Any tips to help my toddler accept his back-up lovey?

He got a stuffed animal (a swan) from his grandmother when he was born, and initially wasn't interested at all. Fast-forward a year, and he and his swan had become inseparable. Which got me thinking: what if we ever lose Swan?

I know it's common advice to buy an identical lovey, if only to be able to pry Swan from his fingers long enough to wash it, but by then this particular toy wasn't available in stores any more. It took over half a year to find a backup online. It's completely identical, except of course it hasn't gone ratty and grey from being clutched and dragged over the floor all day long.

Obviously my toddler isn't fooled. That swan is not Swan. My mother in law put a lot of effort in finding a backup lovey for our son, and I would really like to truthfully tell her it's well received.

So what do I do? I've already washed the two loveys together in hopes of them smelling more alike. Any other tips to make Backup Swan more like Swan?

4 Answers

  • Jen
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    I know this sounds silly, but it really isn't. My daughter was .. 12? .. when we were MOVING across the country, and she lost her "mankie"! It was her lovey for all those years, and I can't replace it. She's 17 and learning to sew, so I've been secretly thinking of trying to get her to learn how to sew a baby blanket, and then do my best to find the closest in the world to that fabric. It won't beat Mankie, but it will mean more as an adult, because it will represent the transition into adulthood, and all that a baby blanket may one day mean!

    That said, think about how people love to COLLECT certain like-items! Go with a family -- either a family of swans or a family of animals.

    I'm thinking, what if you go with an ARK? Find something that could be construed as an ark, and start saying, "These are Swan's cousins." Little by little, have him bring a different animal with him, saying, "Bear needs your attention. He misses you when you're gone, and he cries for you!" (or whatever works for you)

    Having that comfort is helpful. My "Mrs. Beasley" doll was my favorite, but I had my family of friends, including Raggedy Ann, whom I loved more than Raggedy Andy, because he was smaller. (Stupid, I know.) I came to care about each of them, but when I was sad, I cried on Mrs. Beasley. God, the tears that stuffing held!

    Anyway, I think it's better to have 4 or 5, but STILL -- have a Swan Brother -- your back-up. Since it isn't just like "Swan", make the second one have a story -- something similar to your son, but not exactly the same. And appeal to his compassion for others, by making him lonely. Maybe his father is gone, and he needs a friend. Other than that, have him liking the same things that your son likes.

    Think about Blues Clues, when they lost Steve. It helps to have a story, as well as introducing it SLOWLY but consistently, and with a reason that your son will want him.

    Good luck!

  • Bobbi
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Not a chance.

    My only suggestion is to present Swan 2 as a sibling. And then come up with a cute story. Tell him that if Swan needs a vacation or bath, then Swan 2 can keep him company.

    My son is 33. He tells his kids about his horse that he lost. Yep. A small plastic squeaky baby teething horse. We bought three other animals for those days Horse-ee went missing. And then came the day Horse-ee really "left the farm". That was an ugly week. Luckily by then, he was outgrowing the need to 24/7 have that horse. He would carry around the other animals. But one day, he just said they preferred to stay home. And they stayed by his bed through school.

  • 5 years ago

    You won't be able to, my niece is seven and has had her "cowie" since birth, after losing cowie in the px on dad's base they got another, identical one... she has had both cowie and back up cowie for five years and she still knows the difference. Hopefully, if the true Swan gets lost, he'll be able to accept back up Swan.

  • 5 years ago


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