As a kid, I'm sure you remember dragging around an old ratty blanket or stuffed animal with you just about every place you went. It was likely your security blanket and the thing that made you feel comfortable and cozy. Or in other words, your lovey. Chances are you're receiving payback for all the nights you woke your parents up in tears unsure where your lovey was because your own kids are going through the same cycle. But with this material companion also comes the need to keep it clean. So how often should you wash your child's lovey? The answer may surprise you.
When it comes to your child's favorite blanket or stuffed animal, the simple truth is that how often you're washing their lovey is up to a parent's discretion, but there are a lot of factors that can play into your decision. For example, Mamas Laundry Talk shared that you'll definitely need to wash a lovey after a flu bug, bout of lice, or any other sickness or infestation you don't want cycling back around in your home. Furthermore, if your child attends daycare and takes their lovey with them, it's a good idea to launder it when you wash sheets and any other blankets that accompany them to daycare.
Although washing lovey is a tough balance, since over washing can break down a blanket or stuffed animal sooner, not to mention the emotional trauma your child seemingly goes through when it's not here, you definitely want to refrain from throwing loving in the washer daily (or potentially even weekly depending on the material). To avoid this dilemma – and assuming you haven't had a cold run rampant through your home lately – a great rule of thumb is to wash them as often as you wash your children's bedding at home which is probably once every week or two.
If that seems like more washing than you want to do, or the ability to pry lovey out of your kid's hands is a struggle not worth a bi-weekly occurrence, you have another option. Stock your home with two or three identical lovies. When it's been a week or two, switch out lovey one for lovey two, and throw the dirty lovey in the laundry to be washed at your convenience. Another perk to this option is that it allows you some leeway if your child seems to have lost their lovey, or if you want to keep your mom van stocked with an extra. That way you're preventing any potential meltdowns during trips or at bedtime when frantically searching the house hasn't worked.
Once you have your timeline down for washing that beloved lovey, there are some important tips and tricks to consider for your washing method too. Mom Advice said that you can wash smaller stuffed animals in the dishwasher, while larger stuffed animals can generally be thrown in the washer on a gentle or hand-wash cycle. For lovies that have just been loved too much, Mama Advice suggested putting it in a paper bag with some baking soda, scrunching up the top to close it, and shaking it up. Leave lovey sitting for about an half an hour, and it should be good as new (or at least fresh smelling). This will help prevent more wear and tear on a stuffed animal or blanket that's already falling apart.
If your little one loves their lovey to much to let it go, consider enlisting a "bath time" for it to get them involved and enjoying the idea of washing their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Or you can always sneak in their room during bedtime and do a quick wash before they rise. Either way, don't let it go too long without a wash to play it safe.
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