I’d never heard the term “lovey” before having kids.
Enter sleep training with babe No. 1 and introducing a lovey was such a core part of the extra-gentle method (from Good Night, Sleep Tight) that I wore The K Man’s teddy – one of those teddy bear heads with a small blanket for a body – inside my shirt for two days before we started the process so it would reek of Mommy.
Long past sleep training, The K Man’s lovey (appropriately named “Teddy”) is still one of his best buddies and he has never slept without him since the day he met him.
Following advice from other parents, I swiftly purchased three additional teddies once I was certain The K Man had adopted him. I immediately put them all into the rotation, washing them at equal intervals so they would be indistinguishable from each other lest we ever lose or forget one. I was a genius. Or so I thought.
It hadn’t occurred to me that any of the teddies looked any different until one day when I offered The K Man a teddy before bed when he was about two-and-a-half. He turned this teddy’s head to look at him straight on and then looked at me and asked, “Where’s my happy teddy, Mommy?”
It seems that, over time, one particular teddy had his smile show through the matted down “fur” more than the others. He did, by all accounts, appear happier. This marked the day that a favourite teddy emerged, and I was stuck with three sub-par teddies.
Because I’m a fixer – and slightly off my rocker – I hunkered down that night with the three sad teddies. I found some brown thread, darned a needle and got to work on stitching teddy smiles. Within an hour, we had three very happy teddies.
But, you guessed it. It didn’t matter. They’re not the right kind of happy, apparently.
Oh, sure… They suffice when The K Man’s favourite teddy is in the wash. He refers to them as Teddy’s brothers.
Looking back, I would perhaps have bought one spare, but I would never advise purchasing three back-ups. And I’d also have bought an organic lovey. I’ve repaired Teddy’s ears from what I can only assume is The K Man gnawing on them over the years in his sleep. And I found Teddy completely over The K Man’s face a number of times (insert new-mother heart palpitations here!). It’s a polyester teddy and its head is stuffed with more polyester. It could be better…
So if I could go back in time and introduce organic loveys to my kids, I’d chose one of the adorably quirky stuffies from LANA Organics. LANA’s Canadian distributor, Bug in a Rug, sent me Charly the donkey and Borsten Thorsten the pig for review purposes.
With a names like Borsten Thorsten, Elmar, Ingo and Mahatma, you know you’re in for some fun. The LANA stuffed animals’ looks live up to their names. They are interesting and different from any line of stuffies I’ve ever encountered. If you want unique, LANA is for you.
Each LANA Natural Wear organic stuffy is made in Europe from 100 per cent organic cotton and is stuffed with pure virgin wool. Free of contaminants, you can rest easy knowing that your kid’s taking a bite out of non-toxic materials. And since wool is saliva-resistant, even the drooliest baby is good to go.
Machine washable. When it comes to loveys, this is an absolute must. If your kid drags around her lovey throughout the day, too, it’s gonna get dirty. The trick, of course, is clawing it away from your kid’s death-grip to get it into the wash in the first place.
They’re a good size, and while a 40-centimetre tall stuffed animal might sound like it would be too big for a six month old (typically when sleep training begins for those who choose to do so), it’s really only the LANA stuffies’ bodies that are built for snuggling. Their limbs are limp, so they’d probably still be as appropriate for babies as they are for toddlers and bigger kids, too.
These LANA organic soft toys double as great décor. The K Man has occasionally opted to have Charly join his team of bed-mates (comprised of Teddy, two baby blankets, and other rotating stuffed animals that he’s been given over the years). When Charly’s out of the rotation, however, I like to prop him up on the dresser near The K Man’s cool red clock.
LANA Organics does not make inexpensive stuffed animals. Depending on where you buy them, they’re listed for between $29.95 and $60. Each. If this came with an adoption guarantee (that is, assurance that my kid would absolutely have it as a lovey for life), I’d have no problem shelling out upwards of 60 bucks. After all, I spent $15 x 4 on teddies. That said, because they are so incredibly cool, if your bambino doesn’t fall in love, you can always use it to style your kid’s room instead.