When should a baby use a Lovey, and how should you introduce one to your baby? Just continue reading to know more about Loveys and how they are useful.
What is a baby Lovey?
A Lovey is a stuffed animal that a baby bonds with and uses to feel safe and protected. It’s also known as a transitional or security item.
Numerous objects can be used as Loveys for a baby. Many companies make certain products that are designed exclusively to be used as a Lovey.
A Lovey is usually a little soft object like a plush animal or a blanket. Something that your baby carries with them at all times.
Lovey examples (baby blankets and stuffed toys):
Loveys and security blankets are designed to provide your kid with comfort. They’re known as “transitional items” or “comfort objects” since they’re known for assisting children in transitioning from complete reliance on their parents to controlling their emotions and developing their personalities. It could be a soft blanket, a cute teddy, or any stuffed toy with which a baby will get attached to, can serve as a transitional object. The ideal Loveys aren’t too huge and don’t make any noises that can arouse or distract your babies, such as rattles or scrunchy pieces. Small plush animals or “blankies” work well as Loveys too. Following are a few basic Lovey examples.
- Soft, cuddly dolls that are the perfect size for young arms and hands. You can also give it a name and a tale, which can help the baby bond with it.
- Animal-shaped blankets are charming and cuddly, with plenty of space to grab on to. You can acquire them in a variety of materials, including ones with extra tabs and materials that are safe for babies and toddlers to grip and caress.
Lovey-related misunderstandings (comfort blankets, stuffed toys, etc.)
Some people think Loveys are too dangerous to give to babies. However, to a point that may be true but different age groups of babies require different types of Loveys. Loveys help babies build up confidence and give them a sense of safety. As your child grows older and develops more, it’s natural to observe a variety of changes, such as separation anxiety and sleep regressions, which is where a security object might come in handy. These security objects also are supposed to be comforting, and some parents believe Loveys to be a game-changer in terms of assisting a baby in self-soothing.
Baby Lovey Safety
A Lovey can be introduced to your baby no matter how young or old they are. While babies under the age of 12 months should not sleep with their Lovey because safe sleep recommends that any Lovey, no matter a blanket or a stuffed toy, should be kept in the baby’s crib when he or she sleeps, you can introduce the Lovey outside of sleep. Make sure your Lovey is safe for your child by checking for choking or suffocation dangers before purchasing. Small plastic parts, loose garments, and other items that can be taken from an item are not safe selections.
To be safe, consider a stuffed animal with embroidered eyes over a plastic one when the baby reaches the age of 12 months. Also, keep in mind to check for its size so that it isn’t large enough that the baby can use as a stepping stool to get out of the crib. Check to see if you find any loose pieces that could fall off (any stuffed toy with attached eyes or any parts for example).
When Can Baby Sleep With Lovey?
After one year of age (or 12 months old) is the perfect time to get your baby a Lovey. Your baby’s Moro reflex, commonly known as their startle reflex, has lessened by this age, therefore swaddling is no longer necessary. This means that baby’s arms are free to sweep the crib, discover their favorite toy, and do whatever else they need to quiet down. Starting early also allows your infant to develop a strong attachment to you. They will think it’s a part of your family and take it wherever they go.
In general, the best moment to introduce your baby to a Lovey is determined by their age and personality. It’s important to think about their motor skills and strength. If you’re unsure, always consult your pediatrician. You can present a Lovey to your baby even from a really young age like four months, but whenever the baby sleeps, quietly remove the Lovey from the baby. Some babies may not be able to build bonds at this age. A lot of babies don’t get close to a Lovey but after nine months, they’re more likely to get attached, although this may vary from baby to baby.
How to give your baby a Lovey to help them sleep
Make Sure it’s Safe & Age-Appropriate
It’s important to ensure that the Lovey is both safe and appropriate for the baby’s age. Check for all the things mentioned in the article previously. Like bits or pieces hanging out and that the Lovey is soft. Check so a possibility of choking doesn’t occur.
Similar smell as you
Scent is a strong relaxant. To provide the impression of a pleasant cuddle. Before giving it to your baby for the first time, you should hug it against your skin for around an hour. This only needs to be done once, and it will increase the chances of your baby’s getting attached to the Lovey.
Find something your baby likes
Check what your baby feels attached to and bonds with as you try out various security items and Lovey options. Each baby will have his or her own preferences. You can leave a few options in their crib for them to choose from. Whatever they pick up first and begin to play with will catch their interest. They usually have one favorite thing that they will go for.
Keep the Lovey for sleep
It’s important to save your baby’s Lovey for sleep if you want it to become a special comfort object rather than just another toy. If you like, you can incorporate the Lovey into your baby’s evening or nap routine; otherwise, it should be kept in the crib or wherever your baby usually sleeps.
When introducing a security object or a Lovey for the first time, it may be useful to do so during daytime play as you prepare for a nap or the evening routine. It can be used as an object with which your child will bond to as well as remember to keep it with whenever it’s the time to sleep. It’s a perfect time to start incorporating this security object into your baby’s sleep schedule if you already have one.
A useful technique to forming a strong sleep schedule. You can also give it to your baby if the baby falls asleep somewhere else such as in the vehicle, in a stroller, or on a plane. When the Lovey becomes a regular part of your baby’s sleep routine, it can help with changes such as traveling or discovering new hidden talents.
Lovey as backup
Have a spare Lovey on hand if possible in case one of the Loveys is torn or damaged. Swap the two out on a frequent basis so your baby doesn’t notice the difference. Because babies are sensitive to variations in texture and fragrance, if both Loveys have been equally appreciated, there is less risk of the baby crying. Remember to clean baby’s Lovey on a regular basis. If your baby’s Lovey is usually clean, then it shouldn’t be too much of a shock.
Tips to help your baby bond with the Lovey or comfort object
It’s important to help your baby build a bond with their Lovey so that they can begin to feel safe with it and get attached to it. Following are a few tips.
- Allow a parent to ‘wear’ the Lovey in their shirt for a short period of time to help it smell familiar and reassuring.
- Include your baby’s Lovey in his or her nighttime routine. Reading stories, nursing, feeding, singing the baby’s favorite songs, or whatever else you do to help your baby sleep.
- Assign a name to the Lovey. This gives it more purpose and identity to which it can cling. It might be as straightforward as “blankie” or “teddy.”
- Give the Lovey to your baby to sleep with.
- As you tuck your baby in, have a conversation with the Lovey, such as saying goodnight to it. This makes the Lovey feel more real, and the baby can think of it as a close friend.
It’s acceptable if your baby takes a while to warm up to their Lovey. They will begin to look for their Lovey over the course of a few weeks and use it in different ways however they feel comfortable. Sometimes not all babies will get used to a Lovey, and it’s alright. Babies find comfort in all sorts of things.