New South Wales
Everyone needs something to snuggle and love at night- even our babies. For babies, a comforter like a toy or blanket helps them with self-soothing. Sleep Coach Cheryl Fingelson shares her tips and tricks to make a Lovey a part of a healthy sleep routine for your child.
When a mum gently lays a sleeping baby from her arms into the cot, it is often at that time the child awakes and cries until, out of desperation, the mum cradles the baby in her arms and comforts the baby back to sleep once again. Babies quickly work what makes them feel secure and in the arms of a parent is a perfect spot. Who wouldn’t?! This is when a comforter could step in – and can be most helpful to save mums with sore arms and who might be suffering from sleep deprivation!
Sometimes a baby may find and develop an attachment to a comforter by themselves. It may be a soft toy or even a satin edge on a special blanket. However, if not, there are several comforters (or Loveys) readily available to buy and encourage your child to keep with them. Once at attachment is formed, I have known children to hang onto their special ‘blankie’ for years. One girl even framed the last remaining tiny, ragged square of her blanket to keep it from disintegrating and keeps the frame next to her bed.
A comforter of any sort should NEVER be given to a newborn. It is recommended by most doctors to be introduced between 4 to 9 months of age. When accepted it often provides comfort for many years to come. And this is what it is all about. Sleeping children have rested and happy parents.
Self-soothing to sleep is a learned skill and the comforter can help with this if it becomes part of the bedtime routine, whether it is a daytime nap or night time sleep. I have often suggested to parents that the child should take it to day care if they are there for day long stays that usually include rest time.