Toddler Attachment to a Toy or Blanket – Mr. Whale

Today’s blog is all about Mr. Whale. That’s right, Molly’s beloved whale has become such a staple in our household that he gets an entire blog dedicated just to him! Ha! My husband Kevin even co-hosts a radio show in LA (Valentine in the Morning – 104.3 Myfm) where they have been talking about Mr. Whale and getting TONS of text messages from listeners writing in to discuss the topic of children being attached to toys or blankets! And the other day I did some Instagram stories tell you guys about how I was searching for a duplicate of Molly’s whale because I was so worried about her losing him and being devastated – and worried about it getting super gross. Anyway, after I did those Instagram stories I was surprised by some of the DM’s I got and comments on a completely unrelated blog post, saying that they thought I was doing her disservice by getting a second whale. First, let me say that this post isn’t to get in an argument with those people! That’s not what my blogs about. My blog is about sharing opinions and experiences even if they are extremely different. I want this to be a safe place where people can talk about their experiences in motherhood and womanhood! I will say that some of the comments I got about Mr. Whale were mean-spirited. But for the most part, many just wanted to start a dialogue. So I thought why not dedicate an entire blog post to it. So here it is.

This dress was 45% off yesterday FYI! It might still be today!


Let me explain the Mr. Whale situation. Mr. Whale is a stuffed animal that Molly’s uncle Ryan gave to her about a year ago. When she first got it she didn’t show more interest in it than any of her other stuff animals. Honestly, most of her stuffed animals sat on a shelf in her play area and she never touched them. I guess I always imagined that when my daughter picked a favorite toy she would pick it the moment it was given to her and I would immediately be able to buy a back up if I wanted to. Well that’s not how it happened for her and based on a lot of comments and DMs I got from you guys it didn’t happen that way for many of your kids either.

It wasn’t until about two months ago that Molly was starting to get attached to Mr. Whale. All the sudden Mr. Whale went from being just one of her stuffed animals that never got played with to her very best friend never left her side! It seriously happened overnight. Not only can she not sleep without Mr. Whale, but she doesn’t even like to leave him in the other room when she goes into another room. She tells him how much she loves him dozens of times a day and gives him the biggest snuggles that her little heart can muster up! Then shall proceed to ask me, Kevin, Riley, and Owen (our Poochie) to hug him as well. I’ve truly never seen a little person so in love with anything in my entire life! It’s honestly very sweet but also made me panic a little bit.


What is something happened to Mr. Whale? What if I came home from work one day and Owen had mistaken him for a toy and ripped him to shreds? What if we leave him at a hotel one day and couldn’t possibly getting back? What if we left him at Grammys house on a trip to Massachusetts and had to wait for her to get to the post office to mail him back? Would Molly just not sleep for a few days? Probably. And there would be tears. So so so many tears. And look, I get losing things and having to say goodbye as a part of life. I get it. I also get that it’s important that as Molly’s mother I teach her that loss is a part of life. Some of the criticism I got about trying to get another Whale was saying that I was making life seem like rainbows and butterflies for her. And that’s just not true. I want to prepare my daughter for the worst! But I’m also gonna do every damn thing in my power to protect her from the worst! Like any mother would do for their child.

So we have talks about the fact that Mr. Whale might not always be around. We also gave him boundaries. She’s not allowed to bring Mr. Whale to school, parties, in stores, or really anywhere we go outside of our house and other family members houses. If she brings them in the car, which she does whenever we go anywhere, she knows that he stays in the car and waits for her in her car seat until she gets back. I want to teach those boundaries. I want her to know he can’t be there every possible second with her.


But if buying another whale as a backup is going to keep her from shedding even one tear I’m going to do it! Look, I’m no child development psychologist, I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing to do. But I do know that my instinct as her mother is to protect her from little things like losing her best friend.

To be completely honest with you guys, the original reason I started looking for another whale isn’t even necessarily because I was afraid she was going to lose it. It was because I saw what happened to my nieces favorite toy when my sister couldn’t find a back up. Let me explain.

My niece Lennon was given this super cute little baby doll with her name on it when she was born. It very quickly became Lennon’s favorite thing in the whole world. She named it “Doo doo” and I’m not 100% certain but it might even of been one of her first words. Not that Doo doo is even a word really. That’s why the doll got such a simple sounding name. Because it’s one of the first names/sounds she ever attached to an object herself. To Lennon, Doo doo was EVERYTHING!

Once my sister realized how much Lennon absolutely adored this doll she searched everywhere for a duplicate. She even ordered a couple dolls that look the exact same online but when they arrived they just weren’t the same doll. They look somewhat similar but Lennon knew right away (even at one years old) that it wasn’t the same doll. In a last ditch effort, my sister called the company that made the doll trying to get the exact one. No luck. So my sister Raya, like many parents out there, couldn’t get a replica to have as a back up. And as the years went on this is what Doo doo looks like now…

Ummm yeah. Doo doo has looked better. My sister has done everything in her power to wash and care for Doo doo over the last 6 years but with all the love my niece has given this doll there’s nothing anyone can do to help poor little Doo doo. And as much as I love my niece, I really don’t want my daughter caring around something that looks like this! Ha! So when I first thought about getting a duplicate whale it was mostly so it didn’t get super gross because I’ve witnessed what can happen with a extremely loved toy! Case and point – Doo doo. Ha! And as I started to search, I started thinking more and more about what would happen if she ever lost Mr. whale.

Btw – For those of you who have been following me for a while, look how BIG Lennon is now! She’s 6 and I feel like she was born yesterday! Time flies.

So part of me got it because I didn’t want her to feel hurt if it got lost and a huge part of me got it because I didn’t want her caring around a rag that used to be a whale. And he’s white! You know he’s going to get super dirty super-quick you no matter how many times I wash him! And I am sooo glad that I got the duplicate now instead of waiting for him to get really dirty. Because at that point, she would know the difference for sure!

In fact, I don’t only stand behind my decision to buy a back up but I’m honestly about to get online and order two or three more back up! I want to keep Mr. whale looking relatively white and clean for as long as possible. Ha!

Real quick though. I will admit that when I first gave her the imposter Mr. Whale I felt a bit of guilt. She definitely knew something was up when she first saw him. This new whale, even though I bought it used on eBay, was a lot fluffier than her extremely loved current whale. So when I gave it to her in the car she kept asking why he was all fluffy and feathery. She even got a few tears in her eyes at one point because he wasn’t quite the same to her. And honestly, that broke my heart! But she quickly got over it and hasn’t said a thing since! She loves the new Mr. Whale just as much as the other one we have hidden upstairs in our closet.

But at the end of the day, it’s not about the physical stuffed animal. It’s about the comfort that your child gets from that stuffed animal. So even though I know it’s not the same whale. She doesn’t know that. And Mr. Whale makes her feel safe and comfy and cozy! And I will do absolutely everything in anything in my power to make my child feel safe.

Real quick before I go I highly recommend any parents out there searching for a duplicate toy to check eBay. I have no idea why I didn’t think of it before. But I was posting stories to Instagram telling you guys how I had bought whales that had pictures online that looks the exact same but when they arrived they looked different. So then a bunch of you suggested I check eBay and I did and because I was able to see an exact picture of the whale I was buying that was gently used, I knew exactly what I was getting! I’m going to search for a few more to have extra back up! Just wanted to give any other parents out there who are in the same position as I am this little tip! And I am glad I got a back-up NOW while Mr. Whale is still relatively new looking instead of waiting until he is SO loved that a duplicate would never do! It would look way too different.


And lastly, if you would’ve asked me three years ago before I had kids if I would be writing blog posts entirely about a whale stuffed animal I would’ve told you that you’re crazy! Ha! Yet here I am doing exactly that. It’s so funny how motherhood completely changes everything.

I want encourage all of you guys to share your stories in the comments below! Maybe you disagree with what I’m doing or maybe you’ve done it with your child! I’d love to hear all opinions as long as they’re respectful. I’m not perfect. I’m not saying my way of doing things is the best way. I’m just opening up my blog as a place for me and others to share their experiences and learn from each other. Can’t wait to hear all of your stories!

229 Thoughts

229 thoughts on “Toddler Attachment to a Toy or Blanket – Mr. Whale

  1. This was such a cute post to read, and it resonated with me so well! I used to be super attached to my Minnie Mouse doll when I was young… when my parents through her away (oh, how heartless, haha!) I cried for days. Even now, I still go to bed with one of my favourite soft toys that I got for my fifth birthday, Fishy, lol! 😛

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      1. My son has a penguin that is his most loved toy. I would have never bought a replacement because it’s just not the same. The Lovie is a Lovie because it shows wear and tear. Penguin is so ragged now and that’s what my son loves… His torn tag, a small hole by his nose, the hard material that used to be soft. He says that way there is no other penguin like his penguin. It’s unique. Reminds me of the velveteen rabbit quote about not becoming real. And when you’re real you can’t be ugly… Except to those who don’t understand.

        1. Aly, while I truly do think you are a great mom and understand you wanting to get her a duplicate in case she loses it….I have to go with this mama on this one. I don’t think you should feel you have to replace a toy because it’s dirty…because again as this mama said…when it’s unique and real, who cares if it’s dirty…I really doubt Molly would…and if people are judgy because your child is caring around a dirty toy…who cares!! They don’t understand the meaning behind that toy…and this is coming from someone who cares a bit too much of what other people/moms think ; )

      2. My parents did the same thing for my teddy bear when I was younger. I ended up finding the backup one time and then just demanded I carry both whenever possible, hah!

      3. I still have my 40 yo daughter’s well-loved and dirty stuffed Dalmatian. We also had real ones! Sadly she doesn’t want ‘Spot’ to come live in her home. But get rid of him? What kind of mother would I be?!😂

    1. Our daughter has her “b”. It’s a little grey blankie from pottery Barn. She had a few different blankies she got from people but after awhile this is the one she would always go to. I bought her a second one, at first she didn’t really know, now she does. She has some of the same boundaries, it can come in the car but can’t go in to the store or anything like that. If it helps her feel secure about something I’m all about it. Some day she’ll grow out of it. Hopefully anyways. 😁🤞

    2. Your train of thoughts sort of resonated with me for the first part of the blog, but you lost me when you shared Lennon’s story and how you wouldn’t want your daughter to carry a lovie looking like that. Well, this part made me kinda sad.. Because that’s exactly what a lovie is. Its that favorite toy, blanket, whatever that you’ve loved so much on it shows. To buy a new one simply to avoid taking a distressed one around didn’t really resonate with me.
      Everything else, I can absolutely relate to: losing it, forgetting it somewhere.. All fair concerns. My son recently developed an attachment to a little stuffed shaun the sheep (do you guys have this cartoon over in the US? He is obsessed) and while I worry we might lose it, forget it somewhere, etc. I hope we won’t and I hope he’ll keep loving his little sheep and that one day we’ll be able to look back on it (and it’s state) and say “you really loved it when you were little”.
      I gave a cousin who’s daughter from attached to a pj top she was given when she was maybe 1 year old. Soon she stopped wearing the pj because she just wanted to carry the top with her Everywhere, just like a blankie. Whenever her mom washed it she would sit in front of the washing machine and the drying rack waiting for it to be ready for her again. There were incidents when she was about 5 or 6 where they forgot it at home while going to visit some family and upon arriving and realising she didn’t have it she threw a fit so big tmher dad got back in the car and drove 300km each way to go get so she wouldn’t cry. She always took it with her to school, even when she started primary school (at 6 Yr old). She is now 9 and still carries whatever is left of it (veyy little🤷‍♀️) around with her (although these days she keeps it in her bag at school because she’s ashamed to show her classmates). I guess that maybe because I’ve seen how my cousin really let it go too far (in my opinion) I would like to be a bit stricter with this with my own son.. That doesn’t mean I want to see him hurt or cry over his favorite toy, but rather teach him that there’s a time and place for his toys and eventually with time that they are his responsibility to take care of. Eventually, like I said, I would love nothing more than to be able to keep his favorites in a box to reminisce with him when he’s older.

    3. It’s important to rotate the favorite toy because they also carry a certain smell even after washing. Believe me. And I would have several back ups if possible ! And I love the parameters of where mr whale can and cannot go. It helps with cutting down on losing it but also gives her opportunity’s to cope in different ways !

    4. When my son was a baby he became attached to a certain blanket just like Molly is attached to Mr. Whale. I searched and ended up with 4 blankets exactly the same. That way i could wash them and keep them halfway clean. Also if he forgot blankee at Grandma’s or something it wasnt the end of the world! He still has 3 of those blankees to this day and he is 13 years old!!!

      1. My mother couldn’t find a duplicate blanket for my little brother that he carried around and slept with for many years, so she ended up cutting the blanket to make 2 or 3 smaller ones. How creative!

    5. Omg yes we did this my middle child was obsessed with this bear! She called it her baby, and took it everywhere! She would even sit the bra run the high chair while she was eating. So we found a backup and I would switch it out because she would literally do everything with this thing! However the bear had a little pink bow and one lost the bow and she knew lol 😂 somehow she ended up having both bears! We got her to finally leave he bear in her bed but this went on for about 2 years

    6. I agree with you! If this is your instinct, then you are doing the right thing. When my son was little (2), he had a stuffed animal elephant he loved. I bought a duplicate and this helped us when the first one was lost and I rotated it. Now, he is almost 4 and he has a new favorite stuffed animal, Simba. But now that he is older, I feel like he can understand losing items and that sometimes items we love break. When he forgets it, I let him forget it and we talk about how it will be right where he left it. He might get upset, but he understands it. I feel like he understands these things so much better now that he’s 4! You can teach her all those “life lessons” when she is a bit older. Your instinct might be different then.

  2. Why all the hate! It’s just a stuffed animal! I got my 4 year old a replica of hers but she knew right away that it was different and never took to it so it just doesn’t has the same “worn” feeling lol. It is the most gross thing ever bc we really only get a chance to wash it once in a long long while….

    1. Therewasn’t a ton. Just some! And others just wanted to talk about it! SO I thought it would be an interesting blog topic!

  3. This is actually really common.

    I do not have kids but I remember my aunt who had her favorite blankie she always brought wherever she goes because she won’t be able to sleep if she doesn’t wrap her feet on those blankie. For sure it was not the blankie she grew up but my Mom (her sister) told us the story that the blankie had been replaced for many times. LOL My aunt and my Mom are now in heaven but I remember both of them with those cute moments.

    My niece was totally attached to her first pillow which she named Enya. My brother and sis-in-law tried to wash it only quite a few times until they got rid of it when my niece was already in middle school. OMG. I could still imagine the look and smell. LOL

    Molly is so cute with her Mr. Whale.

  4. Hi Ali
    I think it’s adorable.
    Once we left my daughter’s home-made favourite mouse at a store. Yikes
    Drove back to the store & the cashier had kept it. That lovely lady saved the day!
    Hope Owens paws get better, soon.

  5. I’m with you! We can’t protect our kids from everything, nor should we, but if we can save them from a few needless tears, I’m all for it. I agree with just making sure to have some boundaries. My daughter has to leave her toys in the car too when we’re out & they can’t come to the dinner table.

  6. Hi Ali. Let me first say how nice it is to see you opening up your life to everyone all the time. I read and follow all the time. I read some of those nasty comments and am always so taken aback how people can be so rude. I think what you are doing is perfectly innocent and reasonable. Why not spare your 2 year old tears over a stuffed animal if you can help it? My son is almost two and isn’t attached to a stuffed animal, but he loves a lot of books and tends to be rough with them. He even says ‘uh-oh’ when he sees it is breaking. I have bought a couple of new ones for him to replace them. Why not? I would never think of depriving him of that just to teach him a lesson he won’t understand yet. I would say the same for anything that kids are attached to. Molly is so young now and has her whole life to learn life’s hard lessons. I am with you 100% and you are such an inspiration to parents out there. Anyone can see how much you love your kids!

