Many parents wonder if and when they should introduce a lovey to their little one. A lovey is a small comfort item that is often used to help children self-soothe. Stuffed animals and small blankets are the most common options for a lovey.
When To Introduce A Lovey
A lovey should not be provided to a child under the age of one. Babies should not have any objects in bed with them before the age of one due to safety concerns. After their first birthday, you can introduce a lovey as a tool to help your little one settle down for sleep.
Selecting A Lovey
You want to find a snuggly object that isn’t too small or too big that your little one can easily hold onto. A lovey is typically soft, not too bright and does not have any electronic abilities so that it does not stimulate your child.
Pay attention to the toys your little one is naturally drawn to. They may gravitate towards a particular toy that they like to snuggle. This can turn into their lovey if it is appropriate to sleep with, or you can try to find something similar to their favorite toy that they can sleep with.
Handing your little one the same object when it is time to rest can help it become established as a comfort item or sleep cue.
A Lovey Option For Children With Separation Anxiety
For children who are particularly attached to a parent, you can use an article of their clothing. As long as that article of clothing has the scent of that parent, the child will find comfort in it. You can also try sleeping with a blanket or stuffed animal so that it picks up your scent and then give it your little one to use.
The Pros and Cons
Let’s look over the pros and cons to using a lovey!
- Security items can help toddlers adjust easier and faster to unusual settings and circumstances.
- A child and their lovey form a bond that is pure and innocent. It can help them feel safe and secure.
- A lovey can be a great replacement for pacifiers. Children who use a lovey have less sleep problems than those who use pacifiers or thumb sucking to self-soothe.
- Losing your lovey can prove to be a stressful situation. Avoid this by either keeping your lovey in the same location always or purchasing a duplicate for backup.
- Keeping your lovey clean takes some planning. You need to make a conscious effort to schedule cleaning with enough time to get it back to your toddler before they need to rest again.
- Sometimes toddlers can use their lovey to stall bedtime. They might throw it out of their crib so that you have to come back in to get it for them. If this occurs, wait ten minutes before giving it back to them. Try to delay the return so that it doesn’t turn into a game.
Does Every Child Need A Lovey?
Every child is different so no, not every child needs a lovey! Some children really benefit from a comfort item to help them feel safe and secure. You know your child, you can gauge if they need or want one based on their behavior. If you are not seeing the progress you would like, you are welcome to reach out for advice!