Does Your Baby Need Help Getting To Sleep?
A baby requires sleep, lots of it, during the beginning stages of development. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that babies get 12 to 15 hours of sleep every day. There are many reasons a baby might not be sleeping and many are out of your control, like a very common sleep regression or a loud noise outside. One of the things you have control over with your little bundle of joy is their sense of security and sleeping environment. A lovey can help; this unique yet simple blanket has been called many things: a “security blanket,” “transitional object,” and a “sleep buddy.” To someone who isn’t a parent, a lovey might seem like just another plush toy or blanket, but to a parent, it is magic for sleep. Loveys can also be a great way to soothe the transition from being with mommy and daddy all day to transitioning to independent sleep.
A baby may initially not be drawn to a little cloth blanket or piece of fabric, but more times than not, their face will light up when they see the cute and unique style of their lovey blanket. We found that it was best to introduce them to the blanket by having it around during feeding times when rocking a baby to sleep or changing their diaper. It is also a great idea to rub your scent on the lovey since your baby will already associate your scent with security. Having a name for the lovey helps as well since they will soon begin to hear the name and instantly associate it with something soothing, giving them a sense of comfort and security.
Many babies will associate mommy and daddy as their only source of security and this can create some late nights and extremely early mornings for parents that need their sleep as well. Once security between your baby and their lovey is formed, they will be drawn to this when they wake in the middle of the night and will often be able to soothe themselves back to sleep. We have experienced this firsthand with our little ones, waking in the middle of the night only to rush to their room and rock them back to sleep. Now that the lovey security relationship has been established, we no longer need to do this; our little ones can soothe themselves back to sleep most nights.
Of course, there are many different recommended ages when to introduce a lovey into the crib, so we recommend consulting with your pediatrician to determine the safest time. A lot of this will be determined when your baby can roll themselves from front to back and sit up.
Strengthening your child’s security with a lovey at sleep time will only increase the likelihood of their much-needed sleep.