  7. Hi Ali! Just wanted to say, I used to have a stuffed animal dog growing up named Ruffy. I took him everywhere and would have melt downs if I couldn’t find him before I went to bed. Yes, I loved this dog so so much at the time, but as I got older I grew out of my attachment for him. And that’s life! I actually still have Ruffy and gave it to my first niece was she was born. My sister now has two kids and they still play with him! Sure he’s seen better days but it’s so nice to be able to pass something along to those you love and maybe Molly will do the same!

  8. I think it’s so sweet that you are doing so many efforts to make sure Molly’s favorite toy will always be accessible. She will learn one way or another how to deal with loss and I believe it will happen naturally when it’s time to happen on it’s own. If you can prevent it from happening and keep her oh SO SO SO happy with Mr. Whale I think it’s absolutely beautiful.

    I am 5 months pregnant, and will definitly keep this trick in mind <3 once our child is born.



  9. I think getting a back up Mr. Whale was an amazing idea! Better safe than sorry! My four year old hasn’t gotten attached to one stuffy in particular, but there was a time where he loved a JellyCat brand giraffe that someone got him. Well, there was a little vomiting accident while we were away from home and neither myself or my husband wanted to touch “Giraffe Dan” (there’s a cute story how he got that name, but that’s a story for another day!) so we ended up chucking him and ordering another rather expensive giraffe online. I totally get it!

    My one-year-old has now fallen in love with a stuffed sheep…I’m thinking we should buy a backup because he’s white, too! 🙂

    Finally, I wanted to say that you shouldn’t doubt yourself about doing the wrong thing in buying a backup whale. You’re doing an amazing job, especially setting boundaries! Our kids’ stuffies rarely leave the house.

  10. My daughter has a bunny she has loved for three years … the first year we were so worried about her attachment to this bunny but she had to go to the hospital last year for an endoscopy and was scared , but when she held her bunny she felt the safety she feels with us and I finally understood the power of little kids loving an object, it brings them safety and a sense of home when they are out of there comfort zone so I say we all go buy some backups of Putnam kids toys if only to help them feel a bit more safer and happier 🙂

  11. My son is six months old and has a lovey that he is extremely attached to at bedtime.
    We absolutely bought a second one! That’s just smart to have a backup! You’re not sheltering your child by doing this; you’re loving them and helping to protect from unnecessary hurt. There’s a lifetime to learn hard lessons; I would argue this is not the time. It’s clear you love your kids very much. Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. I have a back up of both the stuffed Woody doll and a duck pillow my son sleeps with. He has thrown up in his crib before and I had to wash the two stuffed animals. Having back ups let my sick boy cuddle his two favorite things and drift back to sleep easily.

  13. My sister has four kids for two girls are 21 and 16 and now she has two boys who are 6 and 20 months. The girls had stuffed animals they were attached to but only for short periods of time and they changed the animals up. When she had her first son he had a blanket that he was very attached to a blanket got a name its name was Banks which basically is what he called a blanket. Banks went in the car and into stores and he slept with it… when he started school Banks did not go. He is 6 and he still sleeps with the blanket. My sister did buy a second one because the first one got pretty dirty but since he doesn’t take it anywhere now it doesn’t get worn out that much. Now that she has her second son we thought he was getting attached to one of his blankets, and Just for kicks it has whales all over it, so she bought a backup immediately but he doesn’t seem to be as attached to his blanket. He’ll bring it out when it’s time for him to go to sleep as his hint that he’s tired but that’s about it. None of us think it’s a big deal. Now when I was a teenager I had a friend who still carried around a square of her blanket from childhood. She kept it in her purse or pocket. And she would bring it out and hold it from time to time when she needed to comfort. I’m not sure exactly what I would do if my nephew decided he was going to do that at 16.

  14. We have a similar situation here too. My son has a whale that he loves and drags everywhere-like the car, the park, the sandbox, once or twice in the bathtub. Once he started to get attached to it we also bought a backup and keep it hidden in his closet. For me it was more about having a backup for when mr whale is totally trashed and dirty at bedtime or nap time. I can just pull out the clean one and be like “hey hey here’s mr whale ready to sleep!” instead of having to deal with crying because he needs to be washed at bedtime. Honestly more of a convenience for us as parents right!? 😉

  15. I honestly thought this was common as well. I had a doll my great aunt made named Annie and was horrified when I was without her; my Mom had to wait til I fell asleep to take her and wash her and replace her before I got up. My daughter loves a blanket she got as a party favor (it’s a fleece blanket from Walmart) and I searched high and low for another with the same pattern and finally found it last week! She also has a Lovie (those little blankets with the head on the side) and we have 3 of those. We also want her to leave it in the car so we don’t misplace things. But if those things bring her so much joy at age 1, why take it away?! My husband and I are separated so I feel like that has been important for her to have her things of comfort and it may help making my new place feel more like home. I’m all for more Mr. Whale backups.

  16. I definitely get it! My daughter is very attached to her Elmo stuffed animal and he’s her best friend. So we did the same we got a back up Elmo and we switch them whenever one needs a “bath” and the extra one hangs in our closet until needed! When your a parent you don’t really know what the right thing is to do all the time but I agree with how you handled the situation and I did the same! And every parent and every child is different so there’s no need for people to be negative about your decisions with your daughter. She’s a happy healthy little girl who loves her Mr whale, nothing wrong with that!

  17. So glad you decided to write a post because I had commented on another unrelated post you made about my daughters multiple “pink babies”. Madelynn is the same age as Molly, so your stories have really hit home lately.

    I had NOT switched out Pink Baby enough and recently when I had to bust out backup Pink Baby, she TOTALLY noticed the condition of her feathery dress! Then a few days later found the “misplaced” original Pink Baby. She was SO excited that Pink Baby had a “sister”. Anyway, now she refuses original Pink Baby because her dress is so much more worn lol. We also have a third Pinkness baby at my parents house!

    She hasn’t been so attached that she takes her everywhere, but it’s mostly been a can’t-sleep-without attachment. Yesterday, however, was the first time she insisted Pink Baby come outside. I prefer to keep toys clean and had to be very firm in setting the boundary that Pink Baby stays in the house. Apparently my husband let her take Pink Baby outside last week, which is what started that crisis. (Husbands!!!!) It will be interesting to see how our kids’ attachments grow and fade over time.

    Love ya!

  18. Hi Aly. I think that almost every parent you ask would say that they would do anything to protect their kids from suffering or having to experience sad moments. I know one has to live things to learn and grow as human beings but if we can make happy moments/ memories for our kids we truly will. The person that says “ I want my daughter/son to suffer” is a little weird. My daughter has a pig she carries everywhere and has been with her since she was 5. Now she’s 8 and still loves Piggy as she calls him. It brings her comfort and I love that. You do you and don’t ever apologize or give explanations for what you do for you or your family. XXX

  19. My daughter has a stuffed bunny, we call Lovie. I got it for her for her first Easter..she was barely 1 month old. Over time, Lovie became the one stuffed animal she had to have with her always. I tried giving her others, but she knew the difference. I, too, worried, what if we lost her? Lovie was so dirty and I need to wash her, but she cried every time I put Lovie in the wash. Finally, I decided to check eBay, after I figured out the bunny was discontinued by its manufacturer.. and score! I found the exact same one. We now have 3 Lovies…2 additional purchased from eBay! One stays at Grandma’s, and 2 at home (1 for backup when I have to wash Lovie!). Best thing we did for her, and for my sanity! Ha! Good job Mama!! Love on your babies, even if that means we have to browse eBay to find a replica of our child’s favorite stuffed animal 🙂 xo*

  20. Definitely get back up!! We had four exact same polar bears for my daughter once we realized how attached she got to hers. She would even have two out at the same time and it didn’t bug her that they weren’t exactly the same. We lost 2 out of the 4 and she is 8years old now and has the most worn one in bed still (actually number 2, we lost the original one and I think it was harder for me than her! Ha!) and the other one with her other ones.

  21. My son has a stuffed seahorse that he adores and sleeps with. He rubs the little fins while he’s falling asleep. I knew how much he loved it, so I bought another in case something happened to it. In March we took a trip to Europe. We missed our connecting flight and were stuck in Ireland overnight. Amid the chaos and tiredness, seahorse was left at the hotel. I didn’t realize it until we were ready to board our flight back to Chicago. Cue the panic! I burst into tears wondering how he would sleep on the flight. My husband is much more calm and logical and assured our 2 year old that his seahorse took another flight and would be waiting for him at home, haha. He did great, but was so excited to see seahorse when he got home. I was so happy we had another and I certainly ordered another back up! 🙂

  22. We have a grey elephant called baby that my 1.5 year old cannot sleep without and paid dearly to get a backup. I hadn’t thought about switching them out to keep them similar but did afrer seeing your stories and Molly’s reaction to new Mr Whale. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

  23. Hi Ali!

    I thought I would reply to this to ensure you that you don’t have to worry at all about Molly’s attachment to Mr. Whale. I am 20 years old and when I was 4 I got a stuffed animal cow named moocow and still sleep with him. Yes, I know kinda weird, but I think that it’s totally normal to have something that you are attached to like a stuffed animal. My mom is 54 and sleeps with her special pillow that she has had since she was 3! My other two sisters had stuffed animals that they slept with but they both outgrew it. So who knows if molly will continue to be attached to him, but just know it’s totally normal! ❤️

  24. I definitely get it! My son is 10 months old and is already attached to his lovey. When one needs a bath, we have a backup. I am glad we do because when he has his lovey it will calms him down. I feel sometimes kids need a little comfort and if its his lovey that is fine with me. I was very glad that someone gave us two at our baby shower so we didn’t have to find another one 🙂

  25. I wish I still had some of the stuffed toys I was attached to as a child! I remember I carried around Zoey , that orange monster , from sesame
    Street for years ! She was so dirty 😰
    I would 100% do this for my child when we have one ! Good on you momma, I don’t think you’re doin anything bad by getting extra 🙏🏻 Maybe it’s something she can pass on to her children one day too if you have so many extra saved !

  26. My 2 and a half year old is attached to a little stuffed puppy. It has gone everywhere with us for over a year. It had been thrown up on and everything. We ended up buying a back up, which is a good thing because we lost it at Target. When I got home and realized it was missing I sent my husband back to Target to search for it and he couldn’t find it. Guess we need to buy a back up for our back up now!

  27. I had the EXACT same doll as Doo Doo. Mine didn’t have my name on it though. My mom said I lost it one time at a mall and it was the end of the world! They finally found it at the mall but in the meantime bought several in case it ever happened again. I of course knew the others weren’t the originals and still preferred the original “Dolly.”

    When I got older and it was time to say goodbye, my mom had me write a letter to her and we wrapped her up and put her (and the other imposters) in a plastic storage box. I knew she was always there if I wanted to see her again. It’s special now because we still have it and the letter for me to read!

  28. I think you are doing an amazing job at the whole Mama thing. Your babes are so lucky to have you.
    Side note: My oldest (he’s 6) has a blanket that he has had since birth and he named it blue stripe when he was like, two. We looked everywhere for the same blanket but could only find it in a different color. We named it, imposter and he STILL calls it that. 😂
    I have nothing productive to add to your blog or helpful insight, but I totally get where you are coming from with buying an “imposter” for your children. 😂

  29. My Mr. Whale was a stuffed Dorothy from Wizard of Oz doll, and I remember going through my baby things with my mom one day and asking her why there was two of them. You’re not alone Ali!

  30. My daughter Deklynn is 3.5yrs old. I purchased a blanket from target – fuzzy, with a silk trim, that we used daily with her after she was born. Fast forward about 1.5/2yrs later and we accidentally left her blanket at daycare and her other blanket was at Grandma’s. We had a third one, just no clue where it was at the moment. Deklynn was crying, crying, crying and we could NOT figure out what was wrong with her. This was pretty late at night, and my husband finally said, “her blanket. go get the back up blanket out of the closet”. I opened up a new one, gave it to her and she went SILENT! Done. Fit was over. That was when we knew that she was attached to that specific blanket (wasn’t just one in particular, just that brand). The next morning, I went online to buy like 3-4 more. HA! Of course – they were discontinued. I snagged the last 3 I found online. 2 are still brand new in the package in her closet. And we have like 4-5 of them all over the house 🙂 We have left/forgotten her blanket at home here and there, and she hasn’t thrown a fit or anything over it. So I don’t know if she’s EXTREMELY attached to it, to the point of where her life would end if we didn’t have them. However – I don’t want to find out. And if she asks for her blanket, damn straight I will have one ready for her!

  31. Hi Ali, I think you definitely did the right thing! Growing up, I had a stuffed polar bear that was a hand-me-down from my dad, and I was so attached to it! I was absolutely devastated when we accidentally forgot it at a hotel and couldn’t get it back. Over a decade later and it still makes me sad sometimes, haha! Anyway, I wish my parents had done what you have, and gotten a backup!

    Great idea!

  32. Hi Ali,
    I follow your blog but this is my first time commenting. Let me first say your babies are the cutest ever. My daughter who is now 17 still sleeps with her blankie. It’s not the original one. I wish we would have had a back up. I didn’t even think to get a replacement at the time. Lily lost her blanket while we were out one day. I searched everywhere for the blankie retracing our steps with no luck.y husband and I bought her another yellow blankie that wasn’t the same soft fluffy one like she had but she soon fell in love with the new yellow blankie. She still takes it with her to sleepovers and on vacations. Blankie never stays home. She will be leaving for college next year and I’m sure blankie will be going with her. Good job thinking ahead. Molly will thank you one day. Good luck with whatever may come up next. I love reading your blogs.

  33. So my daughter has this doc mcstuffkns blanket that I got her for Christmas when she was 4. Well even to this day and she is 12 she sleeps with it and takes it to a sleep over it to my parents house and carries it around the house with her. I mean she had to go to the Er once for a broken arm and she took Doc with her. She’s super attached. Would I ever think to get another one yes now that you mention it I could! This blankie means everything to her. When she’s having a bad day or just simply super tired from school she curls up with Doc. Now yes I have gotten her a different doc blankie thinking she would be okay with that one and nope! When she can’t find HER doc blankie she gets so upset even to the point of tears because she’s so afraid Doc is lost. Even if she’s out in the car and I say well you can get her tomorrow she goes out and gets her. She just can’t sleep without doc… and yes she is washed and even had bubble gum on the edge and it’s old and she still loves it!! Bumps and bruises and all.. but now that I think about it I could get a back up for when this one gets all ratty but honestly my sister had and still does have her white dingy old blankie she’s had forever and she’s 29..I have mine up when I was 24 when I had my oldest daughter and gave it to her but she never had shown interest in any one thing like Maddie has with her Doc blankie!!

    Smart thinking Ali ! I love reading your blogs and watching your insta stories!! 🙂

  34. My son Jack has had a stuffed Black Labrador Retriever. We have actually had it in our house since before he was even thought of. We have a Black Lab Callie. He calls the stuffed dog Baby Callie. We have shed many tears over this stuffed animal as it has gotten lost or misplaced a few times. He is the same as Molly he carries it around everywhere. We do also have the same set boundaries as well. Somehow someway he actually lost interest overnight to Baby Callie and now has Bunny. A Bunny he was gifted when just an infant.
    & Now Bunny comes and goes everywhere with us. Lol
    & He needs Bunny for bedtime every night. Bunny is also White. Luckily they are a popular company and I can probably order a few back up. I completely agree though. If you can purchase a simple small item that is going to bring your child joy day in and day out .. WHO WOULDNT?!
    Thanks for always being so down to earth and writing a blog so relatable!

