Does your little one have a favorite snuggly or toy? Did you have a favorite blanket or lovey as a child?

My middle daughter has both a favorite toy and a favorite snuggly and they go with us everywhere. For better or worse, they have become a part of our family. Let me introduce you to Baby P

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and Shirty.

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Baby P arrived in our home a little over three years ago. Baby P was a gift from my husband to our oldest daughter. He randomly purchased Baby P while on a diaper run at Wal-Mart. Over time Baby P was passed from my oldest to our middle daughter. Baby P might be ratty looking, and by no means is she the prettiest baby in the house, but she certainly does have lots of personality! Our middle daughter likes bringing Baby P everywhere; she comes grocery shopping, goes to school, and even goes to church. Occasionally Baby P gets run down and has been known to get a fever every now and again. Below you can see that she is wearing her scarf and is lying down, wrapped up in Shirty, getting some rest so she will feel better for school tomorrow.

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Shirty is a cotton Gap tee-shirt that I bought two summers ago and wore only one time in my entire life, to my oldest daughter’s three-year old pizza party. I was only able to wear the shirt once because the day that I wore it my middle daughter kept trying to pull it off, so I finally changed and gave it to her to hold onto. She has not let go of it since.

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Shirty is like a blanket, but she also has extra super powers. Whenever my two-year old gets a boo-boo rather than asking for an ice pack, she takes Shirty and rubs her over the bruise, bloody lip, or cut. I recently scraped my arm and sure enough, my two-year old came to the rescue with Shirty. Shirty can calm you down if you are scared, mad, sad, or if you really have to poop and you are constipated. Shirty is part blanket, part toy and part homeopathic healer. My daughter speaks to Shirty like she is a doll, uses Shirty like a tool, and snuggles with Shirty like a blanket.

As a parent, I have researched both the pros and cons of security items, such as Baby P and Shirty. While there are some cons, such as influencing the ability to self-soothe, and promoting thumb-sucking, most of the discussion focuses around how normal it is for young children to become attached to toys and other inanimate objects. One study conducted by Yale University discovered that when asked, young children who had formed attachments to toys, blankets and other such objects would not be willing to trade their special snuggly for an exact copy of the same object. The researchers surmised that there was another property, aside from physical appearance, that the children were able to recognize, some sort of “essence” or “life force.”  My daughter certainly believes that Shirty and Baby P have an essence, whenever I wash them (which is usually when she is sleeping because that is the only time she is willing to part with them) she can notice the difference in smell, and spends a few moments checking them over to make certain that nothing has changed. While it can be a hassle dragging extra things around on days we have to run a hundred errands, I appreciate the contributions that Shirty and Baby P have brought to our family.

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