All kids are drawn to the security of a stuffed animal, blanket or another item that feels, smells and looks familiar. A lovey is a type of transitional object, which means it helps your baby navigate the world as they learn to be independent from you.
Some loveys for babies become attached to a lovey fairly early on, and may even want one at birth. Others need to learn how to trust their feelings and form an attachment before they can become dependent on a lovey.
Once your baby can sleep without a parent present, you can use a lovey in their crib, provided it’s not large enough to pose a suffocation hazard and isn’t made of small objects that could fall out of the crib and be swallowed. It’s also important to keep the crib bare and remove the lovey once your child is asleep for safety reasons.
The key to giving your child a lovey is making it a part of your routine, so they’re used to having it around them everywhere they go. This includes introducing it at mealtime, riding in the car with you and being a consistent companion throughout all of your activities.
When it comes to picking out a lovey for your child, keep in mind they’ll need something that’s soft, squishy and cuddly. This is especially important if your child will be sleeping in their lovey at night. It’s also helpful to choose one that has a scent, as this can encourage the bonding process by helping your baby associate the item with you.