  35. I had a bear that was given to me from my grandma for my first Christmas. His name, Ted David Bear. That bear was my “constant”, my parents divorced when I was 5, but Ted, stayed the same when my life was not. Ted could “talk”, he was always by my side. I even remember he got to participate in a choir concert at school in elementary because it was all about bears, it was awesome. Ted was misplaced a couple times, by own doing, but was always found. When I moved out and got married, Ted moved with me of course and went into a closet. He stayed there until my daughter turned 5, at that time I was going through a divorce and my daughter was having some separation anxiety whenever she had to leave me. So Ted came out of the closet and 7 years later, Ted is such a family member to us. We have to do what is best for our kids, who cares what anyone else has to say, we have to do what is good for our family.

  36. My son lost his lovie in a mall parking lot when he was 6 months old. When I replaced it I replaced it with 3 of the same and let him have all of them at once to get them worn in. He only really ever “needed” one at a time. Then with my next two kids we bought 3 right off the bat. The company Angel Dear sells “a pair and a spare.” It’s the best!

  37. We were given a blue owl lovie that rattled at our baby shower. When our son was born he liked anything with noise so we’d shake him and my husband and I fell in love with him first and called him Oliver, our son is now 15 months and Oliver goes EVERYWHERE with us… and it is now that our son sleeps basically on top of Oliver and holds him to his face every night so a few months ago, we searched high and low and found what we call “O2” and it has come in handy when Oliver is dirty and needs a bath and also when he didn’t make it into the bag at daycare. I love that you found Molly a new Mr. Whale and I am surprised by people who are criticizing… I just felt like i’d do anything for my son and don’t necessarily feel like it is sheltering him from loss.

  38. I wonder if you told Miss Molly that Mr. Whale went to the salon like mommy does and got a little wash and dry so he could look his best for her, if maybe that would ease some of her concerns about him looking and feeling feathery? Especially if you get another one or two for rotation! ❤️

  39. My son (who just turned 16) had a stuffed puppy that he loved and we did the exact same thing. Got a spare in case we lost it. He picked up on the difference right away when we swapped them out. Soon we admitted to him there were 2 of them and he was shocked. He would play with them together and named them “Daddy puppy” and “Mommy puppy.” As he played with them both together it eventually made him less attached (which I had mixed feelings about). It had been so cute to see him love on the puppy, but I was also glad to know he wasn’t going to be taking it to college someday!

  40. Ali! I still have my baby blanket from when I was kid (and I’m 28!) and it still goes many places with me, especially when I travel. This blanket has saved me from many panic attacks, stressful situations and anxiety. Its been through break-ups, moving to college, moving to two different countries, many deaths and now moving across the US away from my family. It’s that piece of home for when I’m away. I don’t think you’re doing molly a disservice at all, and honestly I can’t thank my parents enough for not ripping my blanket out of my hands when people told them to.

  41. I had a teddy bear that my mom got for me when I turned one. I had it my ENTIRE life and having grown up a pretty lonely kid, he was my very best friend and greatest comfort as a child. I used to get sick a lot in my childhood and he was there for me through it all.
    I still have him but I realized about 8 years ago that he was starting to fall apart a little in the wash, so I put him away in a safe place. I’m hoping I can find a nice shadow box I can put him in. I ended up getting a tattoo of him on my forearm and everybody mentions how much they love it when they see it.
    The teddy bear isn’t in production any more but I wish they were. I don’t have any kids but if I ever have kids in the future I would love to give them their own.

  42. My son has a stuffed dog named Patchy that he’s attached to and I’ve bought 4 of them already! One for each set of grandparents and two for us lol! He’s also attached to a blanket which I can’t find a duplicate of 🙁 I totally get it!

  43. I completely agree with everything you’ve said! My daughter Lucy is the same age as Molly (one month older) and she has a favourite blanket. You know how I found this out? One day I was doing the laundry and put her down for a nap, well she screamed her head off for a half hour until it clicked she must love this blanket. She loves it so much one corner is completely destroyed from her sucking on it when she was younger. My husband and I went and bought 3 more & actually cut it into 4 smaller ‘day time’ blankets because of course it’s the biggest fluffiest blanket we could find ha go figure; like way to big and thick to take outside when it’s warm out. So she knows her big one is for bed and her little ones are for the day. With our second daughter I didn’t want to make that mistake twice so we bought her a little elephant stuffy blanket that’s very small and she’s now 18 months and carries that around like her little sidekick.
    We have similar rules like you do. They stay home or in the car, the odd time they are allowed to bring it places if it’s new and I know they need that resurgence from their ‘stuffies’.

    You and Kevin are doing a wonderful job and in my opinion the right thing with Mr Whale.

  44. My son, now 6, was attached to a tiny wombat he found in my classroom left over from one of my student’s dioramas. As crazy as it sounds, he took it everywhere. He even had surgery and the doctor was sweet enough to let wombat come into the operating room. It only came in a tube of Australian animals. I purchased a spare on Amazon cause I was very worried he would lose such a small toy that he loved so much.

  45. People have WAY too much time on their hands if they are using it to judge you on parenting choices like this. If the whale makes her happy and having multiple copies of it makes you happy, go for it! I get correcting people on safety concerns like car seats and bike helmets, but a stuffed animal? Unnecessary!

  46. My daughter got a babydoll that had a blanket for a body when she was about six months old. She became very attached to it and by the time she was 1, “Baby” came with her everywhere. I did the same thing you did and bought two more just like her! Now she’s 9 she has all three baby dolls and loves them all. We have “Baby”, “Back Up Baby” and “HG Baby” so named because we wrote my daughters initials on her tag as this was the baby she took with her to preschool. Will you give molly all the whales when she’s older? Or always pretend there’s only one?

  47. I and TOTALLY WITH YOU!! My daughter has a lovey that she has been attached to since around 5 months old (she is almost the EXACT same age as Molly). One night we thought she left him at a Christmas Village. We were frantic and drove back searching everywhere. I literally ordered another one on eBay that same night (to the cost of $60!) until we eventually found him. It broke my heart bc he truly is like her best friend.

    When my son (10 months) got a lovey I immediately bought two. One we keep in the car and one in his bed because I’m not making that mistake again!!

    I see NOTHING wrong with buying a replacement!!

  48. Totally understand your feelings. I was one of the people that dm’d you because I have teenagers now and wanted to just give my two cents. 🙂
    At the time mine were little they had their favorite toy too and I was super ocd about not taking them out of the house and telling them to always remember it when they have a sleepover at the grandparents etc because that’s the only one they have. That way it was their responsibility to take care of it. If I had thought of what you did I may have done it too, but also I’m glad I didn’t because in my case it all worked out. And trust me, as they get older it may seem easier at your kids age to assume that you won’t try to prevent pain, but trust me, in some ways it gets worse!!! But I get it….no judgment here. You’re a good mom! And molly and her whale are adorable! I can’t wait to see when you switch them 🙂

  49. My friends daughter was really attached to a brown blanket as a baby/toddler and they got FOUR duplicates because she wouldn’t sleep without it, so one stayed in bed one for the car etc etc etc … I think it’s smart! And sweet. My daughter changes her favorite stuffed animal on a daily basis but if she had ONE favorite I would absolutely want duplicates.

  50. My kid has a favorite teddy bear and uses his old swaddle blankets when he sleeps. Thankfully there’s 4 blankets that came in the set when he was born. He’s 3 so he knows there’s several and watches me change them out. I don’t think extra is bad but I personally will get rid of the blankets and bear when they get old and ratty (or when he just gets old enough that he needs to learn to separate from the blankets) and if they get lost, oh-well, it’s a lesson in keeping track of your stuff and a lesson that things come and go in life. It’s good for him to learn he can live and operate without them.

  51. I totally get it and you Ali! I have 3 young children and they all love their favorite stuffed animal! And I get the panic you feel when thinking about the possibility of somehow losing them one day! For my kids it’s a bunny.. Pink for the girls (my oldest kind of outgrew them when she was about 5 and now has a new favorite we got at Disneyland) and blue for my son. And I have 4 of each.. The baby is 7 months and obviously doesn’t really know but he seriously won’t sleep without the bunny touching his cheek.. And my middle child is 2y8months (around Molly’s age) and drags her bunny around the entire house as well and has to have her bunny in the car. Just like you do with Molly, the bunny stays in the car whenever we get somewhere and doesn’t come school. And I also totally get people saying that loss is a part of life we can’t always protect them from and they need to learn this from us sooner or later but I feel like they don’t need to learn this over a stuffed animal.. Those are some of the things in life that easily (or not so easily when it comes to Mr Whale 😉 ) CAN be replaced, so why wouldn’t we.. Like you said, this gives them comfort and makes them feel safe so if we can prevent them from not feeling safe or not having that piece of comfort and saving many many tears, we shouldn’t feel bad about that. That’s what we do.. we want to do our very best.. And when sooner or later our children encounter a loss that can’t be easily ‘fixed’ or ‘replaced’ we will also do our very best to help them deal with it and eventually overcome it

  52. So we bought 3 exact same lovies for my oldest and I pushed those things on him like it was my job but he could have cared less. He just wanted his blankets. For a long time we were good about having a “bed” blanket, “living room” blanket, and “car” blanket that we wouldn’t let him take out of those spots to try and keep him from having a favorite. But within a year it all went to hell in a hand basket and now we only use one of those. Fast forward to my second little one and he is so attached to the lovies I bought for the first and I am so thankful I have multiple ones! He has one for home, car, etc and one for daycare. We keep the 3rd as back up when one needs washing. They love their items just like we love our spouses, phones, personal items, etc! So why not let them be as comfortable as possible. The world is already a crazy scary place. No need for them to know that as young as they are.

  53. My daughter has a monkey that she sleeps with every night. I was trying to find a duplicate and could not. I will see if eBay has it though. I don’t know why I didn’t check that first.
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I will do anything in my power to keep my child from being sad and heart broken. I get it—it’s a part of life but why have her endure it if there’s a solution.

  54. I’m glad I read this. I need to go to target, lol! About 6 months ago I noticed my bath towels missing. I would find them wherever my 2 yr old had been (his bed, under his bed, the couch, or in his arms) I told my husband I wanted to get him his very own towel he could carry around and not the ones I needed.. We took a trip to target and was walking the bathroom section and came upon the children’s hooded towels. They had a grey shark one. Since we call him baby shark and he loves baby shark, that’s the one he got. That towel has become a HUGE part of our life. It goes everywhere with him. He uses it for a blanket, to go to sleep, and just to carry in his arms. It’s a hassle to get him to let me wash it.
    BUT he is ok to go without it once I am able to get him to put it in the washing machine or tell him we can’t take it with us. I may need to get a back up though so he doesn’t have to wait on it to wash.
    I do not think your crazy. Just because a child has an attachment to Toys/blankets or towels in our case doesn’t mean your doing anything wrong.
    I love watching you and your family (thank you for letting us) and how down to earth you are. You are open honest and don’t try to make it seem that life is always butterflies and rainbows.
    Your a great momma!!
    With love,

  55. I’ve got three little boys and none of them have a favorite toy or object. I’ve always wanted them to have a lovey to provide comfort if I can’t be around or something. Nothing has ever took. I honestly don’t know what I’d do in your situation but I’m a strong believer in doing whatever you think is best. You’re the parent, you know your kids better than anyone else. That’s all any of us can do. We’re bound to mess up, no one is perfect, but kiddos will remember mom cared enough to try. 💚

    1. Same her with my two youngest! They never had an absolute favorite, rather a variety of things that came and went! Nothing particular ever stuck. And my two youngest grandsons who stay the night here never bring anything from home. They each grab a stuffed animal from my little stack but it’s different each time. It does make it easier to decide at the last minute for them to spend the night….no one has to run home and get the ‘lovey’!

  56. I think it’s great that you set up the boundaries for where she is allowed to take him. Personally I would add the bathroom and the kitchen/dining room to that list as well. Between wet bathroom floors from baths or sticky fingers from eating or art supplies on the table I would keep him far away. Those are the things that will get him dirty super quick. And explaining its to help keep him clean Molly is totally old enough for that to make sense to her. It’s a great early on responsibility lesson as well. While yes I realize you have backups if you share with Molly that if he gets too dirty she will have to part with him cause you can’t get the germs out. It will make her mentally more cautious about what she does with him in fear of him getting dirty. Little ones are super smart and sometimes I don’t think they get credit for what their little minds process and comprehend everyday. I look forward to Molly and Riley videos everyday cause they are just the cutest! Mine are older now and not as squish your cheeks cute anymore haha.

  57. I have 2 little boys (almost 5 and almost 3) and they each have an animal that they are attached to. My 5 year old has a teddy bear that he’s had since he was one and he didn’t really care about it until we moved and that bear (teddy) became his best friend during that move. Now they are inseparable! Teddy is a member of our family and its so sweet to hear my son talk to him and even pray for teddy.

    My son Liam is almost 3 and has a puppy that he LOVES! It actually started when he found a little golden lab puppy that was mine when I was little and he loved it but I wanted to get him a new one because mine was falling apart. So we found a new golden lab puppy and thankfully even though he was a little confused, he took the new one and loves it just as much as mine.

    We do have back ups for their animals though just in case something happens. My boys do everything with their animals but we do set boundaries like you that if we go somewhere then puppy and teddy stay in the car because that way we know the animal has to be in the car or the house. I also want them to know they can do things without puppy or teddy but its sweet to hear my 3 year old when we’re out tell me that he will tell puppy about what we did that day when he gets home or he’ll save part of his treat to share with his puppy later. We did family pictures this past weekend and it was the only time Ive let them take them outside because they each wanted a picture with their animal.

    By the way, Liam (my 3 year old) saw Molly and said she’s a cute girl and held his puppy up to the camera to show her his friend when I told her Mr. Whale was molly’s friend. (I think we FaceTime too much) Thank you for sharing!

  58. They are only little once! When she is older and driving off to college you won’t regret letting her have the comfort and security (and friendship) with Mr. Whale. Eat it up while you can!

  59. hi ali
    love this blog. this took me back to my own childhood. i had a doll i took everywhere even snuck it to school. it was a baby made by mattell cheerful tearful. i think your doing the right thing as fave things get gross.
    As an adult I have a secret only those close to me know. I had open heart surgery two years ago and one of my bosses gave me a bear with nightcao, night shirt and bear slippers. the bear and heart pillow provided me great comfort in a traumatic time in my life. i named him baby and i sleep with him every night. i cant sleep without him. i even took him to maui. i even hugged him on the plane ride as sometimes i get scared during turbulence. so i get your daughter. i hug him and kiss him and talk to him. am I normal? yes have you been thru something traumatic a stuffed bear provides me comfort. he stays in my bed and only leaves house when i travel.

