A lovey, also known as a safety or transitional object is an item that a child becomes attached to and can help them through certain situations. Some children will take to a lovey on their own, some need to have one introduced and other children will never have one.
Why introduce a lovey
A lovey or security object can help your child in many aspects of their lives. Offering one at sleep times can give them comfort while falling asleep and during night wakes. A lovey can help them feel secure during difficult or scary situations like trips to the dentist or after a fall at the park. They can be very helpful if your child struggles with separation anxiety when going to daycare or to bed at night.
When to introduce
A baby should have nothing in their crib for the first 12 months. Only after their first birthday should they begin to sleep with a favoured object. However, you can begin introducing the object during the day several months before. This way the item will be familiar when you do introduce it at bedtime.
How to choose an object
When choosing an object to introduce to your child as a lovey:
something that does not have small parts or choking hazards
something that can be replaced or you can purchase several of
something that is portable and can go anywhere
ideally the item would be soft or plush for sleeping with
something that can be cleaned
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How to introduce
The simplest way to introduce your child to a lovey is to just start giving it to them all the time! Put it into the crib at bedtime (after 12 months), give it to them when they're in the carseat or when you're snuggling them before bedtime. It likely won't take long for them to grow to love it. To give them a little more help you can opt to sleep with it yourself before introducing so it smells like you. Don't worry if your child doesn't seem to take to an object, not all children need them!
Looking for more advice on introducing a lovey or your child's sleep in general? Contact me to book a phone call!