Brown Bear has gone M.I.A.
If replicas of your child's fuzzy friend are available, help avert this disaster by investing in one -- and washing and switching both loveys out regularly so they both have the same look and scent. That said, if you don't have a duplicate in rotation when a lovey gets lost, avoid subbing in a look-alike behind your child's back because kids are quick to spot a fake. Instead, be up-front: "Talk in a relaxed way. If your child asks where his bear is, tell him, 'Remember when we were at Grandma's house? I think we may have left him there. Let's call her and check,' " says Dr. Brenner. But don't panic if the lovey doesn't materialize. Show empathy by saying, "I can see why you miss her; she was a great friend, wasn't she?" Although you can probably still expect a few days of tantrums and tough bedtimes while your little one accepts the loss, you can help smooth things over by offering to let him pick out a new friend at the toy store.