A baby loveys is a soft, cloth toy similar to a stuffed animal that parents give their babies to cuddle up to. It can be used as a comfort object for babies and toddlers during transitions such as separation anxiety, teething, Mom returning to work or learning to sleep alone.
Loveys can be a helpful tool for transitioning to bedtime or establishing a nap routine, says Jen Trachtenberg, MD, author of Ask Dr. Jen: A Parent’s Guide to Everyday Health and Happiness. She recommends introducing baby loveys to babies before their first birthday, so that they can bond with the object and learn how to self-soothe.
When choosing a lovey, make sure it’s small enough for your baby to hold, lightweight, and made of soft materials like cotton or fleece. Avoid items with buttons or plastic pieces that could become choking hazards, she advises.
The Benefits of Using Animal Loveys to Soothe Your Baby
Besides teaching your child to self-soothe, a lovey can also help your baby with smoother transitions, especially at bedtime, which is an important milestone for preparing them for independence. Wash your lovey regularly and make sure it’s out of their sleeping space to reduce the risk of SIDS, suggests Trachtenberg.
The Lovey That Sucks
It’s not uncommon for children to be attached to a lovey, but it’s also normal to lose interest or to begin to reject their loved objects. Just be patient with the process, and encourage your child to use their new lovey by reading stories or giving them a snuggle.
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