  60. Oh my goodness, Molly is so darn adorable!! I have brown eyes, and my new baby (who is the cutest too!) got my brown eyes, and I secretly sometimes hope our next will get my husband’s green…but seeing Molly gives me hope that brown eyes aren’t boring! LOL. You’re the best mom for watching out for her sweet feelings. What a great idea! Save her some heartbreak!! <3

  61. My daughter has been attached to “lambie” since she was a couple of months old. She is so in love. It is her companion. She is very, very shy and her stuffy gives her the comfort she needs in social situations. She is just shy of Molly’s age. I know one day she will need to leave it behind, but we will remove it slowly- probably when it is no longer age appropriate. Her relationship to her lamb has shown us the care and loyality she has for the things she loves. It is a part of who she is and a beautiful part. As she grows and understands that part of herself and how to appropriately cope, she will shift her focus. I’m not worried about it. I have another baby who has a stuffy just when she sleeps. She doesn’t care for it outside of that. Funny how two kids with the same DNA can be so polar opposite.

  62. My mom did the same thing when I was a kid because I had a stuffed big bird that I adored just like Molly. And it was getting gross and from what my mom said I wouldn’t let her take it so she bought a new one and would switch them out in order to wash the other. I think it’s genius haha.

  63. I enjoy following you and reading your blogs but I wish you would have been more confident in saying you did it so she wouldn’t be upset if something happened to it. I was a little confused. 🤷‍♀️ I panicked a little for you when I watched you hand her the new whale. I didn’t want to watch! Many have us have done it either with blankets, pieces of clothing, stuffed animals or real fish. However you want to protect her is your right! She is a toddler, not a pre-teen. There will be plenty of time for her to learn the hardships of life!

  64. My son was super attached to a blanket since he was born, we started switching it out daily and saying “new blankie”and getting super excited about picking a new one everyday (same material but they all have different patterns) he now gets excited to pick his blanket out each day!!! It’s so important to have a backup!!

  65. Honestly, anyone who has said anything negative about having a back up of a beloved comfort item for child either has never had a child with that sort of attachment or doesn’t have kids! In our case, it was Murphy a little stuffed dog. I was a young mom and didn’t even think about the backup until it was too late…Murphy was lost! So many tears and sleepless nights, my heart was broken for my little girl. Then I happened to be at Kohl’s a couple days after and saw a Murphy! I literally bought three of them! Murphy made a miraculous return and all was well in the world! She gave up Murphy in her own time and now he has a cherished spot in her memory box…or at least one of them does! Lol!

  66. My son is almost 4 months old and already loves this sloth lovey from Target I got from a friend for him. I have already bought a back up for the same reasons you bought Molly another one. Kids need that security, and personally, I think it is adorable!!

  67. Glad you wrote a post. I think it’s super common for kids to get attached to things. It’ll be interesting to see what Riley gets attached to.

    I have an almost 5 year old son and 2.5 year old daughter. My son has a blanket that he still sleeps with that he got as a baby. My daughter is WAY more into stuffed toys than her brother. She’s never met a stuffed animal that she didn’t fall in love with. Her current favorite is Biscuit, a brown dog, that her brother got for his baby dedication that he never really cared about.

    Also good for you that you make Molly keep her whale in the car. I do the same thing for my kiddos with their special toys.

  68. My little boy will be 5 tomorrow and he has “Tiger Blankie”!!! We are Big LSU fans, Louisiana girl, so when I was pregnant my sister, his nanny, bought this minky blankie with solid purple on one side and tiger print on the other. It has his name on it and a tiger eye. I used to swaddle him and then lay this soft blanket over him. Over time, he became a thumb sucker and would rub this blankie and suck his thumb. At about 6 months old, I sewed him another blanket. It’s red and navy “red blankie”. To this day, he can find tiger blankie in the dark and don’t you dare try to switch it with red blankie! Giving this blanket a “timeline” in his life makes me want to ball my eyes out! The other day my boyfriend made a comment about how we need to transition from blankie b/c he might get teased as he gets older and my response was “then he needs to find new friends. True friends will respect his need for comfort!” We too have boundaries, but Tiger Blankie is part of our life and our entire family knows it lol. You are NOT crazy! and IF you Are, then I am too!!!

  69. This is sweet. When I was Molly’s age I was gifted a Christmas version raggedy Ann doll. I brought her EVERYWHERE with me. I lost her at Burger King and one other place and somehow she was still there for me. My mom bought a back up one but I refused to switch to her because she was clean and not my used sweet doll. So you keep on doing you. I’m 32 now and would do the same for my son.

  70. Our 3 year old has a sheep my parents got for her first Christmas while she was still in my belly. It’s been about a year and half of attachment to her sheep “baa baa sheep”. She doesnt usually always try and take it out of the house. But she does love baa baa and sleeps with him and asks for him to make her feel comfortable, hugs kisses etc. he is Also white andI, too, have considered purchasing a replacement!

  71. Definately buy more, as well as just wash the whale in the washing machine and brush him with a brush and let him air dry. Do not dry him it will ruin him.

  72. Only one of my 3 kids had a big attachment to something, my oldest daughter and the ‘thing’ was a sock doll that my Mother made her. So there was no getting another. But my mom, bless her heart, continued to mend ‘Cuddly’ as he got more and more threadbare, until one day she couldn’t mend him anymore. So, we put doll clothes on him basically to hold him together! Luckily she gave up Cuddly around 10 or so, but he still did have a special place in her room. She’s in her 40s and has him ‘somewhere, in her keepsake boxes’, she says, and yes, I can so relate because I was always terrified we’d leave Cuddly somewhere and have a few days lag time for a grandparent or hotel to mail back. I don’t think it’s bad to get a replacement, and most kids give up the intense attachment to an item when they start school any way. You don’t see kids in Kindergarten bringing a ‘lovey’ or blanket or whatever. My experience as a teacher is that it’s usually short lived, and while they may still have the item in their room, they won’t want to take it anywhere. Getting duplicates can be a lifesaver for Molly as young as she is!

  73. We have one for our 4.5 yr old he has had since the day he was born. His name is teddy square and he is tattered and has holes and I still have yet to find a replica. My son know that I’m searching “teddy square 2” so that when we have to say goodbye to the first one, we will have his twin brother to replace him 😂😳.

  74. This is SO interesting to me. I don’t know that if there really is a right or wrong way to handle this kind of thing. It’s a very personal choice. My kids both have ONE stuffed animal they love the most of all. They sleep with them and basically do everything they can with them. My first born has a monkey and honestly it was a gift from someone and we didn’t think much of it. We had bought TWO stuffed giraffes thinking we could switch them out and keep them nice as he got older like you have with Mr. whale. But honestly he could have cared less about the one we chose for him and fell in love with the monkey! We couldn’t ever find a back up and now five years later he is so worn! I know he won’t last much longer and it’s so sad. On the other hand we waited to see which animal our daughter fell in love with and as soon as she did we bought a back up right away! That didn’t work either. She KNEW it was an imposter EVERYTIME we switched lol and they are the exact same!! When you gave Molly the new whale and she could tell he was different it tugged at my heart cause we have been there! Kids just know lol So now our daughter has one animal that is falling apart and loves and the replica that just sits next to her bed and she doesn’t even glance at. Haha! Too funny. I wish you luck with Mr. Whale!! He is so cute!

  75. This is a very defensive post. You say you are trying to create a safe place for people to share opinions, ideas and experiences. Well sometime those opinions are going to be different than yours. You can’t over react to every perceived criticism by justifying everything you do in a five paragraph blog post. I get it, you just want to keep Molly happy, but your desperation to find a backup whale came across as a little over the top. It made me think that what you were really worried about was how YOU would handle it if the whale got lost.

  76. I think you and Kevin are wonderful parents! Both of my kids had “Blankies” that I made them, and trust me they both had 3 or 4 just in case they were lost or mangled in the washing machine. My son also had “Ruf Ruf”….he was a little huskie dog beanie baby with one green eye and one blue eye…he loved it because his big sister has one green eye and one blue eye….we searched and searched for extra Ruf Rufs……and if we happened to give him one that had both blue eyes….oh man! He knew it was an impostor. I totally agree with what you guys are doing! I hope she loves Mr. Whale forever! 🙂 Bless you both! Please tell Kevin we listen to him every morning! He brings joy to our morning and I absolutely love following your family! You have the most adorable kiddos! 🙂

  77. Aww this is sweet and I totally get it. My daughter is about Molly’s age and she has a rainbow monkey stuffed animal thing from CVS that we named Coco, because it reminded us of the spirit animals in the Disney movie. She will not go ANYWHERE without Coco. As soon as I figured out her Coco infatuation, I went back to the same CVS and got two more just in case! I would never want her to be devastated if something happened to the original one. It works out perfectly now because one stays at home, and one in both mine and my husband’s car. I understand why you searched far and wide for a second Mr. Whale and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone!

  78. I have a 9 year old son with Autism and he has gotten attached to several things through the years. And when I see he’s attached to something I keep an eye on that item like a hawk!! Lego figurines, teddy bear, blanket and countless other items. But today I’ve spent two hours looking for his latest attachment…a monopoly card of Super Mario. He was upset when I dropped him off at school this morning so if I see he’s still upset when he gets home we will be taking a trip to Target to buy another Super Mario monopoly board game. But it is so exhausting trying to keep track of his latest attachments. But he’s so worth it!

  79. I agree with you 100%. I’d do the exact same thing with my child even when they are 19 and 15! Ha! I don’t feel any different of you as a parent. I love seeing your stories everyday!

  80. I am mom to three older children. All three had lovies and all three had backups – yay eBay! – especially my youngest. So I am in favor of backups. My issue however is more with everything needing to be white and pristine. Since you have boundaries where Molly can and cannot take Mr. Whale the color of said whale seems to be more of the issue. You even posted your niece’s doll to show the “grossness”. If it’s clean then who cares what it looks like? It’s her lovie and no one else’s. Since Molly goes to school, the whale can be washed then. It’s a recurring theme is seems. The other day in the cute video where she was sharing who she loved you commented in the middle of her list about her messy face. I didn’t get it. She was eating, she is 2, and why the need to say anything while she was sharing her love? A week or so previously you shared an instastory on what looked like a fun and active day at home and she had her homemade cape on and something spilled down the front of her shirt. In the middle of the story you said she was a mess. Molly gave you the same look I did. My point is there are so many more important things in life than the whiteness of Mr. Whale. He is washable. Thank you for listening, Ali.

  81. My 4 and 3 year old we have never been attached to anything that much but my almost 2 year old has a dog he loves. He may become super attached to it and if he does I sure will get a duplicate
    So far its kept in his crib so we never lose it but that may change!

  82. Totally agree with you!! My daughter fell in love with this random whale blanket when she was 6 months old. I searched everywhere and could not find one (it was originally her older brothers). I ended up finding the same blanket (not color) at Walmart and she accepted all of them as her blankies and we keep one eveywhere (daycare, grandma’s, the car). I figure when she outgrows having it eventually I’m going to sew them together into a large blanket for her.

  83. We did the same thing for my now 11 year old when she was a toddler. She had a babydoll that she loved! She took her everywhere! I actually ended up getting 2 backups just incase lol.

  84. Great parenting! I still remember and mourn the loss of my favorite stuffed bunny when I was 7 years old. And as soon as my daughter became attached to a stuffed dog, I made my husband go online to find and buy a duplicate. It took her a couple of months to identify a favorite stuffed animal, but as soon as she did, we were on it!

  85. When my son was little, he fell in love with this little stuffed monkey from old navy. That monkey was like Mr.Whale and thankfully I was able to find a replica on EBay as well. He had one at daycare for naps and one at home for sleeping. We had a situation one Christmas, where we have had to travel from my parents house in the country to our house and back on Christmas Eve because he could not sleep without his monkey. I 100% would have done the same with my daughter but she never attached to a stuffy like he did. My thought was that childhood is so short and so I still keep trying to make it the best experience for my littles❤️❤️

  86. I actually still have my favorite blankie from when I was little and I sleep with it every night. I’m 33! I hold it so dear but nothing will ever be the same. I get sad thinking about the day it’s just a string … and that day will be soon. I wish my mother would have put boundaries on it so I didn’t get so attached. I think what you’re doing is awesome because there is so much scary in the world and if this makes her happy and feel safe you’ve gotta do everything you can to help her hold onto that.

    Just a word of caution…my mom bought my niece a stuffed elephant for Christmas a few years ago and she loved it! I accidentally bought her the same one for her birthday 5 months later. My sis in law thought “OH! I’ll just keep one hidden and swap them each week when I clean them” my niece likes so help with the laundry and that’s the story of how my sis in law had to explain that stuffed animals can be twins like people can and now she carries both around lol soooo just make sure back up whale is REALLY well hidden!

  87. I agree with this blog post. I’m a mama of two and I think doing anything for your kids to protect them from innocent sadness and tears is what us moms should do. It’s such a scary world out there. Molly has enough time to learn that lesson. Seeing her happy and smile will make this all worth it.

  88. I loved your post! And I gave to say that here in France it’s vert common to buy an extra “doudou”. My son has 3 rabbits and every time I wash one I give them another one. It’s also exist a french website with lost and found “Doudou*” for parents 😉
    *Doudou is the name we give toys that babies and toddlers are emotionnaly attached to.

  89. I totally get it! My son, now 22, had a favorite blanket and some beanie babies that he took everywhere! “Tucky and the guys” were part of our family. I thought he wouldn’t notice that one was missing until it happened. Baby Dog disappeared and he was frantic. Thankfully, beanie babies were everywhere at the time. A friend had an extra so I grabbed it. He knew it wasn’t the same one, it felt and smelled different, but he was ok with it. Someday Mr Whale will be in a trunk like Tucky and the guys and you’ll be grateful for the love they represent! ❤️

  90. My daughter has a pink rabbit that has been her companion since she was 4 months old! She is now 5 and that rabbit is still her favorite. My husband and I have looked everywhere for a second one as a backup…apparently this one is the only one ever made 🤦🏼‍♀️. We recently took a trip to Disney and as we were in the airport about to board our plane to come home….we couldn’t find rabbit!! We don’t carry her everywhere but we had her in a backpack so she could have her on the plane….after searching all of our bags and me having a small panic attack we found rabbit in a zipper pocket that no one thought to check. Right then I decided that rabbit needs to stay home on trips so she remains safe…mommy cannot handle the thought of losing her!!

  91. My daughter has a little Vera Bradley mini bunny rabbit blankie that she grew attached to at 8 months old. Once I figured out how much she adored it, I bought two more!! I can totally relate to what you did with Mr. Whale. Even at 4 now, “lovey” is still my daughters form of comfort and her little best friend. Over the years, the attachment has naturally gotten less and less, but it’s totally normal for our kids to become attached to something as their form of comfort. I think you’re a wonderful mom and love following all of your content. Thanks for the sweet story.

  92. I can relate to Molly on many different levels. Since I can remember I have had this little stuffed animal cat that makes a purring sound. That poor toy has been through it all; bodily fluids, a basement flood, showers, and has gone with me all over the world. At this point I am 28 and this cat still is by my side when I sleep (maybe not right next me anymore) but it is in my room where i know it is and it comes with me whenever I travel. To me it a reminder of home and I feel safe when it is around. My parents never found a replacement, and even now that I’m older I’ve tried to find one and they are nowhere to be found. So I think you were right in buying a replacement now, because you never now what can happen and this way Molly has that security blanket as long as she needs it.

  93. Hi Ali!
    My brother had a cabbage patch doll as a child he LOVED once he got older but had received it shortly after he was born. While on a beach vacation and off playing in the water some sick teenagers found the doll and took the doll and left the head in the sand by our stuff. This completely ruined our vacation as he was so upset that he lost his friend. He took this doll everywhere and cried for days when it was gone. My parents tried replacing it after but it had been roughly 3 years since it was bought and the cabbage patch doll could not be found anywhere. This was devastating and impossible to explain to a 3 year old! If they could go back in time I’m sure they would have gotten a back up doll to prevent this all. I think what you did was a great idea and if something were to happen to Mr. Whale I’m sure you will be so grateful you have a backup!

