404 Traveling with my son’s security blanket

Traveling with my son’s security blanket

My son’s blanket was laying way down on the train tracks. THE blanket. I was running to catch the train. Something fell out of my backpack. I wasn’t even going to check, but when someone yelled, “YOU DROPPED A BLANKET” I had to look.

Here's the blanket on a trip to Hamburg.

Here’s the blanket on a trip to Hamburg.


When my son was first-born, 7 months earlier, everyone told me to give him something to associate with sleep. When he gets that item enough at bedtime, they said, he’ll know it’s time to close his eyes. I tried various things without luck.

Until this blanket.

It’s made of two materials, one on each side. Light brown on one side, dark brown on the other.

We never intended for this to be his sleep associate. We wanted something small and easy for our travels. But, as we started using it and he started sleeping better, we knew we were in for it.

We brought it on our trip to the US a month earlier. We used it on the flight over. People on the flight told us they didn’t even realize a baby was on board. We used it at the hotel. He only suffered through one night of jet lag. We used it on our road trip from North Carolina to Florida. He slept most of the way.

It was a magic blanket.

Look how happy this blanket makes him!

Look how happy this blanket makes him!

And now it was about 5 feet down in the train tracks. Laying behind the train that was going to leave Amsterdam Centraal Station any second. The train I needed to get on to get home.

Several people gathered around me, muttering what I could only assume to be their condolences for my lost sleep. Images of my son sleeping peacefully with the blanket intermixed with images of him screaming all night without it. My neighbors were going to love me. None of us would ever sleep again.

I was snapped out of it by one strangers voice. She was a little louder than the others and saying something in Dutch. Another woman, a very tall woman, was bending over the side. Stretching as long as she could, she used her umbrella to pick it up. Then she handed it to me. VICTORY!

I tried to stuff it back into my bag. My face was red with the mixture of rushing, anxiety, adrenaline, relief, and more anxiety. I took off for the train again, but this lady’s voice grew louder and louder. I turned to look at her and she said something in Dutch. I looked around not knowing what she could be saying – did I drop something else, did I care?Then she said it in English, “your train, it doesn’t leave for 10 more minutes.” I looked at the clock and she was right.

Have you ever lost your kids security blanket or toy while on vacation? 

My friend, Farrah, over at The Three Under, is an expat living in the Netherlands. I recently asked her what she thought I should blog about and she immediately said, “why you love the Netherlands so much.” As I started thinking about it, I realized that there were too many reasons for one post. Instead of one post, I’m collecting several stories, tips, and pictures to illustrate our experiences. These should explain, directly or in directly, why we like it there. 

 Olympus 10×25Proline HC-300A


  1. We have, knock on wood, not left any of our lovies anywhere yet, but we did leave one at home once and had to have it overnighted to us. How lucky you were that the person got it for you!

    • Andrea, I’m not sure if the blanket was more our superstition or if it really worked. Now he has two stuffed animals that he loves and I don’t know what I’ll do if we ever misplace them. We left one at my parent’s house the last time we were there. When they sent it back, he just knew it was in the package even though I didn’t.

  2. It goes to show there are always nice people out there or some parents who know the powers of special blankets. My kids didn’t have the magic blankets but my son used to carry a Curious George around that he slept with during the toddler years. He went everywhere with us and there would be hysteria if he got left behind. Luckily, he’s only been left at home and at the grandparents’ homes and not on planes or trains. He’s almost 8 now and George is stuffed somewhere in his closet 🙂 Adorable pictures!

  3. Hi Mary, It is nice to know that there are good people out there that understand this stuff. We are more cautious with his favorite stuffed animals now because I know it’s something he loves. It’s one thing to lose sleep, it’s another thing to break his heart.