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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Brindley

Tips On Introducing a Lovey To Your One Year Old

Four sheep loveys lined up on a bed

Everyone knows I love a lovey. I recommend introducing a lovey to your child when your child is at least one year old. Children deserve a love object to sleep with and cuddle.

This is how they learn to self-soothe and can look forward to loving time with their special friend after a long day of learning and growing. A love object is the very best.

Parents often say that their child would not attach to a love object, no matter what they have tried or how many stuffies they put into their child's crib or bed, nothing worked.

However, without fail and further questioning, I find out that child still needs their parent to lie with them or tickle their back or ock them until they fell asleep. They do not need a lovey when their parent is doing the job of the lovey for them.

A transitional object is just that; transitional. The good news is that a parent or primary caregiver is the MAIN love object, and this is how it should be. A love object is a way for your child to develop self-soothing skills, and so the stuffed animal, blankie, or paci is the transitional object.

No kid will choose the "fake" if the real-deal parent is there; why? Because there is no need for the fake one if you have the real one. Would you choose a fake over a real one? No way. The lovey is not really a "fake"; it is real, but it only becomes real when it gets chosen by your child to be loved. Your child's infinite love makes it real.

The lovey is there to help your child make that incredible transition. Self-soothing is not just a sleep skill; it is a forever life skill. Now, you may be excited but do not go and throw a gaggle of stuffies in your kid's bed and immediately decide it's not working.

If there are too many stuffies for your child to choose from, they tend to get overwhelmed and will not easily attach.

It's how I feel if I go to The Cheesecake Factory. There are so many endless choices and cuisines on that menu that I get overwhelmed, can't decide what I want, and wind up not being hungry anymore!

Choose one or two special friends to jump-start your child's lovey love affair. Two is a good number. Every main lovey is welcome to have their very own special friend, a sidekick just like Ernie has a Bert.

Focus on the Ernie. It is a good idea to keep Ernie and Bert in your child's crib or bed and not in the toy basket in the living room. This way, they will associate their Ernie with sleep and self-soothing and look forward to seeing their special friend.

After the bath, jammies, etc., pull it out of the crib or lay in the bed to read your two books, and your child can begin that process with you there. Then, when it is time for bed, your baby or older child already has that special love bond in action.

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