I wanted to talk a bit about loveys. I almost always recommend them to my clients. Many clients know exactly what I am talking about – but then there are some who have no idea, so I figure I should tell you what I consider a lovey to be before talking about why I recommend them!
What is a Lovey?
I consider a lovey to be some sort of small object that a child can sleep with to bring them comfort when they wake during the night. Usually these objects are stuffed animals or blankets, although my 3 year old used matchbox cars as loveys (No – I do not recommend that, but it worked for him and after 3 years of not one full night sleep, I was desperate!) Some children have one specific one they always want to sleep with, some have multiple in bed with them, and some choose a different one each night. What is important is that they provide some sort of familiarity and comfort to the child at night.
How Does a Lovey Provide Comfort?
Just handing a 1 year old child a teddy bear may not bring them much comfort, but there are steps to take so that the teddy bear could comfort them. When introducing a lovey to a child, I do recommend the parent has the lovey with them when feeding or rocking the child. If the parents is currently helping the child fall asleep by feeding, rocking, bouncing, sleeping with, etc., the parent should have the lovey at this time. Parents can also sleep with the lovey before introducing it to the child so that it has the parents’ smell on it. The idea to doing these things is that the child will see the lovey in the middle of the night and be reminded of comforting times. The other way a lovey can provide comfort is physically. My daughter liked to stick her finger through the tag of her blanket and my son liked to rub the satin portion of his blanket on his face while he was falling asleep.
Older children may enjoy taking care of their “baby”. This may give them a sense of control over night wakings and sleep time and may help them sleep better.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend putting anything in a child’s crib until they are over 1 year of age for a decrease in SIDS risk. I do have some clients who will put small stuffed toys in earlier, but you should be aware of the official American Academy of Pediatrics stance.
One company I know of has fixed this issue for us. Click here to visit Bitta Kidda, Inc. This great family owned company has created a sleeper and a sleep sack with loveys attached, so you do not have to worry about putting anything extra in the crib with your baby. I have received a sample of this sleeper and I think it is a great invention!! (Full disclosure – this is an affiliate link so I do get a percentage of your purchase if you do decide to make one.)
Do you have questions about loveys? Does your child use one? I’d love to hear about it.