuddling with his little friend.
My lovey & his lovey. Just hangin’ out.
So far I’ve just been calling him “Beaver”. The name on his tag says “Birch” but if Theo ends up not being able to say his R’s like me when I was a child, I don’t want it to sound like he’s calling it something naughty. Ahem.
Any good ideas for names for a little stuffed beaver friend? Would it be totally lame if he calls it Beaver, or does it need a proper name? What was your lovey?