strong bond between parent and child and that the child's need for love and attention has been consistently met. If used only for sleep times and given to your child during the sleep routine it can help your child settle more easily and help with the final separation when they go to bed. In fact, sometimes it seems like my son is dying to get into his crib just so he can lie down with his blanky and rub it between his fingers.
A transitional object is usually chosen by a child between the age of 6-18 months. For safely it should not be introduced to a child while sleeping before he is 4 months old and is able to roll and move his head easily (The No-Cry Sleep Solution, p. 34). Many children keep transitional objects for years which, once again, is totally healthy. If your child or toddler doesn't have one you can try to offer things you think he'll like. Just remember that he gets to make the final choice on what he wants as this object, and that if you constantly play this comforting role for him he'll have no reason to choose one.
With my son Joshua, his blankie turned into the one he used to lie on top of to sleep when he was a newborn (I cut it up for him to use when he was older). With my son Jacob, his lovie was a blanket that had a pacifier attached to it. I wrote about pacifier holders here. When Jacob got older, we got rid of the pacifier but he kept the small blanket. With Stella, I used a thin and small muslin security blanket. I love this small muslin blanket!
- Even if you co-sleep it would be worth giving a transitional object a try since it will help with future separation.
- If you are trying to introduce your child to a lovey, you may want to place the it in between you and your child while you feed him or rock him to get him used to it. You may also want to place the lovey in your shirt for a short time so that it will smell like you and be more comforting for your child.
- As your child gets older he may hold his lovey whenever he needs extra comfort or security.
- Make sure the lovey is safe. That means no little eyes or small pieces that can come off, no removable parts like clothes, nothing that a young child can suffocate with etc.
- I would not count a pacifier as a lovey. Or at least I would make sure to offer something else along with the lovey. The pacifier is going to disappear some time and baby needs something else to give him comfort.