  94. I love this post! I’m 37 and still sleep with a pillow my grandma made me when I was a baby! (My mom made me several versions throughout my life!). My 8 year old was the same as Molly! We got a pink poodle when we was born and she did nothing with it until she was about 1.5 years old. She named it “Beastie” and we don’t know why 😂. She’s had Beastie ever since. When my younger daughter was born she got attached to a little white dog my mom got her around the same age (1.5 years old). She named it white puppy-o and she’s had it ever since! My husband found both stuffed animals a few years ago and bought a back up of each just in case! (One was used on eBay and the other we found new!) Thankfully we haven’t had to use them! I think you’re handling it beautifully! We have the same boundaries for our doggies. Now that my girls are older they leave them in their rooms but they still travel with us! There are so few things in life that provide that kind of comfort for kiddos like that, so I’m more than happy to make sure they have something to snuggle if they’re sad or scared!

  95. My taught me a trick to help alleviate the search for a duplicate stuffed animal. Pick the toy that you want to become a lovey for your child and then every time you nurse or bottle feed hold the lovey next to your child. The child will likely become attached to this lovey because they associate it with feeding and cuddles. This trick has worked for both of my kids and I was able to purchase multiple back ups.

  96. My daughter is 12 and still sleeps with a Minnie Mouse that she got at Disneyland when she was less than 2! She rubs its nose to sleep. I have fixed the nose so many times that it is just a little nub. It is so sad looking, but she loves it. I tried to get a replacement when her first one started to wear, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with it. You are smart to do it from early on so that this one can wear too.
    You are a great mom! Ignore the haters! Your kids are loved and it shows! Btw, do you still have the link for the 30 day trial to the homer app? I missed it! 😬

  97. Thank you for a real and heartfelt post!! I speak from experience that it’s not easy when our children lose something they love. My oldest daughter had a doll that got dirty, just like you were concerned with, I tried cleaning it and ended up having to get rid of it. The doll just wasn’t clean enough for her to keep and not to mention it started to fall apart. She was devastated for sure! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find one that looked exactly like the original. It took a little bit for her to get over the sadness of losing it, but she eventually did.
    As for those mean posts and messages, forget about them!! You are a great mom and know Molly better than anyone else!! You keep parenting and being the mom you are for your precious babies because you rock at it!!
    Keep doing you 🤗

  98. I love this! My husband and I just bought another sloth for our daughter Sullivan. She’s only 8 months old but she has to be holding him to fall asleep & he seems to help her calm down in new places! We were worried about him becoming too loved or leaving him somewhere so now we have two in rotation so she doesn’t know the difference! I can completely relate to this post. 🙌❤️

  99. I can totally relate to this! My older son had a beloved “Gog” which was a stuffed dog. My friend Liz got it at Harrods (in England!) Because she was living there when I was pregnant. My mom was so afraid something would happen to Gog and my son wouldn’t be able to handle it, so she paid more for shipping than the actual toy to have Gog #2. Then my son walked around with both Dogs and called them Timmy and Tommy. He hasn’t touched them in years (he is eight now) but I can’t part with them no matter what Marie Kondo says. 😉 Thanks for reminding me how much I loved my son’s “Gog” phase 🙂

    My second son wasn’t attached to any toy or blanket! My college roommate brought her special stuffed animal into our dorm room. 🙂 I say what ever makes you happy! 🙂

  100. I love this! My son is seventeen now and he still has his favorite stuff animal on his bed from when he was five (a wolf from the one of the museums downtown LA). It looks gross but he loved/loves it to death, he never went any where without it (camping, family vacations, the grocery store, sixth grade camp). We tried to replace it however, never was able to find the exact replica to replace it with. I’m afraid it might just go off to college with him. 😊

  101. My son (16 months) has an elephant from Ikea and he sucks on one of the legs to fall asleep. Let’s just say that leg is disgusting! I was worried it would fall apart eventually so we went back to Ikea and they were no longer selling it! Luckily I did find the elephant on EBay ! When we gave the new one to him he grabbed the one leg, looked and it and then threw the elephant across the room HAHA. At least we have it as back up JUST in case 🙂

  102. Ali!! When I watched the story of you getting a duplicate of Mr. Whale I personally thought it was genius. When my daughter was Molly’s age she had this reindeer that of all places, we won in a claw machine. So, one, the chances of us every finding it again was slim to none, and two, that was before you could find almost anything on the internet. (I’m not even that old, lol 38, but it’s changed a lot in 16 years!) it was a Christmas reindeer. She was much like Molly and took him everywhere. Sleep didn’t happen if he wasn’t there. One night she lost him from my moms back home. And it was a long night, and a little while after. If I could have had a backup, I sure would have had one. I understand kids do need to learn life lessons but like you, there is no way I wouldn’t have replaced it if I could have. They have a lifetime to learn those lessons. My son had a Pooh, and he survived and is still with us even tho my son is 18. It’s put up now, but it is worn and I always worried he would fall to pieces, but he made it. I think it’s a comfort thing, it makes them happy and is comforting to them. And personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Molly is still so small, so I agree 100% with your decision. So glad you found Mr. Whale and was so glad that Molly accepted him after that first initial transition ❤️

  103. Both of my kids have a back up lovey, and they know that we have more than one and they have never cared. I always keep one of the loveys put away but if they ever get their hands on both of their loveys at once it’s the best thing ever to them! Haha

  104. Both of my kids have stuffed animals they are attached too. My almost 5 year old became attached to Bucee (a beaver from the fancy gas station. LOL), we bought two so we had a back up. He eventually found the extra and now just sleeps with both. And my 19 month old is attached to a fox. He carries that thing everywhere, and when he transitioned to a different classroom at daycare he started needing it there as comfort to get used to the new class. So we bought 3 extras because at daycare they come home super gross. He knows about the extras and sometimes carries 2 or 3 around at a time. But as long as he has one of them he’s all good. Kids are so funny on what they become attached too.

  105. The one thing I’ve learned since becoming a parent is that there is no “one right way” to do things and that each child is different! I also believe each parent is an expert on their child and their instincts guide their decisions whatever they may be! My two kids couldn’t be any more different in this regard. My 4 year old son never, ever got attached to a blanket, pacifier, stuffed animal, anything! To the point where I actually worried about it for a hot minute! (Ha, 1st time mom…) Then, along comes my daughter. Miss never leave my side. Overnight, around 2, she became completely attached to a pink blanket. And, while I’ve never considered getting a back up (I never thought of it, truthfully), if she did lose it it would completely break both of our hearts. It is very special to her and I’m sure I’d be frantically looking for a replacement as well!
    PS- I’m a die-hard bachelor fan and love following you on insta and your blog!

  106. I had a stuffed elephant when I was a kid I took this thing everywhere with me one day we went to the beach and I took it with me and it disappeared somewhere I swear to this day that my mom buried it in the sand

  107. I think it’s different when its a homemade lovey vs. something available in stores. My son has 3 doudous (in French, a lovey/blanket is doudou) – all exactly the same. I got worried it would eventually need to get washed, and he would need a backup to sleep with!

  108. Thank you for sharing! When we were sleep training my son I read that a Lovey can be a lot of help . So I went on Amazon and bought a super beautiful soft lovey giraffe. Fast forward. He loves it so much we have 5. The were 34.00$ each. Wish I had picked a cheaper on lol. I still have my dog from when I will a little girl and my Husband still has Mr. Bear. I dont know if the giraffe will be that toy for him that he loves and remembers, all I know is that he loves and needs it now and if he needs it… so do I! I would move mountains if I could to love and keep him safe and happy. One day he will have to learn that no everything is replaceable, but that wont be a lesson he needs to learn right now. You did not do Molly a disservice, you are letting her imagination grow by keep her current best friend (Mr.Whale) safe. I respect and admire you!

  109. Ha my son is turning 29 this year. When he was six we went to Disney Land from Utah. He was totally attached to his blankie which he slept with every night. He used to carry it around everywhere but had graduated to just sleeping with it. We left his blankie in the hotel room. It was horrible. He said I will just stand here by my bed until blankie comes back. I didn’t know what to do. Someone at work told me to have another one made and tell him that the beast from beauty and the beast sent it to him. I called the hotel and they actually had it and mailed it back to us. Which was wonderful. Crazy what we do to make sure our kids are happy!

  110. So sweet. I totally did the same thing. Long story short my gram died 2 years ago and it completely crushed my daughter. We went to a local store to get a sketch pad so my daughter could draw Nana pictures (so Nana could see them from heaven) and she picked out a small stuffed animal while we were there. On the way home my daughter mentioned the animal’s birthday (on the tag) was July 10th. Which was my gram’s birthday. It immediately put her at peace because she felt Nana chose that animal for her. The next day I went back and got four more just in case. I’m not doing a disservice to my child…if that animal is a comfort for my child I never want to lose it!

  111. This is a good momma post! My sister and I each had something that we loved and loved fiercely. My sister had Dollie and I had a waffle-knit blanket. My parents also bought back ups, but did it too late and knew when they were trying to give us the imposter. To this day (and we are 38 and 29 years old) the imposter Dollie and blankie still look brand new while Dollie has had many, many “surgeries” and blankie basically disintegrates just looking at it. My twins are 15months but when they attach to something I will also be buying back ups!

  112. I did the same thing for my daughter. A white lamb identical. I bought it when she was 6 months old. She smelt it and then threw it on the floor. Cried and Cried. Never touched it. We tried for one day and she wouldn’t sleep. She just cried. So we gave back Her Lamby. She is now 12 yrs old. Still sleeps with it but let’s the imposter Lamb in her room in a basket. 😂

  113. Hello! I just wanted to say that the pics of you and Molly are adorable (especially Molly’s expressions!) and that I think you addressed both positive and negative opinions about this very popular topic in a respectful way. Kudos to you! And can’t wait to see you on TV next Monday 🙂

  114. We did the same thing with my first born and her fave stuffy. Quick tip on washing stuffies – put the stuffy in a pillowcase and tie it up, then throw in the washing machine and dryer like normal. When dry untie the pillowcase and voila! A clean stuffy that is as good as new.

  115. I had a back up Baby Shrek for my little girl because of how many times she’d forget it at daycare or something like that. About the life lesson…..Molly is 3 years old, there will be PLENTY of other opportunities to teach her life lessons about loss (unfortunately), don’t need the tears unnecessarily, especially about her most favourite toy!

  116. My grandson has a gorilla and we bought a back up to start rotating out. You did the right thing getting molly a back up. Love reading and following your family

  117. You’re so sweet Ali… you’re doing great. And thanks for the forum! My daughter dragged around her favorite blanket “bubby” for so many years. She was a young teen before I had the heart to make rules about it 🙁
    Now that she’s grown she says what she loved about it was the worn edges and.. Sorry.. the smell. She would wait at the washing machine for it. So gross I know but she lived to tell the tale. 😆

  118. I love to follow you because Molly reminds me so much of my daughter, who was born just a couple weeks after Molly. It’s so fun to see your family go through the same phases that we are, and I feel a little less crazy after! We have a small taggie blanket that my daughter was extremely attached to (less now, but still uses it for comfort at night) and we have lost it a few times and experienced the very heart-wrenching meltdowns that occurred after. We ordered a back up that happened to be an off brand that we didn’t realize and she could tell. The detailed designs on the tags (even though the fabric design was the same) were a little different and I couldn’t believe that she knew at such a young age. We still have instances where we leave taggie somewhere and have to pull out the backup. She will now tell us that she wants the “real taggie” not “this crazy taggie” LOL. There is too much pressure on preparing children for the real world. I’m guilty of it too, but my mother reminds me that they will get there and that they are only little for so long. We should try to protect them as long as we can with such simple things.

  119. I completely enjoyed watching your instagram stories on this because I can TOTALLY relate. My daughter is 2 and we took her paci away when she was 10 months old at the end of November. With my parents living 7 hours away they had sent her a Christmas book and a stuffed Rudolph and Clarice so we could read a Christmas story to her with them. Well were not sure if it’s because we had just taken the paci away or what but she got hooked and she got hooked quick! Now a year and a half later we still carry them around. Mainly Clarice but when she needs a “bath” she will carry Rudolph around. I know we always look silly carrying a mainly Christmas character around in the summer time but they are her comfort and I am completely okay with looking silly for her comfort. I need to get a little better at the boundaries because Jayde does carry Clarice to daycare but we will work on that eventually.

    My mom purchased them at Dollar General so luckily they had them again last year at Christmas time and we got 2 new sets but now I am concerned she will know something is up too! Oh the joys of being a parent. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  120. My youngest had a “night night” blanket. She had left it at a gas station and I tracked it down, then dropped it at a YMCA and it was so ratty that someone thought it was trash and I ended up fishing it out of the garbage. It ripped so I saved half of it and let her use the other half. Now I have it as a keepsake. Next came “liony” that was left at a soccer game. Thankfully the Easter Bunny found him and took care of him until he could bring him to our house on easter 😂

  121. Hi Ali! The lovie is such a precious thing when they’re young and I’m in the same boat as you – you want it to be around for them as long as possible. I don’t have a degree in early childhood development but I’d venture to guess that this act of parental love/protection for a few years is not going to mess with her long term ability to cope with life’s bumps and bruises. You’re doing great, mama!

  122. My daughter who will be 11 in June has “Dolly” that she has had since she was a baby and she still sleeps with her. She even said Dolly will go with her to college and her future husband will have to accept Dolly as well. 😂 When she was little Dolly was well loved so much that she would constantly have arms that were ripping off. I had several back ups until the last back ups arm ripped off and I searched everywhere for one. I ended up driving 30 miles to a toys r us that had one left in stock and my step mother also found one in Arizona and had it shipped to me 😂 I totally understand why you are are doing it and agree wholeheartedly! Have been following you since the bachelor/bachelorette days and just love following your little family now your kids are adorable!

  123. I’ve totally been there and LOVE that Mr. Whale got his own blog post. My daughter (now 15 y/o) had a very similar attachment to a bear that she named “Pooby.” We searched high and low for an exact match for that little guy and you know what? When we finally found it, I bought 3 of them! I never wanted her to be without her comfort item and it turns out that we used 2 of the extras. One as a stand in when “pooby” has to be washed and one as a replacement when we lost “pooby” in Disney World!! (True Story!) We spent hours trying to track that bear down in the Magic Kingdom to no avail!

  124. My daughter has a little stuffed lamb that she sleeps with, so I bought a backup like you did. Unfortunately, I didn’t hide it as well as I thought I did, so now she has TWO stuffed lambs that she sleeps with!

  125. I think this is adorable & I think you do what you gotta do as a parent! There’s plenty of time to teach kids about reality & loss, the time for that is not at 9pm when you need her to go to sleep & she’s devastated because she doesn’t have her shark!
    My son had a blanket he carried everywhere that was hand-made by a family friend, so no backup available! We couldn’t figure out what he was calling it for the longest time, he also had a pacifier that he called ‘Pappy’. Then one day I was picking him up from the babysitter & as we were leaving I said ‘Do you want this?’ He immediately said ‘Pappy & This’!! It was really funny, he called it ‘this’ forever, I guess I never realized how often I said that to him!! LOL I still have it, it’s not pretty, & was definitely well loved!!

