- Family and Parenting
Why Every Baby Should Have a Security Blanket or Lovey
Baby Security Blanket, Lovey or Lovie...Why You Need One (or Two!)
You can't be with your baby all the time, so when you need to separate, a lovey or security blanket is a great item to help ease the transition for your child. Many parents have asked me -"How did you get your child to be so attached to their lovey?" It's really something that has happened over time for us with both of our kids.
Looking for your lost lovey? Amazon.com has a large assortment of older, out of production lovies by Carter's and more. Start your search here.
Read on to learn why I encouraged both of my children to have a lovie, how it helped our children AND us get through some rough situations, including sleep training and how you can help foster a healthy relationship between your child and their chosen security blanket.
Choosing a Lovey
Some Important Considerations When Choosing Your Child's Security Blanket
Both of my children were given lovies as baby shower presents before they were even born. However, had I known then what I know now these would have been my criteria for choosing a lovey.
Find a Lovey that is Small, but Not Too Small:
Your child's security blanket is something that - at times- will be traveling with you. Keep that in mind when you select your lovey. A Lovey that is too big (think Linus' Security Blanket in Charlie Brown) will end up dragging on the ground, getting ragged and dirty, and will not be convenient when you want to put it out of sight. It needs to fit in your diaper bag for those times when you want to encourage your child to step out without it. Conversely, you do not want your lovey to be so small that it is easy to loose or miss when you are gathering your belongings and getting ready to go home. A lost lovey is no fun! Most loveys on the market today are the perfect size for our child to cuddle and snuggle with, but still compact enough for you to tuck out of sight for those times when a security blanket is not necessary.
Find a Lovey that is Replaceable:
It is charming and endearing when a friend or relative makes a gift for your child, but you do not want a one-of-a-kind lovey! Every experienced parent, no matter how conscientious, has had a lost lovie incident. You want to be able to go to the nearest Target or Babies-R-Us and get the same - or a very similar - replacement lovey. Believe me, I have spent nights scouring Amazon and Ebay looking for a replica of my daughter's lost lovey to no avail. The smartest thing to do is to buy two identical loveys and keep one in a safe place as a spare. In fact, the next time one of my friends is expecting I plan to buy them two identical loveys as a shower gift. Take it from a mom who knows!
The Ultimate Insurance Policy: Angel Dear Pair and a Spare 3 Piece Blanket Set. Never be without a lovey again!
Make Sure it is a Baby Friendly, Baby Safe Item:
Kids can get attached to the darnedest things, and while it is usually cute, make sure the item you choose as your child's security blanket is a child-safe item. You want this item to be a sense of comfort to both you and your baby. If you are up all night worrying that your baby is going to choke on their lovey's buttons or be smothered by a giant stuffed animal in their crib then you are not benefiting from the lovey. There are plenty of child safe items on the market specifically intended to be security blankets - pick one of them as your child's lovey.
Here are some great ones to choose from. Remember, always better safe than sorry - So buy TWO!
Two Identical Security Blankets Makes a Thoughtful New Baby Gift for Parents and Baby Alike!
How to Introduce a Lovey
"Baby, meet your new best friend"
The earlier you introduce your baby to their lovey the better. That is not to say that introducing a lovey to a baby older than one won't work - but it may take more creativity on your part.
Begin by incorporating the lovey into your daily routine. Before I was comfortable having a lovey in bed with my son at night, I had the lovey sit on the changing table. It was something he got used to seeing at changing time and eventually started to look forward to seeing. Eventually we started putting the lovey in bed with our kids at night. This was a huge help with our bedtime routine because by then the lovey was something that our kids were excited about and always looked forward to seeing.
Pick a Lovey with Rattle and You'll Always Know When Baby is on the Move
Name Your Lovey:
We always referred to our children's lovies by their names. My daughter's lovey was "Bunny" and my son's was "Bunnifpant" (because it was an elephant, and my husband and I were already so used to talking about our daughter's "bunny" that we had to keep correcting ourselves. But we never managed to catch ourselves before we started saying "bunny" and "bunniphant" just stuck).
Bunny and Bunniphant had very active imaginary lives. My husband and I would tell our children that they were "waiting for them" up on the changing table - which always helped with a reluctant diaper change. Bunny would be "already sleeping" when we tried to quietly put our daughter to sleep without a fuss, and Bunniphant was "So excited" to be sleeping over at Grandma and Grandpa's house with our son when Mommy and Daddy had a kid-free weekend away. The personification of the lovies was something that both my husband and I and the kids enjoyed. Sometimes we wondered if the babies actually thought that the lovey's were real - but sometimes - as they got older - I think the kids were wondering if WE actually thought the lovey's were real.
Miyim Simply Organic Lovie Blankets
Looking for an Organic Lovie?
Your baby will be spending lots of time with their security blanket. Pick an Organic Lovey that you can both feel good about. Sold on Amazon.com, these blankets are made with certified organic cotton, these lovies are soft and cuddly and come with plenty of personality.
Ground Rules for Lovies
Follow these Tips for a Secure Security Blanket
Although you want your child to become attached to their lovey, you don't ever want them to be TOO attached. Everyone knows the stereotype of the child clinging to their security blanket on the first day of school and no one wants that to be THEIR kid.
So how do you find the perfect balance of attachment and detachment?
Here are some rules we followed with our children's security blankies.
Keep the Lovey in the Crib...most of the time:
While you do want your child's lovey to be accessible during stressful situations, save it for the truly stressful ones like a sleepover at a relative's house, a visit to the doctor, or the first day in daycare. Your child's lovey is not a toy. When they wake up in the morning and are excited to greet a new day you should leave their lovey in the crib.
Now this is usually easier said than done, but after a daily repetition of "Bunny stays in the crib" or "Bunnifant is still tired, he's going to sleep some more" they eventually get it. Distract them with another toy and move on with the morning routine.
This was a huge help for us in sleep training our children, because they always knew that when it was time to go to sleep they had a special friend waiting for them in their crib.
Even now when my son starts fighting off his afternoon nap, a gentle reminder that "Bunnifant is waiting for you" can instantly get him running up the stairs. Phew!
And if you have ever had to turn your house upside-down at bedtime looking for a lost security blanket that your child absolutely could not go to sleep without, then you know how important this rule is.
Take Your Lovey Out With Care:
I know this one goes without saying, but on those rare occasions when you are out with your lovey make sure you are keeping track of it (or have your spare on hand).
Always Have a Spare:
I can not mention this one enough. Buy an extra lovey...a stunt double, an understudy...whatever you want to call it. Just get another one before your child's lovey is discontinued and you have to pay $100 for an identical used one on ebay. Really.
But don't Let Them Find the Spare! We did not do a very good job of hiding the spare lovey in our house. I rotated them when one was in the wash and did not always put away the redundant Bunniphant. One day my son found the second one in the laundry basket - and ever since he has insisted on sleeping with BOTH of them. So much for that spare now...
Help Build Independence:
A lovey is great for easing transitions - such as beginning daycare - but you do not want it to become a crutch. Try to help your child ease out of their dependence on their lovey. If you send them to daycare with it, ask the daycare provider to put it away in their backpack when they become distracted by other toys. Sometimes out of sight is out of mind, and they can move more easily into other spheres of activity when unencumbered by their security blanket.