When I had just four children, I worked really hard at not "babying" the youngest. I think I did a pretty good job at not babying him. He tries really hard to keep up with his older siblings and was thrilled to be a Big Brudder so that he wouldn't have to be the youngest anymore.
But now we have another baby. And as hard as I try not to baby him, there are four older siblings who just love to baby him. At the slightest whimper, one or more kids will run to his side to see what's wrong or what he needs. Many-a-nap has been interrupted because he'll make a noise in his sleep and one of his siblings will immediately go into his room to get him up, thinking he's signaling that nap time is over. (I'm really trying to get them to come to me first before just going in and getting him up from his nap. Because when an 8 year old decides that nap time is over, it is usually not time for the nap to be over.)
I realized the other day that this kid (see, I'm not referring to him as The Baby) has not one, not two, but THREE vices. How can a baby have a vice? Well, he sucks his thumb, uses a pacifier AND uses a "lovey". (Sometimes he tries to suck his thumb while using his pacifier, which is pretty funny to watch.) I can't possibly have both items with me at all times (thankfully I don't have to worry about packing his thumb into the diaper bag). So I'm trying to leave the pacifier and lovey in his crib so that he gets used to having those items at nap time and bedtime only. BUT he has siblings who think it is so-very-cute to watch him cuddle his lovey. So this lovey (who is affectionately called both Lamb Chop and Pork Chop, named by my older children) is rarely in the crib.
If anyone reading this has ever had a child with an attachment to a toy or blanket, you know that it can be difficult to wash the item, let alone deal with the fall-out should said item get lost. So I decided I must purchase a few more loveys. BUT the lovey he loves was given to us six years ago when my first son was born. (And yes, it's been hanging around the house for six years but has never been loved so it was in good shape.) Fortunately, the manufacturing tag was still on the lovey so I was able to locate the company that produces loveys by combing the internet. And I managed to find two more loveys. So now I have one in the crib at all times and have a back-up should we lose one or need throw the lovey into the washer.
And I promise, no matter what, to never throw away his lovey. Even if he shoves it under his bed when he is five and it gets caught in the vacuum cleaner and gets ripped to shreds. I solemnly swear to repair the lovey and not blame him for "putting it away" under his bed. Because a five year really does think that it's put away if she can't see it. And a five year does not know that her Be Bear (I called him Be Bear because "he be my bear) could get caught in the vacuum. And a five year old does not know that her mom would throw away her most prized possession. And a five year old turns into a 39 year old who has issues and thus buys multiple loveys should one of them caught in the vacuum cleaner.