  126. Oh Ali let me begin by saying that I think you are an incredible mom! Yes, I would have done the exact same thing as you! My son received a polar bear in the hospital the day he was born and never paid attention to it until one day, like Molly, decided that he wasn’t going to go anywhere without it. It got its share of wear and tear and I kept sewing it back up and repairing any damage time and time again. He called it Doggy because he didn’t realize it was a polar bear. I was OK with that. We only had one of those but he did get attached to it & it’s still in his possession to this date and he is a student at NYU lol…. yes we packed all his belongings with him and it’s on a closet shelf in his apartment in the financial district LOL – it’s probably going to remain a keepsake. I never did have to replace it, but I know from experience how attached our children can get to an object – remember Tom Hanks and Wilson from Castaway!! Am I right? Anyway, no advice except a mom knows exactly what she has to do for her own kids. Keep up the awesome work. I applaud you for sharing your experiences with the public. You and Kevin are doing a fantastic job! XO

  127. My son is pretty much the exact same age as Molly, he was born July 8, 2016, and he has a Batman action figure that he loves. It’s very small and fits in his hands. I very rarely let him take it out of the house because I don’t want to deal with him losing it. However, I don’t want him to be attached to any toy, stuffed animal, or blanket and I’ve definitely made sure he isn’t. Every time he starts to get more obsessed with Batman I take Batman away until he stops asking for him. I personally don’t want him to ever find comfort from an object so I control the situation as much as I can. I think though if buying two whales felt right for your family then ultimately it’s up to you. Every parent chooses their battles and what is important to them. In the long run, it is not going to damage them as adults.

  128. I totally understand where you’re coming from as I have a 3 year old daughter and it’s easy to see them get attached to things. I appreciated your explanation. I just don’t think I would want to pretend that the second whale is the same whale. They’re already at that age where they’re incredibly observant, and like you said, she knew something was up. It’s better to explain the truth rather than try to trick them….even if you think it’s for their own good. Because in the long run it normally isn’t.

  129. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have 3 kids and although none of them became super attached to anything, except me, i had a stuffed animal (and still have him) who was so comforting to me, as a child. And, of course you want to protect your child and don’t want to see her upset and there’s is nothing wrong with that but my one piece of (unsolicited) advice, just from experience, is pick and choose those moments. Make sure she is having experiences (obviously not purposeful but when they happen don’t immediately make it better) where she is disappointed, loses or breaks a toy, gets left out or feelings hurt etc. i know this seems weird BUT we have to remember, as moms, our job is not to make everything rainbows and sunshine, all the time. We are doing our kids a disservice. Our job is to prepare our kids so when they step out of our house and go out into the world they can thrive. And to do this they need to know how to sort through different emotions. How to fall and pick themselves back up. How to lose something and deal with disappointment. It sounds like you see that balance, as you stated in your blog post and I think that is the most important thing. So if the whale is one of those things you choose to protect your daughter and shield her from some tears, go for it! I always tell my mommy friends that it is all about experiences and as long as we are giving our kids a wide range of experiences, that’s all that counts. You are a wonderful mother and you have two happy kids to show for it.

  130. My son has a stuffed monkey much like Mr. Whale. Well, he took it trick or treating when he was three, and it got lost and the world ended. It was three days before I could get a new one (I purchased 3 lol) and it was a nightmare waiting for them to arrive. Now that he’s older (10!) he still loves his monkey. And he only likes the original one of the three backups (the other two are too new and fluffy and don’t smell the same). The original is raggedy and stinks and has sewn up holes. But it’s the one he likes best. He still sleeps with his monkey. And we let him take it on trips to sleep with, but it otherwise stays home. And I’m SUPER diligent about making sure that thing comes home with us when we do travel.

  131. I’m not a mom yet but I am a teacher to 2-3 year olds. I love what you said about it being her comfort and safety. Feeling safe is so incredibly important at her age. I always suggest to parents to get back ups of favorite toys! I think it’s amazing you embrace her love for Mr. Whale while also setting boundaries. You are incredible ♥️ And Molly is so very cute ♥️

  132. My daughter just turned 3 and she’s never been attached to only a certain toy-yet. She has a lot of favorites but she takes turns taken a certain one with her and sleeping with but I would do the same thing as you! What’s the big deal? The whale makes your daughter happy and why would you want to take that away? It’s not like she gets everything she wants when she asks for it. You’re doing a great job mama!

  133. I don’t think wanting/getting a back up is what I found odd. I think it was just maybe more the obsession over it and the worrying almost obsessively over her devastation. As a teacher and parent myself of teenagers, I wish I’d let them “feel” disappointment more and in a safe environment. I am guilty, at times, of being a “lawn mower” parent as many of this generation are and I can say it’s a massive mistake. It is probably part of the huge mental health crisis we have going. We have to let kids feel and deal! They’ll be ok. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 You are a great mom just think this is a very interesting topic and thought I’d weigh in.

  134. Hey Ali
    I totally feel your urge to get a back up whale for your daughter. My best friends daughter who is now 11 had a favourite blanket that she carried around literally EVERYWHERE with her for 9 years!!!! As the years went on that blanket got sooo dirty and gross no matter what my friend did to try and keep it clean. Half way through that blanket ended up with the name stinky because it was so bad but she refused to get rid of it lol until one day my friend finally had enough and just threw it out lol.

    My daughter when she was 2 became attached to a little stuffed rabbit for a long few months and I was so worried like you that she would loose it that I also tried to search f a back up but didn’t end up finding one but good thing I didn’t because she lost interest a couple months later but has since moved on to a couple different stuffed animals and she’s not been attached to them for a few months.
    Now I’m wondering how long this attachment will last and she’s now 3. haha

  135. My daughter has a blankie she called
    “Softie” We also tried to find her a duplicate. Even though it looked exactly the same and was from the same store Grace, with tears in her eyes said it wasn’t Softie because it was “Scratchie.” It was a large throw blanket and she still has a piece of it in her room on her dresser ( she’s 16!) It’s the size of a child’s sock. Lol We once left it in a hotel and drove 5 hours back to get it! Ha! The things we do as parents 😂😂

  136. I love this post! My daughter’s name is Molly 🙂 and she is four (almost five). She has a stuffed pink dog that she got the day she was born and is so attached to it. She can’t sleep without it. She holds the dogs ear and sucks her thumb when she is tired or sleeping. It’s the cutest thing in the world to me. But, I also panicked like you and thought what if ‘doggie’ goes missing… then what?!? So, I ordered a backup online. She definitely knew the difference (I should have ordered it way sooner). She now calls them ‘old doggie’ and ‘new doggie.’ 🙂 Old doggie is definitely old and worn and not very pink anymore… but SHE LOVES IT! It brings her comfort and puts a smile on her face, therefore I LOVE doggie too.

  137. This happened to us, too. My daughter “imprinted” on an elephant my mom has picked up on vacation in a small tourist shop. The shop didn’t sell “Ernie’s” anymore, so we went to eBay and found one. We thought we were being sooo sneaky, trading them out. Until, one day, our daughter asked if Ernie 2 could play as well. We played dumb, but she 100% knew we had two and we’re switching them. Now, she takes them BOTH everywhere and sleeps with both every night. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  138. My twin boys have a beloved elephant. One is a rattle blanket, blue blanket with a grey elephant head, and the other is one of those big eyed Ty beanie baby. They both got a rattle blanket as a gift when they were born. They didn’t started loving them until they were about a year old! 12 months! And it was out of now where. One of my twins chews on the end of the rattle blanket**so gross**. My other twin just liked to hold it and then one day saw the beanie baby and decided he liked it better. So luckily I have that as a back up bc the rattle blanket smells awful!! I have to wash it in Clorox multiple times a week. We also have boundaries about where we take elephants and usually only stays at the house!

  139. I don’t think there is anything wrong with have multiple of a favorite stuffed animal. I have an elephant lovey for my son and we have a backup as well. We keep one in his crib and the other goes with him (living room, daycare, car rides, etc.). I am very thankful to have a backup because just the other day we were at the airport and he dropped (maybe threw…he’s at that stage) his elephant and I didn’t notice. After maybe 30 min tops I noticed but it was too late. The elephant wasn’t in lost and found, information, or anywhere we had been. We only had to survive a few hours without the elephant and my son didn’t seem to really mind, but I knew come bedtime I would be very happy for our backup. Before we even got on the plane I ordered another one off of amazon so we only had to go 2 days with one elephant.
    On the flip side, I understand not sheltering your kids. It is a learning experience when they lose and favorite toy and have to grieve that. That being said, I think that is a lesson to start teaching when they are closer to 4/5 years old. A young child that is still learning to name their emotions and express themselves would have a hard time understanding and living their emotions over that loss. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to teach Molly (and Riley) how to cope with loss and disappointment later in the future.

  140. Bravo to you!! You wanted to do something super sweet for her and you did. You didn’t get discouraged by the negativity.

    I’ve followed you so long and still admire you. I’m going to be a first time mom in October and love all your parenting advice you give.

    Keep it up.

  141. At 6 months old my daughter fell in love with a blanket and a little stuffed animal head on a blanket type of thing. She called them Lovie and Blankie. (She wasn’t even allowed to have them in her crib at that age but she still loved them right away.) I quickly got her another Lovie and I swapped them out very few weeks and I’d wash them equally too. She had no idea. It wasn’t perfect. When she was about 6 we showed her the 2 lovies and she was shocked but happy. She has one she favors over the other and still keeps “back up Lovie” around. She’s 9 and they both still make her happy 🙂

  142. My daughter has a teddy & blanket that she takes everywhere! The teddy we found at goodwill a couple years ago, the blanket is from Kmart, which we no longer have where we live. Both are super worn out! We have a replica blanket but it’s still super soft and she knows (she’s 4). She takes them both to daycare which i should probably limit her on where the teddy at least goes.

  143. Ali I’m really glad you explained the whole story. I can’t knock your reasoning. However, what initially broke my heart about the whale thing was seeing Molly’s sad little face on your insta story when you gave her the new whale. And to be honest, my thought was “why is she putting Molly through unnecessary pain NOW for the small chance that she MIGHT lose the whale in the future?” It didn’t seem fair to me. This is just my opinion. I think you are a fantastic mother and that you only want the best for your child. You’re such a good mother, and so in tune with your child, that you would do everything to make sure the whale doesn’t get lost. And if by chance it did, THEN you could give her the replacement. That was my thinking. We’re all different, with different opinions, and that’s what I would do. And I love my child with every ounce of my being. I don’t knock what you did…I would’ve just done things differently! We’re all just trying our best.

  144. This is so cute. I recommend to have a few and switch them every few days so they get “evenly loved”. Molly is adorable.

  145. One of the first things I bought my son before he was born was an elephant lovie from pottery barn kids. I wanted him to have a lovie I enjoyed looking at – Ha! I then decided I needed two of them in case he loses one. When he was big enough to sleep with it – it seemed to help calm him down. At that time I also left one at day care and decided I needed more. In the end, we now have 4 of them. I have interchanged them since we started using them and wash them in rotation as well. I’m not sure you can tell the difference between any of them. …sadly, while my son loves it – he doesn’t seem to be attached to it (or anything just yet). I’m hoping he doesn’t get attached to something I can’t find – but if he does, I’ll be doing the same as you and looking for an extra (or 2 or 3)!

  146. My son has a favorite blankie that they stopped making, and I was disappointed because I wanted a second for backup too! I was so glad when you posted about ebay, because I hadn’t thought of that. I found one on there, and now we have two! Such a relief 🙂

  147. My oldest is a year and four months she hasn’t gotten attached to any toy yet and my youngest is only 3 months so she’s far from getting attached but I know I would do anything in my power to not see them hurt but like you said BOUNDRIES are so important so I definitely agree with your strategy! You’re doing such a great job! You’re my role model mommy 💕

  148. Um I have a 13 year old who still sleeps with a shred of her blankie and a 10 yr old who clings to his giraffe (it’s the third one we had to replace over the years and he knows it’s not the original) I love this post – sometimes kids just need one thing of comfort to face all the other challenges in life

  149. My daughter who is now 12 almost 14 had a blanket she got when she was first born from a family I used to Nanny for. I thought the blanket was super cute and I would wrap her in it. But I had other blankets that I loved to wrap her in when she was first born — but when she was upset nothing settled her down like this blanket. Once we knew that this would be her blanket forever we had to find another one as we heard they were not being sold anymore. To this day — she has 2 of the same blankets and doesn’t go anywhere without one of them. I don’t blame you for getting a spare. I had to because I needed to wash it and knew she wouldn’t sleep without it.

  150. Hello!! I have a little girl, Lucy, same age as Molly. We have a puppy stuffed animal she is attached to. We attempted to buy a second one, which worked for a while, when all of a sudden she named them mommy and daddy puppy realizing there was two! She’s too smart 😬. She eventually started only wanting “mommy puppy” and now “daddy puppy” is not good enough and we are back to only one 😩 hope your second mr. whale makes it longer than our daddy puppy did!!!

  151. My 2.5 year old daughter has Duckie. We have 5 in rotation! The little duck was only $5 so why not? My husband and I change her out weekly (and even more when my daughter is sick and gets snot all over her). Loss is a part of life, but good lord why not set your daughter up for happiness when you can?? I had a Yellow Dolly that I lived right through college and she’s still in my closet to this day. 🙂

  152. My daughter is obsessed with her monkey (a hand puppet made by melissa and doug). We bought 2 extra. One is in a closet for in case we lose one. We rotate the other 2 weekly since it is machine washable and we switch them so the other can be cleaned. Its totally normal to have an attachment object and I completely understand your mission to have a backup! I swear sometimes I have a better eye on monkey than I do on her. He can NOT be missing hahahaha.

  153. I’m a mom of 2.. almost 30 and still sleep with my blanket that my mom made for me. She passed away when I was six.. it’s all I have left of her and the smell is comfort. 💜 my husband embraces it lol

  154. My nephew had a blanket, the blankets that have that silky stuff around the edges. He had and used this blanket until the silky stuff was just hanging there attached to the blanket by couple stitches… lol. He took this blanket with him everywhere and anywhere. With him.. he left it somewhere and cried and cried and cried until she had to go get it to get him to sleep…. We tried and tried to get him to use the new one I got for him but it was a no go. He would cry and cry until my sister finally gave the old one back to him…he’s 10 now and until this day he has that blanket and still sleeps with it at night….. she even tried sewing it back together and he would not let her….so it doesn’t matter how old a child is when there attached to something, bottom line is they will now the difference between the two objects…..cindy

  155. I still remember losing my stuffed animal “Stitches” in a department store when I was no more than 4. He was so loved that the plastic eyes fell of (he was a bear) and my dad stitched X’s as the eyes. I was DEVASTATED and the people at the department store offered me some random backup doll…I remember thinking um are you crazy? Anyway I’m 32 and still remember losing him so I am so down with the backup!! Xo

  156. My son went through a year long obsession with Peter Pan when he was 2 1/2. My dad bought him a Peter Pan hat when we went to Disneyland with his name embroidered on it. My son was OBSESSED with this hat for the whole year. He slept with it on and wore it every day. The only time he didn’t have it was when he went to school. After about 6 months the hat was falling apart. We happened to be going to Disney world and we told him we were going to look for a new one. The old one was too ratty to be able to pull off a new one as the same. But we got him pumped up about a “big boy Peter Pan hat”. Then he was crushed when we got there and found out they no longer sold them!! After all the hyping up we did for him to get excited about a new one you can imagine how upset a 3 year old was! The cast member at the hat store was so sweet and gave him a new feather for his old hat and he was happy. My brother had the idea to also check eBay and found the hat!! It wasn’t embroidered with his name but not a big deal since he knew it was a new hat. He put his old one in his closet and proudly wore the new one for another 6 months. He did move on from this phase but even now at 5 he will occasionally pull out his hats and wear them to play dress up. I don’t think we will ever get rid of rhe hats for sentimental reasons and I’m glad we got a 2nd one. I think it’s sweet and smart you found a back up for Me. whale! I would have done the same!

