It's said you can't help whom you fall in love with. Sometimes you can't help what you fall in love with, either.
One-year-old Andres Hernandez is crazy about... drumroll, please... a bottle of lotion. "I started handing it to him as a distraction during diaper and clothing changes," says his mom, Belinda, of Lowell, MA. "Now he goes berserk when he sees it. He smiles at it, hugs it, and then starts 'talking' to it!"
Andres may have picked something unusual to lavish his lovin' on, but he's hardly alone -- toddlers have been known to glom on to everything from spoons to Dad's cherished BlackBerry. To a small child, what's important about a lovey isn't what it looks like, but how it makes him feel. "The comfort is in what it represents," says Tovah Klein, Ph.D., director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, in New York City. "It's similar to when we adults carry good-luck charms -- they provide security, and a connection to home as we go out into the larger world."
You don't want to give up your rabbit's foot, do you? Let your child keep a grip on his tomato-paste can -- and make everyone happy.