All three of my kids have lovies. Special friends with special names with whom they sleep, snuggle, and must have for events like shots, first haircuts, and all other things scary. They have each had their lovies for as long as they can remember. Even their baby books include photos of them with their special buddies. I had a feeling from the beginning I would need to take care of these buddies for a long time. Maybe until they head off to college (or head to their first job, apartment, walk down the aisle, or have kids of their own).
Because of the kids attachment to their special friends, it is sometimes like I have SIX kids to take care of rather than THREE. In fact, it is joked about that I sometimes worry about some of same things I would with the kids. (Let’s face it if these buddies get lost or ruined it would break my kids’ little hearts.) Hence: I worry about their location, safety, and cleanliness.
So, here are some tips that we follow to keep our lovies safe and clean.
1.) Safe Place: After too many nights searching for friends at bedtime, we have decided to keep them in their beds. This way the kids know where their buddies are all the time. The only time they are allowed to take their lovie out of bed is for an extenuating circumstances like watching a movie on the couch when sick or going to the doctor for a blood draw.
2.) Sewing Skills: When these little buddies are so loved they are bound to have a rip or tear here or there. I have learned to keep some thread on hand for such an occasion. I have also learned that small curved upholstery needled works best for mending stuffed buddies.
3.) Freeze ’em Clean: I know this may sound strange, but when the kids have been sick my first line of defense is to put their buddies in a plastic freezer bag and put them in the freezer for 48 hours. This is a tip we got from our pediatrician. Doing this will kill any germs and will also kill dust mites. It does take some explaining to the kids, but I tell them that just like they need medicine to get better, their buddies need to get well too.
4.) Machine or Surface Clean: After our trip to the freezer, it is time to wash. For those friends where it is safe to wash them in the washing machine, I always make sure to put them in a lingerie bag or even in a pillowcase. I then wash in cold on a gentle cycle with mild soap. Then, I keep the buddy in the bag and put it in air cycle in the dryer. For those friends that can only be surface cleaned, I follow the directions on the label.
5.) When All Else Fails: This may sound terrible, but when our kids started to develop an attachment to a certain lovie, we hit the internet hard and actually bought a backup. The kids know about their backups, and my youngest even keeps her backups with her. My oldest has his hidden away just in case. The kids are old enough to know that if (it hasn’t come to this yet) ever have to replace their lovies with a backup it won’t be the same as the original, but at least they will still have something similar with memories of their first buddy.
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