Bear Necessities

I have a little secret to share on how to get your toddler who hates his car seat to STOP WHINING and sit quietly for your 20 minute commute to work and back… how to keep his little hands occupied while nursing instead of scratching your neck or hitting you in the face.. how to make everything almost INSTANTLY better in any situation.

Its the difference between this picture:

pumpkin-1

and this one..

pumpkin-2

It’s the bear.

The bear has been Jasper’s “lovey” since he around six months old and I noticed that if I put the bear on his face (um, yeah, probably NOT recommended for safety but I was desperate) he would instantly close his eyes and sort of knead the bear until he fell asleep. So the bear became his bedtime buddy, that is until sometime last week when he started to not want to leave the bear in his crib after naptime or in the morning. So bear started coming onto the changing table with him.. and then eventually downstairs..and then eventually into the car with us.

I don’t know if it is just his growing attachment to this bear or just that I wasn’t clever enough to try this months ago, but the difference between Jasper in the car with bear and without is like night and day. Before bear it was a constant whine, me handing toys back to him in his rear facing carseat one after the other as he got bored with each and began whining for a new one. It was distracting enough to really not be safe.

Now with bear riding with him he will take his paci (without bear he throws paci away) and sit quietly with bear on his lap THE WHOLE RIDE! I can actually listen to NPR in the morning, sip my coffee and sometimes blissfully forget that I even have a toddler who hates his carseat riding in the back with me.

Is it possible that bear was the missing ingredient to a peaceful parenting experience all this time?  It couldn’t really be that simple. It’s probably just a stage, but I’m enjoying every quiet second of it!

Does your baby have a lovey that soothes him or her in a similar manner? If so, do you have duplicates?

Unfortunately Jasper’s bear was the little plush classic pooh bear from Target that is impossible to find anymore, you can’t get it online but “in stores only” as it says on the website. The problem is twofold – one, they don’t have it at the stores even though the website says that store has inventory and two, they switched fabrics and design a bit a month or so after we bought ours, so even if we do locate the bear it’s not exactly the same bear and I’m afraid little Mr. picky pants would pick up on the differences immediately.

I should have bought two of them right away, but I didn’t know this bear (that I bought before he was even born!) was going to become THE bear.

For now, I plan on watching that bear like a hawk because I can’t even imagine the horror that would ensue should we misplace him!

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Jaimie says:

My son has a few little soft stuffed animals that he likes. I had to buy a duplicate Lamb to send with him to daycare. Unfortunately he has a bear that he really loves … that was sent as a gift from Scotland!

I think I’m going to try to find more lambs (the bear is a lost cause) so that I can finally wash the one that lives in his crib and gets chewed on nightly.

ariana says:

Could be Jaimie! Jasper is also small – 20th % so that’s part of it..

Dawn says:

Noah has a dear monkey that he will probably hold as he walks down the aisle at his wedding. It’s unfortunate that we never know which lovey is going to be THE lovey until its been discontinued. We have found a second monkey on eBay but with every passing year they get more expensive. The funny thing is, Noah knows the difference between the monkeys. He loves them both, but prefers one. They have different names. We’ve even tried to trick him, I swear they are identical, but he never guesses wrong. Kids are funny. Even funnier are their names – Cold Monkey and Momma Monkey. When they are apart he tells us that they miss each other. Awwwww.

ariana says:

Mrs. Brown, LOL @ “Big laundry mat in the sky!” Thanks for sharing your method for switching loveys.

Mrs Brown says:

We were in a similar circumstances with “Kanga” a lovey brought from Australia by Ellie’s godmom. As Kanga got more and more ratty, I bought two (should have gotten three) ikea rabbits and we spent more than a month were I insisted we had to take both everywhere. Ellie was only interested in Kanga at first, but as Bunny started becoming part of the pack it let us trade off to wash Kanga. Eventually, Kanga went to the big laundry mat in the sky. But that was ok because by then Bunny was a firmly established friend.

I’m a little embarrassed by this, but we are all moms here, I sleep with the trade out bunny the night before we swap to do laundry. Ann Douglas of “The Mother of All Baby Books” calls it “scenting.”

Kate says:

Ariana, he looks like such a big boy now! I can’t believe how much he has grown up since those first few steps caught on camera. He really is too cute!

