One of my favourite sleep strategies is to have your little ones (3 months and up) sleeping with a small stuffed animal or a small blanket, often called a “lovey”. You want something large enough that they can find it in their cribs but not too large that will cause safety concerns or a SIDS risk. Babies especially love to put them in their mouths and place them on top of their face. Please do not use something unless you feel it is safe. You also want one – max two. I often joke with my clients and say, “If you had 7 wives, how attached would you to be to this one?” To help your little one bond and associate this special lovey, incorporate it as part of your routines before sleep. Place their lovey in their cute little hands while you nurse and read the book. The reason they are called transitional objects, is that you are transferring some of the dependency on you to an object. The child feels safe and secure and later in life, they will no longer need it.
For my older clients who have been bed sharing, I recommend still using the lovey but putting something special from Mommy and Daddy on it. A three and half year old that I worked with recently used to twirl her Dad’s hair to fall asleep as he laid in bedside her. Then, in the middle of the night after he had left the room, she would need his help to go back to sleep. They ended up calling her new teddy “Poppa Bear” so she could still cuddle with Daddy at night.
You can read more on my thoughts about the lovey HERE.
Please share with me some pictures of your precious little ones snuggling with their favourite friends!