  157. My son has Mr. Penguin! He has lost an eye (dog got him) and been everywhere with him, including to the hospital with him when he broke his elbow. He also has Sammy (stuffed dog) that got lost trick or treating.. he was devastated. We spent over an hour retracing our steps, and couldn’t find him. I hurried up and got online that evening and ordered the same one.. came a few days later.. and we told our son Sammy took a vacation and just got home. He didn’t believe us, but we tried haha. Definitely understand having a back up… ahead of time. Wish I would have thought about it before the disappearance of Sammy.

  158. I had a blanket that I loved dearly anit gave me so much comfort for 30+ years but it got so gross that I had to put it away.

    I have mixed emotions on letting a child get so attached to something since I know how it feels. I needed that blanket emotionally. It made me feel safe and comforted me and it was so hard to put it up. Sometimes it’s inevitable though, that a child will get attached.

    I purchased a ton of muslin blankets for my boys and they can’t sleep without one, but I’ve rotated the 20 blankets that we have so luckily they aren’t attached to one particular blanket.

    IMO you did the right thing. I’m glad you were able to find another whale, and if you can find more, buy those too! You definitely don’t want her walking around with a gross stuffed animal. That’s not healthy!

  159. This resonates with me so much! I moved in with my boyfriend and his 3 kids. I have been around younger kids for a while my best friend had a son when she was 18 and I remember buying him a fish for maybe his 4th or 5th bday. Her and I were hanging out one afternoon and I went in to check on his fish and found it belly up. Before long her and I were on our way to Pet Co to see if we could find another one almost identical to it so we could replace it! We did and he never knew. On one hand I thought maybe he should learn from it/ understand that this happens but knew he’d be 100% devastated if he found it like that. As for my boyfriends kids. His son has this stuffed bear that he has had for a long time (he’s 10 now) but his little sister destroyed it. I searched high and low for it for days to see if I could find a new one with no avail. I felt bad that I couldn’t find it, and he was sad that this bear that meant so much to him was unfixable. Meanwhile his sister stole my hair brush and got it stuck in her dolls hair haha! But anyways I totally understand a child’s attachment to a stuffed animal!

  160. Ali- my little girl Larkin is just a bit older then Molly and she has a lovey she is completely obsessed with! I have 3 of them. I swap them out weekly and wash them so that they all stay worn in relatively the same way and stay pretty clean. We also let her take it pretty much anywhere she goes it she wants to. I also am not a child psychologist but I think having an attachment object is great and healthy. My older son is 6 and never had one and my 3 year old daughter is so much better at being dropped off at childcare, joining in new activities, and even going to bed without us by her side and I attribute that to having lovey by her side. I am a kindergarten teacher and I have never had a child come to class with an attachment object so I think that as children mature they begin to understand the appropriate place for their special objects and develop techniques to help them acclimate to new situations that are age appropriate. So my opinion is get a backup- swap them out so she can’t tell the difference between the worn one and the new unused one and hope Riley finds something he loves as well 🙂

  161. We have a “monkey” blanket that our son Callahan (3 y/o) LOVES. It is 100% his security blanket — sleeps with is at night, snuggles it when sad or missing mom or dad when traveling, or just lounging in the house. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t realize “monkey” was so special until AFTER it was discontinued so I COMPLETELY understand why you got a back up. I’ll be honest and share — one night we left “monkey” at school, which is attached to YMCA, so I called the front desk and convinced them to let me into his classroom to get it (accompanied, of course!)
    My little man was so relieved and thankful it wasn’t lost. I could have taught him a lesson on waiting until morning for him, but I thought it was more important for him to be comforted before bed.

    Anyways, I am (obviously) supportive of the backup!

    Keep doing you, mama!

  162. My son sometimes carries both of his pandas around! We also have rules about where it goes but I love the joy it brings to him and attachment. It’s really the sweetest thing to see! I say buy all the whales ❤️

  163. Oh my gosh people are so critical. I did just the same thing for my dog. I wish I could post pictures of the original and newer stuffed animal. Her older one has no stuffing left in it and I have sewn it closed dozens of times just to save it. It’s the only toy she will play with. I did find the exact stuffed animal on eBay. It’s a big Ty beanie collectors one and I paid way to much for it, but she is worth it and now she has a back up! She still prefers the original one over the newer one but still will play with the newer one if she can’t find the original one. Amazingly though she always know where to find it! Oh and did I mention my dog is ten and she has had the same one since she was a puppy!! This thing goes through the washer about once a week. He is in sad shape! 😂 Hope you find one for Molly!! 😘

  164. My daughter who is now 32 still loves her “Rowie”. We luckily had several. She did have her favorite one. But often had a pile with her. Get as many as you can.

  165. My daughter has a bunny that she named Baby bunny. We did in fact get a replacement but she knew right away and hasn’t attached to it. She calls the replacement fluffy bunny because it still looks like new ha! Can’t fool her! We also leave it at home or in her car seat for fear of losing it!!

  166. My 3.5 year old son has one of the Cuddle and Kind dolls that he calls Pandy. It has been his “sidekick” for probably a year and a half or two years now. Happened out of the blue. My mom got it for him and she actually got him a back up once it became his favorite thing ever. Anyways, pandy went for a swim, by accident, in the toilet the other day and I scrubbed and scrubbed him clean. My son was crying that he may never get Pandy back and when I came down from putting my 11 month old down for a nap he just stood there with a tear and toilet paper trying to clean him, saying “it was by accident” over and over again. Broke my heart. I totally regret not introducing the back up sooner. He will absolutely be able to tell the difference. So anyways, I think a back up of there favorite thing is always good. They are little, they don’t need to shed tears over there favorite stuffed animal, doll, toy getting lost, ruined or whatever may happen. So I’m with you!

  167. My favorite stuffed animal ever was Baby Bear, this gorgeous Steiff bear that was far too expensive for any baby to have, but I loved her to death. Now I’m 24, at a top 5 dental school, and Baby Bear is currently under my covers in my apartment, waiting for me to sleep with her lol. I grew up really well and understand loss just fine without having to give her up or lose her haha!
    We had the same rules as you have with Mr Whale, and luckily never needed a back up, but my mom revealed not too long ago that they still have a back up Baby Bear in the closet! (Although she didn’t have your foresight to switch it out so I would be fully duped loll) I think it’s a good idea— you never know what will happen.

    Also I want to say, that Molly brightens my day when studying, school, and life gets tough. She reminds me exactly like the little girl I was- a voracious reader, goofy like no other, and loves her brother and animals more than anything. It sounds weird to say, but Molly to me is almost a symbol of my future daughter/family, and encourages me to work hard for my future! Please continue sharing her growth, she never fails to put a smile on my face!!

  168. My daughter (2 1/2) is recently attached to a penguin stuffy my parents got on a trip to Antarctica. She adores it but I’m a bit afraid to throw in the wash (directions say not to) yet it just seems like it will need a true bath instead of a surface spot clean. I mean one day she’s gonna get sick on the thing. Have other parents risked it?

  169. I totally agree with you getting a backup. If for nothing else so she could have in case the original was in the wash and she needed a nap or whatever. My son who is 11 has had a frog since he was around 4 mos old that he absolutely loves. From the moment he got it his eyes lit up. I tried back then to find a backup for it but had no luck. My friend had bought it at a local shop they had and there were no more like it. To this day he has that frog. He doesn’t carry it from room to room like he did as baby or small child but he still loves it. It is all worn out and missing some clothing it once had ( a night cap and blanket that it held in its hand) but he doesn’t care. I had family members tell me a few years ago I needed to take it from him but i would never. It’s not like he’ll take it to college. He now hides it when friends come over but when they leave it goes back on his bed and that’s ok with me. Kids grow up too fast these days. We don’t have to teach them that life isn’t always fair in every situation. I think Molly is too young to be taught that kind of lesson. Let her be young and innocent and believe Mr. whale will always be there. If something happens to both of them then deal with it then but as you said as her mama you will do everything you can to make her happy.

  170. My Daughter is almost two and half and pretty much since we brought her home from the hospital we had given her a lovey, you know that small Blanket with a animal head on it.. and she has faithfully slept with it every night and naps. She especially takes to it,( we call
    Him ghostie Not even sure how we came up with the name but hey, it works) when she’s sick or really upset!! We take it with us for any overnight trips. I couldn’t find a replacement and was getting anxious! Lol for real. Luckily we found one! She also knows she can not take it into stores if it leaves the house. I tell her he had to stay safe.

    I’m sure this little thing will be looking pretty dingy soon enough as well! Good luck with Mr whale! 😊

  171. I loved this blog post! Do NOT feel bad about protecting your daughters feelings! She will learn to take care of her favorite toy if or when she loses it inside the house. I have 3 kids and 2 have stuffed animals they love. One I bought before he was born and couldn’t find another. Searched eBay for months and one day I found it! Needless to say their toys did get lost a couple of times. My son bit it’s face off while teething so I just switched it and told him I fixed it. He was suspicious at first but knew I can sew so he trusted me. I love those little stuffed animals just as much as the kids do because those little toys bring them so much joy. And I saved the originals because one day when they are grown men I will have them as a memory of what pure love looked like. You keep doing you! Do what your heart tells you to do. Your little daughter will go through heartache eventually because it’s inevitable. I don’t see harm in protecting her as much as possible right now that she’s so little. Great job momma! Hugs!

  172. I fully understand!! I have a lion that was in my crib before i was born..some 42 years ago! My 5yr daughter has a ‘teddy’ that she ‘stole’ from her grandpa 3 years ago. It litterly went everywhere with her until 6 months she only has him for bedtime. His name also changed from Mr. Bear, bear, now teddy.

  173. My son has a little gray bunny that he carries with him everywhere. We originally had three bunnies and lost one, and he knows there are two remaining bunnies. The tattered well loved bunny is “other bunny”(I have no idea how he came up with that name) and the newer one is “fuzzy bunny” (because he’s fuzzier and newer). We almost lost other bunny at the supermarket and it was a nightmare because he knows the difference between the two bunnies and there is no replacing his much loved other bunny. There were many tears shed that day and he was so devastated that it made me cry. We went back to the market twice in the same day and there was some good samaritan who turned it in to lost and found so we got him back. We should have established boundaries earlier about leaving bunny in car so incidents like that would not happen. He’s 4 years old and we’ve since established rules that bunny cannot go with him to preschool or out in large crowded areas for this very reason.

  174. So smart of you to get the duplicates early! My “attachment object” as an infant/child was a white knit blanket that I was apparently given as a newborn. My mom widely bought a second one, but then I just slept with them both at the same time! Haha. When I was 3 she realized that they were getting worn and tried to find another exact copy… no luck! So she bought the closest one she could find, which I can STILL (at 36 years old!) tell you was the same white knit but with a tiny balloon on it. Though I kept it in my bed with the others, it was always my least favorite and NEVER had the same comforting feeling to it… It was my “reject blanket” if you will. 😉 Can you believe I kept those three blankets as a kind of extra pillow in my bed all the way through high school?! SO SMART of you to buy a few at the same time this soon for her!

  175. I think it’s totally fine and super normal for kids to be attached to something for comfort. And actually, I don’t even really understand why there has to be “boundaries” with it. Why not let them take it with them wherever they want if it gives them comfort and makes them feel safe? What harm does that do? My son is two and a half and he drags his sheep named “Baabaa” with him everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I haven’t seen a reason not to let him do that. He will be starting preschool in the fall and they even said they welcome kids bringing a comfort item with them, especially when they first start. So I’m not quite sure what the big deal is with letting a kid take their special love toy around with them, other than the concern than it could get lost and/or dirty. But totally agree with getting a back-up for those reasons. Surely they’ll grow out of it at some point when they’re ready. I’m pretty sure they won’t be walking around their college campus with their “doo doo” or their “baabaa” with them. And if they are who cares?! I think the notion of being worried that our babies are loving something too much is ridiculous. They’re babies! They should get to love whatever they want however much they want for as long as they want. If something other than mommy or daddy gives them comfort and helps them feel safe and secure, how wonderful. They should get to have it with them always. I vote for Molly getting to take Mr. Whale with her everywhere!!! 😃

  176. Totally get it! My 2 year old has a stuffed moose that he has slept with since he was 5 months old. We own 5 of these stuffed toys cause we needed one for daycare, one for the car, one for the crib and then 2 spares in case one got ruined or lost. When he was younger he used it mostly for comfort but now he kind of understands better that even tho there are multiple Milhouses (Moose’s name), each one stays in their place so they don’t get dirty or lost. He still asks for Milhouse in the car and at home. At daycare he just uses him for naps. With my second we just introduced a new study at 6 months but he hasn’t taken to it yet he’s a thumb sucker haha. I suggest you look for another mr whale just in case:) Love your blog posts! Totally relate to my life right now! Thanks for sharing!!

  177. My grammie made me several small pillows when I was younger. As I grew up I always had to have a small pillow in order to fall asleep. I am 28 years old responding to your blog cuddled up with my small pillow! Honestly it is a security blanket! No harm.

  178. Hi Ali

    Firstly My opinion is that the whale is her Riley! You said she always said she loved it so much and never wanted to leave it’s side. She was probably seeing that is how you were treating Riley after he was born and she took to that one animal and treated it like her baby. I feel like you shouldn’t have her leave it in the car or not take it places because it’s confusing to her because you don’t leave Riley behind.

    Also if you are going to have back ups…definitely rotate the toy because they get used to the smells and texture (she already noticed that).

    I’m a mom of two teenage boys and they both had blankets or pillows that they couldn’t live without for a few years.

    Overall so many people have left you comments that they had this one toy they were attached to. I think most of us came out alright without duplicates. 😊

    Best regards

  179. Yup! I wanted her to have a stuffy so hoped for it and wanted it to be this lamb so I actually got 3 of them. 1 for daycare to leave there, 1 for home and 1 as backup- totally get it !!!!!

  180. This is such a sweet and cute post! I don’t have any kids myself, but I’ve taught pre-k and kindergarten, and let me say that having an attachment piece like hers is totally normal and common! From what I’ve seen, they tend to stop needing to take them everywhere and will maybe still sleep with it, eventually not even doing that… If you haven’t already, read “Owen” by Kevin Henkes. I think Molly would totally love it (especially considering that’s your dog’s name 🙂 “Knuffle Bunny” is another cute one.

    Thanks for your share, a great Monday read!

  181. My 2 year old has a favorite blankie and I fear the day it falls apart! I would advise any parent to at least double up on a favorite as soon as preference is shown. That way the wear slows down and they don’t feel duped once a replacement does show up! With that in mind, does anyone know where they sell blue fleecey blankets?? 😂

  182. I’m 24, when I delivered my son last year my Mr.Bear was in my boyfriend’s backpack at the hospital, not because I asked him to grab it as he rushed to the hospital (I was brought in from my ultrasound appt) but because he knew having Mr Bear there would be special/make me feel better ! Keep doing what you’re doing, mommy knows best!

