What is UP with loveys? Why do kids adore them so much? 

What is a Lovey?

A lovey is any object that a baby or toddler bonds with in order to feel comforted and secure. 

Examples of Loveys (Baby security blankets and stuffed animals)

We all remember Linus in the Peanuts cartoon dragging his beloved blankie behind him. And Calvin had Hobbes the tiger, and Christopher Robin loved Winnie­-the-Pooh. Did you have a lovey when you were growing up? A blankie or teddy? If you or your partner carried around a Raggedy Ann or Paddington your child will probably like one, too. That is because falling in love with these cuddlies is a strong genetic trait.

It is a universal truth: Kids love loveys! And cosy, cuddly loveys are great sleep cues for older babies and toddlers!

I have seen kids cling to nappies, silk scarves, and all sorts of toys. For years, my little patient Alex was “hooked” on sleeping with his Captain Hook’s hook.

Misunderstandings About Loveys (security blankets, stuffed animals, etc.)

Only a third of families employ sleep cues like white noise or loveys. I think that may be because many parents have been frightened by experts who caution that using loveys creates an unhealthy dependency. So wrong!

Parents who turn their backs on loveys are missing a huge opportunity! These cuddly friends actually help babies build confidence and security. And they are available anytime—day or night. So, a lovey is a very, very good habit—and it is especially comforting during times of stress (like an illness or a parent’s absence) and for babies with cautious, sensitive temperaments. 

Baby Lovey Safety (Blankets and Stuffed Animals)

For the first 12 months, the only safe lovely is a dummy and white noise (which is like an “auditory lovey”). 

When Can Baby Sleep With Stuffed Animal or Blanket?

After your little one has passed the one year mark, you can introduce a handkerchief-sized silky blanket or hand-sized stuffed animal.

But make sure you always have a backup! Losing a lovey is traumatic for a child. Every couple of weeks, rotate your baby’s two loveys. That allows you to keep them clean and to have them both develop the same comforting feel and smell.

And also make sure your baby’s lovey does not have any little pieces (like button eyes or beads in the stuffing) that can be a choking risk or get stuck up the nose.

Baby Lovey - How to Introduce a Lovey to Help Your Baby Sleep

The best time to introduce a lovey is around 12 months. During this time is when your baby’s arms are free from swaddling and are able to grab onto a lovey that you leave in the cot. The earlier you introduce the lovey, the better. This offers your baby time to grow attached to the lovey, and soon it will be your baby’s best friend!

Here are two tips to make sure your baby bonds with the lovey: 

  • Make it smell like mum. Have mum wear or hold the lovey for at least an hour prior to handing it to your baby. Scent can be soothing for your child and it creates the illusion that mum is right there.
  • The baby lovey is for sleep. Make sure your baby finds the lovey special by making it a comfort and security object strictly for sleeptime. Make the lovey a part of the nap routine or keep it strictly in the cot.

A Lovey + White Noise Machine...in One!

Both loveys and white noise can be powerful sleep cues for babies and toddlers...so why not get your toddler a lovey that also plays sleep-inducing soothing sounds? That is what SNOObear offers! In addition to being a huggable lovey, SNOObear plays shushing rhythms to lull little ones to sleep and settle fears...helping parents sleep better, too! Learn more about SNOObear here!

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