Heather says:

We’ve got “owl dude”. So cute! Actually, we also have “monkey dude”, “froggie dude”, “gifaffe dude” (you get the idea…the list goes on). Jake is zeroing in on the owl one right now though. Here’s a link:
http://www.angeldear.net/cuddle/blankies_cuddle.php

Also, try getting Jake a Magna Doodle board. Jake loves playing w/ that in the car. Here’s a link:

http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Doodle-Pro-Travel-Green/dp/B0015KW3VI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1256600960&sr=8-4

ariana says:

Aw, I love hearing all of your babies lovey stories!!
(and seeing Nanette and Shane’s pictures!)

Rox, of course I remember – it’s part of the reason I’m so terrified of losing bear! ;)

Nanette says:

So sweet!

And Shell’s comment made me LOL – literally!

My DD has a monkey head/blanket thing she lo000ves to snuggle with. Occasionally it’ll make it’s way out of the crib, but we have to be careful if it’s on the changing table because we’ve had too many close calls with it nearly ending up in a poopy diaper.

Here she is snuggling with it: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2435/3634265479_17392135bd_o.jpg

jenn says:

Mia and Luca both have lovies. they are the little giraffe blankets. Mia has 2 pink ones, no longer being made. Luca has 2 and does not have a color preference. They are a must for naps, car rides etc!

jbhat says:

So sweet, and of course, who knew that Bear was the answer to all of life’s dilemmas? Our kiddo’s sleeping friend is Easter Bunny. He used to be white and have whiskers. Now he is gray and and balding, loved to bits, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Jill says:

So cute! Ava has a lovey, too — a soft doll that we named Gracie. She got Gracie for Christmas as a stocking stuffer from Grandma and Grandpa last year. The problem was that Grandma could not remember where she bought Gracie! After frantically searching the internet, I randomly saw the same doll at Target one day and was so happy to have a spare. Then a few weeks ago, I saw another Gracie and just had to buy a third. Now we have three Gracies on rotation at all times — which is good because considering how gross she gets, one is constantly in the wash!

Dana J says:

Too funny . My six year old still has her lovey, aka Clyde. We tried the switch (with the same one) but she knew it wasn’t it, even at 2 yrs old. We tried! Her clyde has been through all her surgeries, MRIs, Cat scans, blood draws and all chemos! We have WARNED her surgeons that he must come out with her!! She had to have him at all appointments, in the car, but now he stays at home unless she has a doctor’s appointment. Luckily, her clyde is washable!

Meggin Wetherill says:

I love watching little ones snuggle with their lovey! Kirk has a dog that he loves. I got this huge soft dog as a shower gift and thought whay am I going to do wit this? Well fast forward to 9 months old- Kirk loves it. He lays on it, hugs it and plays with it. We searched and finally found it in different sizes and bought 2. Now he can sleep with his “dog dog”. The brand is Jelly Cat and all their animals are super soft! Maybe you could find another bear.

Auntie Rox says:

Those pics are adorable! Remember when we lost blankie? I think we left it in some hotel room. It was bound to happen considering how much we traveled as kids. It’s funny though, I think that might be my earliest memory of actually having to let something go and understand that there’s no way to get it back. I guess I just moved on to the next blankie (one with the moon and stars) which I have here! Remember all of that? Xoxo

Victoria says:

Jake and Jasper are like twins in almost everything they do and hate! Jake has hated the car seat since day one and I too shovel toys back there that never seem to work longer than a few minutes before they are promptly thrown on the floor. A few weeks ago I gave him one of those little blankies with the rattling monkey head on it and he loves it and does the trick 80% of the time.

Lindsey says:

This is sad to admit but I had a baby blanket when I was little. I slept with it until Ben was born when I left it in the hospital and it was thrown away! Seriously I was devastated. Yes, I was 28 years old. I now have a new blankie I sleep with (in my defense I use a blanket as a pillow rather than an actual pillow).

Ben has a few things but he hasn’t gotten that attached to them. We will see what happens as he gets older. Maybe he’s just leaving all the attachment issues to his mommy.

kari says:

http://www.thefind.com/family/info-classic-pooh-plush

maybe mr. bear is here.

(sorry if i duplicate this post – my computer is acting up)

kari says:

he is so cute and getting SO big!
great composition w/ the pumpkins – again, loving the orange!

liam has his loveys too – which i also am noticing he is becoming more and more attached to. luckily for us, he is not attached to any particular one. we have about 6 or 7 of the little security blanket things that are plush and satin lined security blanket – kind of like this.
http://www.stylefeeder.com/i/t519jwbj/Noah-Apos-S-Ark-Elephant-Lovey-Security-Blanket

i’ve been picking them up when i see them for cheap at TJ Maxx etc. i purposely got different ones in hopes we would be able to wash/rotate as needed. he keeps one at daycare all week long and she sends it home on fridays to wash.. we keep one or two in the car, one in the diaper bag/ stroller – you get the point… and you are SO right… the combination paci/lovey is like an “easy button” for quiet!!
love the lovey!!

good luck on finding more mr. bears… i will keep my eye out.