  183. First you are just the cutest as is your sweet little family! My daughter now 11 had two small receiving blankets that were the same that she took with her everywhere! In fact she called them her “boffs” because I would always say do you want both of them!
    Anyways she took them everywhere abdceven thoughbthere were two of them she always took boff with her! Two different times we lost/left behind one of them! The first time it was left in a hotel room and easily returned via mail. The second time not do easy! It was actually lost in Malaysia at the hotel we were staying at! I checked every single day with the front desk sure tgstbit got tangled up in the sheets or dropped outside and picked up by someone! But they did not have it! My daughter (4 at the time) was devastated that she did not have both of them! Long story short when we returned to China where we were living at the time I sent one last pathetic mom plea to the hotel! A mom herself received the email and searched high and low! It was found and we received it in the mail about two weeks later! I have s video of my daughter opening it and it is just beyond precious! She is no longer attrachedvtobtgst blanket and I am thinking of having it made into a teddy bear for her! Maybe for HS gradustion:). So basically you are not crazy for wanting a second Mr Whale! The things we do for our babies:)))

  184. Mr Whale 1 and 2 and possibly 3 and 4 is the best. We have “bubba” and “bubba2” in our house…he is a raccoon lovey that we bought from Angel Dear They actually sell these loveys in packs of 1, 2 and 3!!! I give them to new moms all the time! We have the same boundaries as you and bubba stays in the car when we go places. Bubba is his best bud as my son calls him and I would never discourage that! I hope Molly has many happy years with Mr Whale. :). Thanks for always being honest and not letting the haters get the best of you!

  185. My brother, sister and me all were attached to our blankies. Mine had fuzzies I would twirl under my fingers, my sister’s had a string come loose on the border that she would twirl and twirl (“her string”) and my brother rubbed and rubbed a certain corner of it that my grandma had to replace the fabric in that corner multiple times.

    I put my blankie in a box when my grandma died when I was 8 because I didn’t want to use the blankie she had given me anymore. I found it again when we moved years later but just gave it a squeeze, reminisced, and put it back in the box.

    My brother is 23 and still uses his although the corner has rubbed off/broken off so now he has smaller pieces. He would keep them in his jeans pockets and rub his corner during high school and even nowadays when he’s in college. He plays hockey and I borrowed one of his sweatshirts to wear to one of his games and he called me from the locker room to tell me a piece of his corner is in that pocket so I “better not lose it”.

    My sister is 27 and still sleeps with her blankie every night. Her boyfriend makes fun of her for needing it still. She brought it to every sleepover even in high school. She can obviously sleep without it, but she doesn’t like to.

  186. I get the back up plan in case she loses Mr. Whale but I didn’t quite understand the “gross” part of the story. Part of Molly loving her original Mr. Whale is letting it become loved. Which means it gets flat and looks loved. Trust me you will pull it out when she’s older and looked and all the ways she played and loved it. Nothing wrong with having An extra two or three or four. But a lovey is just that. Loved to the point of “Gross” ☺️💕

  187. Both of my kids have stuffed animals they can’t sleep without.
    My daughter has a pooh bear her daddy got her and she sleeps with it ever night and my son has a lovie that is a lamb that he has to have to go to sleep with him ever night. My kids r 6 and

  188. My best friend made a baby blanket for my son when he was born. This blanket went EVERYWHERE with him. And so I did the EXACT same thing as you did. I had my best friend make another one. Thankfully she was able to find the same material. Once his blanket looked like your nieces doll, I knew I needed to figure out a way to tell my son that it was time for a new blanket. So I showed him the new blanket and explained to him how cool it was to have a brand new blanket that wasn’t shredded, torn, dirty and half of what the new one looked like. (Literally, I had to cut pieces off of his first blanket and try and sew up parts just so he could still have it.) THANKFULLY he was okay with the exchange and now both his blankets are boxed away in some of the clothes I saved for him. My son is now 24, but when we moved a year ago he came across that box and when he saw those blankets he said that both of them brought different memories to him and that he had a very amazing mom who understood how special that blanket was to him. So much that she had a second one made cause she wanted her son to be happy and protected. So Ali……don’t EVER allow the naysayers to make you second guess your mama’s heart. Do EVERYTHING you can to protect your babies from having to deal with hardships cause by doing that they DO turn out okay and are stronger as adults because of it! You are an AMAZING mama who is DEFINITELY loved by her babies!❤🥰

  189. But if you do this with Mr. Whale, imagine what you may have to do with other things in her life. Nothing lasts forever and that’s just a hard lesson to learn. I’ve heard the term “bulldozer” parenting where you plow through and try to make the world as perfect for them as possible. I think we all would love to do that best is it realistic? Are we setting them up for failure? I don’t know…i think we all struggle with finding a balance and trying to do the right thing.

  190. Ali, this is my first time commenting but I love your blog! My daughter, who will be 15 on Monday has a bear that she got for Christmas at 18 months old. It was a free gift at a department store. I lived in fear for years that she would lose her beloved “Bear” and be crushed. We had a couple close calls, but he still remains with us. He is a little worse for wear and his bow tie is gone, but that bear will always be a special part of our household. I searched for years for a backup and never found one, so good for you on finding some. I would buy as many as I could!! As for teaching disappointment, etc. there are plenty of other situations where these lessons can and will need to be taught. Trust me after raising two daughters (26 & 15) who both had “lovies” they will grow out of some of the attachment (having to take it everywhere). I find most of the people that think they know everything about parenting usually don’t. I know I don’t claim to know it all. We can be negative and criticize each other for our choices, but in the end you know what is best for YOUR child. I always tried to minimize their hurt feelings and pain as much as I could without “fixing” every little thing. They are both great daughters and sisters and friends and are extremely well adjusted and kind people. The older one just became a mother herself. Anyway, sorry this is so long but I wanted to give you my opinion that you are doing a great job!!

  191. I TOTALLY agree with what you did, with the whale. My daughter is 16 now, but when she was little, she had this little TY beanie baby dog, she named him Wiffer. She loved that dog! It went everywhere, it was so old, dirty etc.. I had the same thought you did, buy another, so I did. Do you know, she never, ever took that new dog?! It still looks new to this day. I kept the new and old one in her keepsake box. Good Luck! We learn as we go, as moms 🙂

  192. My daughter has Patches. He is a large TY stuffed dog. My mother gave it to her when she was a year old. I used to be able to finagle Patches away for a “bath” about once a week. When my daughter was 8, I was informed that Patches could no longer be bathed as he would be lose his magic. My daughter is now 24. Patches has had exactly 1 bath in 16 years when my daughter caught pink eye from the littles at her after school job.

    My son had a mastadon beanie baby named “Baby Elephant”. We accidentally left him at a friend’s house quite a distance away 2 days before Christmas. My son woke up Christmas Eve morning in hysterics. I thought I could just run down and grab another one at any store that sold them because he wasn’t a very popular beanie baby. Haha. Boy I underestimated the power of Christmas shopping. All but one store was completely sold out. I headed out with my daughter to get the littles guy when she tells me,”Mommy, I don’t feel good.”. 102 fever at 10am Christmas Eve morning. I rushed her to the doctor’s office and my mom was kind enough to go out and purchase the last remaining Baby Elephant in exsistence.

    After that I made sure No special things left the house EVER!!

  193. I loved reading this story! My “baby” is now 10 years old and his “goat boy” has been with us since he was born. He is not necessary to my son’s happiness but he does provide a bit of comfort during rough times (to this day). And really, don’t we all need something like this…Regardless of age!

  194. My daughter loves her cuddle and kind doll! She’s pretty careful with it and we keep her in the house. We have certain dolls/animals she takes outside and then I try to wash them when she’s asleep. We rotate as much as possible.

    Such good advice them I’m sure I’ll need when she’s older (she’s only 19 months)


  195. OMG Ali this blog post really touched my heart because my story is so very similar to yours and my son is 32 now and still has his 2 childhood bears and would still be devastated if anything were to happen to them. We talk about them (Yogi & Theo) every time I see him and they were a big hit with the ladies when in college I might add too. Well when my son was about 3, we lost Yogi and he was devastated. One day while working, I walked past the hospital gift shop and spotted the same identical Yogi with the big beautiful light blue bow. Needless to say, I was jumping for joy and bought it. My son was not thrilled with the replica at first but he warmed up to it overtime and that’s the Yogi he still has today. I remember the little tag on the butt of the bear became this tiny shriveled up thing that my son would twirl his finger in for comfort. When the tag finally fell off he was frantic. Luckily my mom found that little piece and managed to reattach it. Lol. Yogi has had many surgeries and I think the blue bow has gone to teddy bear Heaven. I don’t blame you one bit for being proactive and getting another identical Mr. Whale 🐳 just incase. One time, my son’s apartment was unfortunately broken into and thank goodness the robbers were not interested in Yogi & Theo. My son has always said if he had a house fire, those bears would be the first things he’d grab. lol. All these people who claim it’s a disservice or will cause your child to have issues are sooooo far from the truth. My son graduated from Harvard University in 2014 and is now a very successful and confident doctor with a girlfriend who also adores the bears 🐻 🐻❤️❤️

  196. So funny! We gave my son a bunny blankie from angel dear when we got rid of paci around 5 months. He loved it so much and did the trick. Paci was gone asap. So I got nervous after a few months just like you about needing a back up bunny. When I looked on angel dears website it said the bunny I had was discontinued!! They only had a bunny with short ears and his has long ears. So I panicked. I wrote them. Luckily they said they had back of ones for this situation. They mailed me 3 more! Even though I only asked for two. And a hat! So nice. So we had a bunny for upstairs and downstairs. Slowly he became attached to both bunnies. Likes to sleep with both. Thankfully can go in the car and do other things with one but sleeping he needs the two! So I was like crap. Let me take out of the package a third bunny just Incase and wash it so we have as a backup. So I gave him the new bunny recently and he looks at it in disgust. Picks it up with barely two fingers and drops it. He won’t go near it! So now my husband and I are sleeping with it to try and get it used looking!! I don’t think that’s enough though. I’m going to have to take this thing to work with me and rub it on everything I can! Ha anyone have tricks on how to get a bunny to look used ? I’m open for suggestions!

  197. Ali, I had a baby blanket I was so attached to when I was a little girl. When it got ratty my mom cut it up and sewed little squares of the blanket to fit in my little hand so I could carry one in my hand and suck my thumb at the same time. A mother will do anything to make her child happy. I named these little squares of cloth from my blanket my “dee dees”. My mom put one of these little blanket squares in my baby book. Just soooo sweet. Same with your little girl. It’s so adorable how attached she is to that little whale.

  198. My daughter is 9 and still attached to her baby blanket. She sleeps with it every night. She even takes it to sleepovers. I have a picture of her when she was almost 2 holding onto the front of the washer crying because I took it to wash. She was crying and saying “my blankie”

  199. Hey! I just saw your post about dog allergies, and I wanted to let you know that I have a dog with the same thing! I’ve started using tea tree oil on his allergy spots, and they seem to be getting better. I’ve also tried Benadryl and apoquel, an allergy pill my vet recommended, and the Benadryl works much better. Also, I just found these supplements by Vet’s Best for seasonal allergies, and they seem to be making a big difference as well. Just thought I’d give you some tips because I have been dealing with these allergies for two years now, and this is the first thing that has remotely worked for us.

  200. I STILL have my stuffed zebra (named zebra of course) that I have had for 25 years!! He has gone everywhere with me. I can’t imagine if I had ever lost him over the years. My daughter has recently become attached to a stuffed kitty that my mom bought her, so you better believe I found out the brand and bought a couple backups of it!! There’s nothing wrong with that! As an adult, if I like something, I’ll buy multiples of it, so why wouldn’t I do the same for my kid?! My daughter’s kitty has already been dropped in puddles and gotten food on it, so it’ll be nice to have backups when I need to clean the original 🤣🤣 I think you’re being so loving and caring when it comes to Mr. Whale! Ignore the haters 😝

  201. Oh my goodness how sweet your story. Poor Doo-doo too! I can’t help but smile thinking back on my Son’s own lovies..Boots the dog…and his Soft Coat- A coat! Boots had a retractable body that played music. My Son carried him around everywhere! Like you I was panicked he would lose Boots…and the germ factor was gross. If eBay was around back then, 26 years ago, I’d have done the same thing you did. That’s so smart. I remember one time I said, “Honey, Boots stinks.” He sniffed the scraggly thing and said, “No, he stinks good.” 🙂 Eventually his musical cord was pulled, and he never retracted playing his music. My son said, “He doesn’t sing any more.” It was heart breaking for me. About a year later he suddenly retracted like nothing happened. When Boots was barfed on by another child, he was in the laundry and my Son started to attach to his soft fleece coat – which was always something he wanted to wear. Its texture felt a lot like the stuffed animal he loved. So now we had Boots and the Soft Coat! I remember checking on him one night before bed and there he was sound asleep, in his footie jammies, with his soft coat on – about 3 sizes too small. We’d joke that at least in an emergency, he’d have a coat. He always liked the plastic parts on Boots to be cold, so there were many times I would open the freezer to find Boots ‘cooling off’. Most children attach to something, I think you were brilliant to find another replacement, not so much for her, but for yourself. A missing lovie will bring the house down! I bet there will come a time when Mr. Whale will, “stink good” and I guess that Doo doo already does. I have saved both items and every no and then I see them. Makes me smile how much they mean to ME now.

  202. Ali, while I truly do think you are a great mom and understand you wanting to get her a duplicate in case she loses it….I have to go with this mama on this one. I don’t think you should feel you have to replace a toy because it’s dirty…because again as this mama said…when it’s unique and real, who cares if it’s dirty…I really doubt Molly would…and if people are judgy because your child is caring around a dirty toy…who cares!! They don’t understand the meaning behind that toy…and this is coming from someone who cares a bit too much of what other people/moms think ; )

  203. Totally relate in every way! We purchased a substitute bear for our daughter’s cherished one, for regular washing-they really smell if you don’t, due to the chewing and handling! Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a duplicate of “Mr. Elephant,” the lovey our granddaughter became attached to. She eventually lost Mr. Elephant but by then was mature enough to deal, although she was sad. We were glad we’d taken several pictures of her and Mr. Elephant so we framed one and she put it on her bedside table, “so I can think of him when I go to sleep at night.” So precious! Luckily, you will also have pictures of Mr. Whale in his youth and also as he and Molly grow up together!

  204. I completely agree and understand the duplicate thing! We did it with my boys. My oldest was attached to a Curious George doll and we actually have 3 now! He is 5 now and just keeps it in bed so luckily staying fairly clean!
    My middle son (who is 3) has a silk pillow, and luckily they are easy to buy (for $25 tho!) on Amazon cause we are in number 3 or 4 haha!
    We shall see what boy number 3 gets attached to!!
    This attachment helps to learn self soothing, relaxation..and happy! I will keep buying backups forever if it brings a smile to my kids face 😄😍

  205. I got given a toy monkey that my aunt and gran handmade for me when i was born – i am now 25 years old and still have it. This monkey has gone through the ringer. My family too were scared of how I’d react if i lost it or if something happened to it. My dogs did mistake it as a toy of their own and the monkey needed to go under reconstructive surgery lol so it looks different now – i remember the day my gran and dad told me they were very cautious. The monkey still holds such sentimental value in my heart and went everywhere with me so i get why you did this. We had a house fire about 2 years ago – the only thing i wanted to get out was the stuffed monkey! He survived. I know if my mom could do what you did she probably would have.

  206. My son is attached to a particular puppy. For months I have been toying with the idea of buying a backup one and after reading this, I purchased one off of eBay. We have the same rules or boundaries for my son too… puppy stays in the car or at home but he can take him to grandmas house with him for the day. Thank you for sharing. Everyone will always have their own opinion on your parenting but you know what’s best for your kiddo, regardless of what other people think. I love reading your blogs.

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