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Both my kids have used the same teddy bear every night until they were 3 years old, so I have a special attachment for this particular toy and I would like to be able to preserve it for as long as possible.

I've thought about using a vacuum bag but I would like to read others' opinions or ideas.

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My first instinct was to say "this isn't really about parenting, but rather a 'how to' on preserving cloth", but a teddy bear can be so important to a child that I really do feel this touches too closely to parenting to be off-topic. Good question! – Beofett Feb 15 '12 at 14:24
Define eternity; it's a mighty long time if you mean it literally. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 15 '12 at 16:11
The method my mom used: stuffed in garbage bag, stuck in attic – DA01 Feb 15 '12 at 22:10
@DA01: Not failsafe: this is pretty much how the mice obliterated my stuffed animals... – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 16 '12 at 14:33
The kids are not that attached to the toy. I want to keep something for me which was very important for them. I know they'll have plenty of toys, but this bear is very special for us and I would like to have it for as long as possible. – Eldelshell Mar 13 '12 at 17:46
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here is a link to a page that talks about how to store a teddy bear in a glass dome. I like this idea because the bear can sit on a shelf and watch the child as he/she grows.

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Thanks, great link. – Eldelshell Mar 13 '12 at 17:48
You can put him in a bell jar with an airtight lid to keep out humidity and insects. Add some desiccant bags. Don't put the glass in the sun, or the colors will bleach out. – x123 Mar 7 '13 at 3:41

I've had several favorite stuffed animals, and they all got very worn over the years. My mother did her very best in cosmetic surgery and that certainly extended their lifetime significantly.

But in the end they all disintegrated, either because they were cuddled to death or because of that mice infestation in our garage back in the early 90's... By that time I was old enough to accept that nothing lasts forever, except the memories.

Looking back on these beloved things, here's what I would recommend:

  • Start out with high quality teddy bears that can withstand a lot of wear.
  • Ensure access to skilled teddy surgeons. They might need to be creative at times.
  • Help your child understand the transience of material objects.
  • Help preserve fond memories.
  • Have a heartfelt farewell.
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Years ago, when I was in my twenties, my Grandad showed me a storage box. It contained all the letters and cards my brother and I had ever sent him as children. It was amazing looking through them all, and I was quite touched.

Step forward a few years, and I'm a parent now myself. I have so far accumulated three foolscap containers containing numerous scribblings and doodles made by our daughter. Only the best ones go in, but our daughter likes to draw so theres a lot to choose from.

These containers also contain her first booties, and a few precious bears. Now obviously, if your bear is big, this wouldn't be suitable. But if it is sufficiently small, I would save it in a container with all their special notes and cards. It won't seem much now, but in ten or twenty years it will bring back a flood of memories.

Foolscap Storage Folder

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I would put it in a sealed bag, and then put it in a plastic box and seal the edges with masking tape. making sure the entire box was filled with other plastic materials, so that no air was there.

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This is obviously a preference thing, but I would strongly recommend against encasing Bubby in carbomite.

I understand the sentimental value that these things have. The problem is that such a thing that the kids had forever (that gave them a little bit of security and familiarity in not so secure or familiar situations, like visiting relatives or an overnight when the aunt baby sat) is that the attachment has to stop cold.

You're quite literally taking it away. It's no longer Bubby and it's turned into a keepsake. They will no longer be allowed to simply interact with it.

My 20 yo had a crappy, wal-mart, Power Ranger comforter that his mom got when he was < 5. They had it when we got together. When he went to college he took it with him, tattered, stinky and flat. When he moved from college into his apartment, soemthing happened and it got ripped horribly and lost all it's usefulness. He brought it to show his mother and we all lamented the loss of his bubby and he put it in the dumpster. The wife got it out, salvaged several good sections and made him a blanket that we gave him for xmas. And we all laffed.

It will fall apart, but it will increase in value as it falls apart from use than it will ever have sitting on a shelf as a keepsake.

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-1: Your points are valid and your example story is very clear - but you are not answering the question. Ubersoldat is asking how do I and not should I. See here and here on meta. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 27 '12 at 19:17
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun And a blanket made out of a teddy bear sounds wrong, in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre kind of way. – SQB Jan 17 '14 at 14:02

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