Shane says:

Ava already noted that we have quite a few loveys all in pairs (frog, monkey, giraffe) – i’d buy more since they are so darn cute. There are soooo many to pick from:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_kk_1?rh=i%3Ababy-products%2Ck%3Aangel+dear+blankie&page=1&keywords=angel+dear+blankie&ie=UTF8&qid=1256574325

I have one i leave in my car on a lanyard tied to the car seat so he can’t throw it away. He’s starting to know the difference between them visually now but we wash them in rotation and they smell and feel the same.

He’s just so cute w/ them when he’s napping:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerialsoul/4046445425/

chantal says:

Annora has a stuffed poodle, FiFi, that she loves. Luckily for me i can throw it in the washing machine. A friend gave it to me before she was born, so I don’t know what I’ll do if something happens to it.

Shell says:

My mother-in-law broke the “please no Christmas gifts for the baby due in June” rule we had before our son was born. It was a wee stuffed cat and a book. Nate has grown so attached to “cat.” Last Christmas I spent three hours on Amazon trying to find the little cat she had purchased a year earlier. After looking at literally 13,514 small stuffed brown cats I finally found it! I bought twelve. Seriously. We keep them in the cabinet and we bring out a clean one every week. Then every once in awhile the washing machine looks incredibly surreal as twelve cats spin round.

I recommend washing the new one(s) immediately. That will give them a “loved” look. You might tell Jasper that bear needs a bath when he gets a bath. That will explain the new clean, smell. 8-)

Ava says:

Oh yeah — G’s a big fan of the Angel Dear animal blankies. He started off w/ 1 frog, and once he got attached we got a second, then two monkeys, and then two giraffes (I joke w/ Shane that’s he’s building an arc).
G’s just like Jasper though — he can’t sleep without his loveys, and anywhere the lovey goes G’s a happy camper. And the kneading thing — SO cute. G does that too while rubbing the lovey on his face.

ariana says:

Samm, you must have been SOOOO relieved!!

Samm Ivri says:

I love the photo of smiling Jasper! What a sweetie!

We have a soft, hypo-allergenic, cloth doll that my MIL bought Mia when she was born. It turned into the THE lovey for her. On our trip to Israel the doll got lost and I was devastated. Probably more so than Mia. Suddenly a couple days later the doll showed up in a shopping bag I had sitting around. I guess I stuffed her in there and didnt remember!

ariana says:

Carmen – funny you should say that.. Jeff smelled bear recently and said “Pee U!” and Jasper thought that was the funniest thing ever, he now shoves bear in everone’s face and wants them to say pee ew over and over! Bear says spot clean only, so we’re definitely not tempting fate by throwing him in the washing machine..

Heartartz, thanks for those links.. the ebay one is a bigger version fo his bear, but I THINK maybe the 3rd result from amazon is his bear? Not sure, his bear has a stamp on the foot that says classic pooh and I can’t tell if this one does. But I’m DEFINITELY buying it if it is. Now why didn’t MY google search turn up any of that?? :)

Alicia, that site is amazing.. wow, who would have thought!

Alicia says:

ADORABLE PICS – and perfect shirt!!!
Here’s the site where you can ask the whole world if they have seen your lovey: http://plushsearch.dirtybutter.com/

heartartz says:

ahh yes!!1
My boys had “Doggie” and “Wolfie”.
they mad all the difference in the world!
I found a bear on Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/Disney-Classic-Pooh-Lg-Plush-Bear-Stuffed-Animal-Target_W0QQitemZ350261772003QQcategoryZ2597QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=

Carmen says:

A quick note on lovelies – I had a blanket as a baby that went everywhere with me. Actually, calling it a blanket it a bit misleading since it was a tattered rag after a few years of serious wear and tear. My mom would always try to get it from me to wash it since it spent a lot of time in my mouth – wow, worst idea ever. After going in the washer/dryer, it didn’t smell the same and I lost.my.mind.

I reccomend that when Bear inevitably needs a wash, you do a quick hand wash and maybe let it air dry. Messing with the texture could be disasterous!! But

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