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When you try teach you child to fall asleep independently, there are chances that at some point you’ve heard a word “lovey”. So what exactly is lovey? I will tell you my thoughts and experience with using a lovey for sleep training and hopefully will encourage you to take advantage of this pretty little thing as well.
I realise that this post is long overdue, since I’ve been talking about lovey in my previous post. A lot of moms asked for my advice when it comes to sleep training and many times I recommended them using a lovey to assist with a process.
I think when parents hear about introducing a transitional attachment object to their babies, they often underestimate the importance of it.
When I had my first daughter, I was one of those sceptical parents. We received a cute little bunny as gift and at the beginning I was treating it as a toy.
I remember reading in different parenting books about introducing baby a transitional attachment object known as a blankie or lovey but I completely disregarded those advices.
Let me tell you something. If you have an infant and you’ve never heard about lovey, you need to get one asap. This is especially true if you are going to sleep training, which by the way doesn’t have to be cry-it-out method.
I wrote step-by-step instructions in this post. The aim of sleep training is to teach your baby to fall asleep without your help. But babies still need some sort of comfort to help them fall asleep easier.
That’s why lovey will be of a great help. Instead of relying on mom’s presence to fall asleep, baby will use a blankie which will be there anytime he needs it.
I’ve seen different recommendations when to start giving your baby a lovey. Obviously newborn will not understand what is it.
I gave lovey to my older daughter at 4 months old, the age, when I started sleep training. I was giving it to her for every nap and bedtime. Several weeks later, my daughter started associating lovey with a sleep.
As soon as I gave it to her, she would pop her thumb into her mouth and start drifting off to sleep. In case you’re wondering, I don’t have any issues with thumb sucking.
Six months ago I had my second baby and I was really determined to employ the lovey thing once again. I started gentle sleep training from birth and I introduced lovey a week shy of 3 months old. I was very surprised how soon my daughter understood why I was giving it to her.
When it’s time to sleep, I hold my daughter and walk with her around the room. This calms her down and prepares for a sleep. At this point I may or may not give her a lovey depending on whether she’s calm enough. If she’s overexcited and flailing her arms, there’s no point of giving her a lovey.
When she calms down and I feel she’s ready to sleep, I then give her a bunny blankie and put her down in a crib. She pops her thumb into her mouth and history continues.
If I nurse her to sleep, I give her a lovey to hold on to as well. If she doesn’t fall asleep from the first attempt, that means she’s not drowsy enough and I hold her for a little bit more.
My youngest actually loves using her knitted hat she got in a birthing center. Make sure your lovey is safe and doesn’t have detachable small parts.
So, here’s what I recommend.
- If you have a newborn, you can start introducing him a lovey as early as at 3 m.o. If you breastfeed, put a lovey between you and the baby, so that it has your smell.
- Whenever nap or bedtime is approaching, start with a wind-down routine. When baby is calm enough to fall asleep, give him a lovey. Put baby in a crib drowsy. Don’t be discouraged if baby doesn’t take it at first. It’s normal, just keep offering. For very young babies I recommend removing the lovey as soon as baby falls asleep.
- When baby wakes up, leave lovey in a crib and don’t allow baby to play with it. He should associate a lovey only with a sleep.
That’s it. Easy as that. If you’re in the beginning or the middle of sleep training, consider introducing a lovey. You can really benefit from your baby using it.
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Let me know in the comments below if your baby has a lovey and if it helps them falling asleep easier?
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