My Favorite Things

We all remember our favorite childhood object: a blankie, a teddy bear, a favorite hat. But a beloved plaything can turn into a parent's worst nightmare when it goes missing. Kate Kelly, Managing Editor of American Baby Magazine, offers some advice on how to cope when your child loses their most prized posession.

Stress relief beings with a little proactive planning. "As soon as you get a sense that no one is getting any sleep if this [object] is lost, you should take some steps," says Kelly. First, write down the manufacturer and model number as soon as possible. "It's going to be a lot easier to read while it's still new than a year later," says Kelly.

Secondly, take a picture of the toy. It can help with descriptions later on and will make the toy easier to locate. Also, if at all possible, "Buy a duplicate while it's still in stock at the stores," says Kelly. You'll have the item on hand if it ever becomes lost.

If your child does lose the treasured toy, put up "Lost" posters around your neighborhood. Be sure to include vital information, such as a phone number and a clear photo of the item.

Also, try calling the manufacturer. According to Kelly, some companies have secret stashes of certain items. "Carter's apparently puts aside a certain number of [toys] just in case of this eventuality," says Kelly.

If all else fails, go online and search for the item. If you've written down the manufacturer and model number, your search will be much easier. "You can always Google and [go on] eBay," says Kelly. Remember, though, that the item may no longer have the original price. "It's not going to be $7.00 anymore... if it's two years later," says Kelly.

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By Erin Petrun