Your child will have a favorite stuffed animal. That stuffed animal will go through hell in just a few short years. Chances are the stuffed animal they choose as theirs will be the only one in existence too. This means you need to know how to care for this stuffed animal.
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Lucky for you I have figured out a few things in caring for the last known stuffed penguin in existence. Word of warning, this technique will cause your child to cry. It’s ok.
Preparing For The Bath
First, bake cookies. If you don’t have time to bake cookies, buy cookies. This will be crucial to the last step of caring for your child’s favorite stuffed animal.
Start filling your kitchen sink with luke-warm water and put a small scoop of Oxy-Clean in the sink swishing the water with your hand.
You can do this while your child is awake or sleeping. I recommend while your child is awake. If your child is sleeping, and wakes up in the middle of you cleaning their favorite animal, they may not fall back asleep.
So walk into where they are, grab their stuffed animal, and say, “Bath time.”
Walk to the sink and immediately start washing the stuffed animal by hand. Massage, roll, and wipe at the stuffed animal. Rinse, then wash one more time by hand, making sure all the dirt is removed.
At this point your child will be in tears. It’s ok. Squeeze the stuffed animal to remove as much of the water as you can. Now place the stuffed animal in the dryer and using low heat for only 30 minute increments, tumble the stuffed animal till dry.
At this point your child may try to rescue the stuffed animal. They will be crying. They will be upset with you. Win their love and affection by giving them a cookie.
By the time they are finished with the cookie they will have forgotten their favorite stuffed animal is in the dryer and will move on to playing with other toys.
Check out my post on The Art of Distraction to learn more about distracting your child to short fuse a tantrum.
Reunite Your Child With Their Stuffed Animal
Now that the stuffed animal is clean and dry, you can reunite the pair. Watch as they cuddle their most favorite stuffed animal and be glad the whole ordeal is over.
Repairing Stuffed Animals
Fix ripped seams immediately, do not let them get bigger. However, as soon as you notice a seam has started ripping, use this opportunity to add more stuffing to your child’s favorite stuffed toy.
You don’t want to purposely rip seams to add more stuffing to their animal. However, if a ripped seam happens naturally then you can add stuffing and repair the seam keeping the stuffed animal strong.
Prevent Loss of Favorite Stuffed Animal
Do not allow your child to take their favorite stuffed animal out of the home. While we all know this stuffed animal is a comfort for them by forcing them to leave the stuffed animal at home it greatly reduces the likelihood of loss.
If you must remove the animal from the home like while on a road trip or moving, keep frequent tabs on where this prized possession is. Everytime you stop check to make sure you know where it is before leaving the stop and hitting the road again.
Every single person had something that they loved more than any other toy. Every single parent goes through caring for this toy, blanket, or stuffed animal.
It seems silly in the grand scheme of things to take such great care of a toy or stuffed animal. It’s important to remember that this toy brings comfort to your child while they are trying to process their emotions and the world around them.
Every single experience your child is having is a brand new experience. By caring well for a specific item it helps them to navigate and process this huge world they are apart of now.
Do you have any care tips for your child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your parenting and kids boards.