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Introducing a Lovey

Mar 14, 2023

A lovey is typically a stuffed animal or blanket your child has formed an attachment to. Introducing a lovey can help your child find a new way to soothe and feel secure in their sleep space, but you may be wondering when it the right time to do so and how to start. Let’s talk about it!

When is introducing a lovey safe for sleep?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until after your child’s first birthday to add anything extra into their crib for sleep. However, it is fine to begin introducing the lovey during awake times during the day as early as 6-9 months to encourage your baby to form an attachment with the lovey. When choosing a lovey, ensure there are no buttons, ribbons, or other removable parts.

When can I give them a blanket and pillow?

Blanket/Lovey: You may introduce a thin, lightweight blanket and comfort item to your child for sleep once they are over 12 months old.

Pillow: There is no recommended age to introduce a pillow to your child, but the AAP states not to do so until your child is at least 2 years of age. I recommend waiting until your child has transitioned to a toddler bed to introduce a pillow, because more often than not the pillow can become a huge distraction.

How Do I Introduce a Lovey?

  1. Begin offering the lovey to your baby during awake times between naps.
  2. Make it smell like you – sleep with it or wear it under your shirt for a few hours
  3. Take it with baby on outings. This can be as simple as bringing it along in the stroller or at the doctor’s office.
  4. Let your baby hold it during the bedtime routine

Some babies are not interested in a lovey and that’s okay! If it becomes more of a distraction than a comfort item, you can always put it away and try introducing a lovey at an older age when they will better understand the purpose.



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