My Kid Won't Pick a Lovey: Is She a Freak?

Jeanne Sager

loveyMy daughter never chose a lovey

It wasn't for lack of trying.

I shoved her first Tigger from her uncles in her face every second she wasn't eating, sleeping, or pooping in those early days.

See the bright orange bouncy thing? It's so soft and cuddly and Mommy would sleep with it if she didn't think Daddy would wonder if she'd lost it!

She liked it.

But she liked the floppy yellow puppy with the multi-colored body parts too. And the white blanket with the little blonde girl embroidered on the end.

And, and, and.

I've heard about the trials and travails of keeping up with lost and dirty loveys from so many parents that I had to ask: is my kid a bit of a freak?

Not at all, says Emma Jenner, child development and behavioral specialist and former star of TLC's Take Home Nanny.

"It's perfectly normal for a child not to have a lovey," Jenner tells The Stir. "Some children develop that attachment; some children do not."

Now for the better news: "Sometimes, I think [loveys] are more trouble than they're worth," she tells us.

In large part they're a stressor in families' lives, Jenner explains. There's the risk of losing the toy or blanket at every turn, and they become tattered and sometimes fragile with age.

Heard the story of the mom who kept two of the same toy in a rotation because she feared for the day her son figured out she was slipping a new, not-so-dirty bunny in bed with him at night?

It can make parents crazy. A mom I know once spent hours on a phone with the makers of her daughter's beloved Mousey, only to find it had been discontinued because there "wasn't much demand for rodents."

Try telling that to the hysterical 3-year-old.

The loveys do have an advantage, Jenner says. They can help soothe a toddler during a rough time, and they're a bit of away-from-home comfort when they're first introduced to a setting without Mom or Dad.

But if your kid doesn't develop that attachment, don't worry.

"If the child does not become dependent on something, they learn to self soothe," she assures parents.

Is your kid attached to a lovey?


Image via s1360/Flickr

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