Often kids have a favorite stuffed animal. A toy they have a real connection with and they carry it everywhere.
So, over time, the toy gets damaged and dirty. It can host a lot of germs. As a result, you may think it’s about time to replace the toy with another one.
Usually, that’s not a good idea. Kids can tell that’s not their favorite stuffed animal. It looks the same, but it’s not the same. That’s because kids (and fans of stuffed animals in general) form a real connection with their favorite stuffie.
So, while it may be easier to simply replace a worn out toy, it’s best not to. Instead, you can use the toy to teach your child how to take care of things. Show him or her how to preserve items, how to store them and keep them safe.
You can always repair tears and scuffs with simple sewing. Another way is to make a rule that the stuffie can go out only for certain occasions. For example not when it’s raining.
Also, wash it frequently. First, check the label of the toy to see if it’s machine-washable or only surface washable. This will keep it clean from most germs and it will be ready to hug and play.
In short, teddy bears and stuffed animals don’t have an expiration date. How long they would last depends entirely on the way you take care of them. The better care you provide – the longer they will stay with you. Even if that’s several decades.