A lovey or a transitional object is something that your child can use as a comfort.
A lovey or a transitional object is something that your child can use as a comfort. It is an extension really of mum or dad and can really bring great comfort to a child when their parents are not right beside them.
Many children will begin to show interest in a lovey sometime after six months of age, and it should be encouraged, as long as the item is safe and not a choking hazard.
There are many reasons why your child will benefit from having a lovey. It’s familiar scent and feel will help relax them and make them feel comfortable, making it easier to go to sleep.
They will often rub their lovey against their face or suck on it to help them drift off. Lovies also help when children go through phases of separation anxiety, whether it’s in the middle of the night or when Mum or Dad can’t be with them.
When children are a little older and start to experience nighttime fears or nightmares, having a lovey with be a great comfort to them and waking up and having it nearby will help them to feel safe in the middle of the night.
If your child hasn’t chosen a lovey themselves, you can always help them choose one by encouraging them to bond with something.
Choose something that is soft, washable and small enough for them to carry. You should also choose something that can be easily replaced (just in case!).
Once you’ve chosen something, try these 3 easy tips to help your child bond with the lovey.
1. Include it in your daily activities
Tuck the lovey in between you when you are, play peek-a-boo with it during playtime, include it in your bedtime routine, and rub the soft lovey against their skin so they get used to its feel and smell. Kiss their lovey if it is a soft toy and take turns hugging it. Help them feel comfortable with the lovey by showing your interest and affection towards it.
2. Give it your smell
It helps if the lovey smells like mum or dad especially at times when you can’t physically be in the room. Wear the lovey next to your skin in bed for a night to give it your familiar smell.
3. Introduce it during nap and bedtime
Introduce the lovey into nap time and bedtime by tucking it in their arms when they go to sleep and encouraging them to hold on to it. While they are lying down, rub it against their face so they can feel its softness and comfort.
Your child is ultimately the one who is going to choose their lovey, but you can help influence that decision. Be consistent about helping them bond to it, and they should have a new beloved friend in just a few days.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.