3 Reasons Why Your Child Will Benefit From Having a Lovey

A lovey, or a transitional object, is a blankie, doll or stuffed toy that a child will attach themselves to.  It becomes their beloved companion, and will be dragged everywhere the child goes.  Lovey’s become an extension of the parents and they provide comfort when Mommy and Daddy aren’t right next to them.  Many children will begin to show interest in a lovey sometime after 6 months of age, and it should be encouraged, as long as the item is safe and not a choking hazard.  Here are 3 reasons why your child will benefit from having a lovey.

1. A lovey can help soothe your child to sleep

Lovey’s have that familiar scent and feel to them, so they help children relax and feel comfortable in their surroundings, which makes it much easier for children to go to sleep. Many children will rub their lovey against their face, or suck on their lovey to help soothe themselves to sleep.

2. A lovey will help your child cope with separation anxiety and new situations

Children go through phases of separation anxiety, whether it’s in the middle of the night, or when they go to daycare or the babysitters.  Since loveys act as an extension of the parents, it helps the child feel more comfortable and helps them cope when Mom and Dad aren’t around.  It also helps to reduce stress in unfamiliar situations and can give your child confidence to explore their new surroundings.

3. A lovey can help reduce nighttime fears

When children get a little older, they start to fear the dark and may experience nightmares.  Having a lovey nearby will reduce those nighttime fears and help the child feel protected as they fall asleep and when they wake in the night.

You can help your child choose a lovey by encouraging them to bond with something.  I recommend choosing something soft, washable and easily replaceable (although they can usually tell the difference between their lovey and an imposter!)  Include it in their naptime and bedtime routine, tuck it between you during feedings, rub it against their skin so they can feel its softness or play games with it during the day.  You could also wear the lovey against your skin so that it has Mommy’s familiar smell.  Overtime, they will see the lovey as an extension of Mommy or Daddy, and it will give them that extra reassurance when you can’t be next to them.

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