Monday, May 3, 2010

What Do You Do When Your Child's Favorite Toy Gets Old?

I was given the most adorable little bear/blanket toy at one of my baby showers.   I decided right then that I wanted it to be one of Wiggle's favorite toys (Looking back at it now, that was the beginning of the end for me) and gave him to her to play with every chance I got.  The picture above is of her sleeping with him (even though all the "experts" say no stuffed animals in cribs) when she was just a few days old.  It was so cute to see her snuggled up with him.

She LOVES that little bear!  Now that she can talk, she has named him Baby.  The first word she says almost every morning is "Baby" (as she holds him up for me to kiss him and to show me that he is still there)

She will not go to bed with out baby and as hard as I try to keep him in bed, she loves to drag him all over the house, in the car and to daycare.   She will reach through the bars of her crib and yank him out just so she can have him.  Some times while playing she will let him go and you can sneak him away by tucking him under a shirt and slipping him back in bed with out her noticing.  Other days, you are not so lucky.

When Wiggle was six months old we went to Wyoming to visit my husbands parents and of course Baby (the toy) had to come with us.  All was well until the day we discovered a little tear where the yellow satin attaches to the hem of the white blanket part.  Grandma got her a replacement baby that was a cute pink Winnie the Pooh version to tide us over until she could perform surgery on baby to repair the tear.  We made it (barley) through one nap time with the impostor baby before it became evident that there was not going to be bed time with out real baby.  All was well and good once he was fixed up.

We have a couple other "fake" babies but she will have nothing to do with them.  She will throw them on the floor and say (sometimes scream) NO, followed by the biggest tears you have ever seen and sobs of "baby" until she sees him.  She will not play with them and she will not sleep with them.

With her dragging baby all over, he is getting dingy and ratty.  She loves to share he snacks with him, mangoes are one of his favorites as are strawberry smoothies. No matter how much I try to wash him up, I just can not keep him clean.  All the washing has caused his white microfiber body to become clumpy and his satin is starting to snag.  In an effort to avoid the inevitable melt down when he falls apart and she can not have him anymore, I set out to find a spare baby for backup purposes, so that we can rotate them one in the wash one in the bed.

I looked every where with no luck.  I tries to find her another one she would like at the store but she would just say no and toss it down.  I looked on Ebay but they wanted a ridiculous $30-40 for the once $9.99 bear.  I finally resorted to emailing Gerber to see where I could find him, only to find out that he was indeed discontinued and that they changed the style.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I would like to say that this was only in my head but I am pretty sure that some of it was out loud)

What was I going to do?  There was no way my husband was going to buy one for 4 times his original cost but how could I let $40 come between my daughter and her happiness that is Baby.  I told my husband about baby being discontinued and how Ebay was the only place to get him.  I was not even sure if a replacement real baby would work.  What if I bought him and she rejected him?  My husband and I decided that we had no choice and that we would get her one from Ebay.  I set out to find the best deal I could and finally after some waiting was able to get one for $28.

The day he arrived was the true test of  if Baby could have a backup.  We sat on the floor with the box and I unwrapped him.  Then I hear the best word come from my daughter, BABY!


I was barley able to get the tags off of him before she snagged him away from me and off her and baby went to play.  At one point she gave him to me and I put him on my lap.  She then came over to me and put her little head down on him and gave him some love pats.

Yes, I spent 3 times his original cost on a replacement toy.  What was I supposed to do? let her be sad.

What do you do when your child's favorite toy wears out?


Jessica R. said...

Don't feel bad, I've done the pay-3-times the value of the lovey on eBay thing. Twice.
We very quickly created the "lovey stays IN the bed" rule. It has saved it from excess wear and tear and it has made bedtime so much easier. Now I don't have to spend hours looking for the darn thing!

EmmysBoosAndRawrs said...

That's really odd about Gerber just saying it was discontinued, becuase I read in a magazine once that Gerber (or at least I REALLY thought it was gerber, perhaps it was a different baby company?) kept a set amount of each of their items after they are discontinued, so that when frantic mama's call up asking for a set product that their kid has attached to, that they will have them for sale only for those people. I remember reading it and thinking how great of an idea it was. Maybe it was a different company though I guess. But Gerber SHOULD do that, as many products as they make, haha.

If I were you I'd buy 5 more on ebay in case you can't even find them on ebay in a couple of years. Your little one is probably a long way off of outgrowing Baby. I didn't outgrow my blankie until I was 10 or 11. Thankfully the blanket was strong enough to survive (sort of, anyway, its pretty much a rag, lol)

reviews said...

Just reposting so I can subscribe to comments....

reviews said...

I must just be a mean mom.

I just find something new and interesting, and if they don't like it, they need to get used to it. They fuss and cry for a few days, but after that they're attached to the new toy just as much as the old toy.

I just don't think it's worth it to blow all sorts of crazy money on something like that. And besides, children need to learn how to adapt to changes and accept them. A toy getting worn out and being replaced with a different one is a great learning opportunity. We always try the "upgrade" approach. Approaching the subject in a "You've been such a good girl and you're getting so big, we decided to get you this super special new toy to sleep with, but it's only for big girls, and you've done so well you deserve it!"

Usually works. :)

Anonymous said...

We have that exact same bear, only not yellow. When I realized that it wasn't machine washable, I went and bought a new Wooby. An elephant head with little blanket. That one is now her all-time Wooby, named Elwoob. When needed, I throw him inside a delicates bag and into the washing machine he goes.

Kim Russell
North East, PA

Daddy Forever said...

You're making me feel bad. I wouldn't pay 3x for something. I just tell them they need to take better care of their toys. I'm so mean.

Kelly's Lucky You said...

Ah..... it's so hard, isn't it? Rosie has a "lamby" that looks so awful. Strangers look at it in horror. I say, "can you tell? It is well-loved." but in reality it is gross!

Rosie plays I Spy and she'll say, "I spy with my little eye, something...... dirty!" and she's talking about lamby.

But, ours is discontinued and she wouldn't accept a new one anyway :(

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