Why Having a “Lovey” Will Help Your Child Sleep Better

It’s very common to hear that your baby should sleep in a bare crib.

Bumpers, toys and big blankets can be unsafe and are not recommended by Health Canada. Aside of safety, things like mobiles, lights or too many toys can distract your baby and make it difficult for him or her to fall asleep. However, having one small “lovey” in your baby’s crib, can really help improve their sleep because it will become a security object that your child can cuddle up to in the night.

How Does it Help?

When your child attaches to a lovey, it helps them feel safe and provides comfort.  When they wake in the night, they can simply grab a hold of it and cuddle it to help them fall back asleep on their own…without calling out for you! It is a great tool to use to help your child learn to self-soothe, especially if your child is learning to sleep without you in the room (or even in their bed).

Choosing the Right Lovey is Important

If your child is not already using a lovey and you would like to introduce one, choose something that is small, safe and quiet.  You want to be sure that the item can not cover your baby’s face or that it doesn’t have small pieces that can get into your baby’s mouth. When a baby uses a lovey, they often like to rub their faces into it, suck or chew on it or put it on their face, so it’s important to make sure that there aren’t pieces that could be bitten off if your baby puts it in his or her mouth.  Also, choose something without lights and sounds that could distract or even wake your baby up if they roll onto it.  Once you have chosen an object, place it in your baby’s crib for all sleep situatuions. At first you may feel that he or she is not interested in the object, but if you keep it in the crib eventually your baby will attach to it.

Once Your Baby Attaches to the Lovey

Once you have found the right item for your baby, you can use it in new sleep situations such as daycare or a sleepover at grandma and grandpa’s house. Your baby will associate the lovey with sleep and comfort and will fall asleep much more easily in new environments. It’s also a great thing to bring along if you like to travel and your baby will be sleeping in different rooms and/or a different crib or bed. When you take it with you, be sure NOT to wash it! Although you may think it’s stinky, it smells like your baby’s crib and that smell is familiar and comforting.  Finally, if you find something that your baby loves to sleep with, be sure to buy a second one just in case it ever gets lost.

If you have questions about choosing the right lovey for your child or any questions regarding your child’s sleep, please contact me at leslie@akissgoodnight.ca