Children attach themselves to a wide range of objects. During feeding babies often hold on to their mother’s hair which develops along the way into a transitional object. Does your baby have a death grip on your hair as we speak? Wonder what to do if you cannot provide your hair at all times for your baby to hold on too? Never fear, moms are geniuses and can solve any problem.
Mom of three, Joy, created “the first Lovey Baby (known as simply as “Baby”) in desperation in the middle of the night when her son could not sleep with out clutching her hair. After “Baby” arrived, life became a bit simpler. Baby was a constant companion who helped our son through many of the major events of a toddler’s life.”
Sound familiar? Could your little one use on of Joy’s Lovey Babies? She no longer has her business, however she generously provides the pattern so that you can make your own Lovey Baby. Her inspiration for creating the Lovey Baby is now in high school, but she still gets requests for her pattern every week. To request a pattern email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Wiggie, another example of a hair lovey. Is that not the cutest thing? Wiggie goes everywhere with Winnie and has been a great comfort to her at daycare and even during a medical procedure. Before Wiggie became Winnie’s best friend, she was part of a Halloween costume that Winnie wore when she was a year old. Like Joy’s son, you can see that Wiggie is helping Winnie through many major event s in her little life.
Transitional objects or loveys in whatever form or variety are critical tools that help your child regulate their emotions. So much so in fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics endorses the use of loveys …”These special comforts are called transitional objects, because they help children make the emotional transition from dependence to independence. They work, in part, because they feel good: They’re soft, cuddly, and nice to touch. They’re also effective because of their familiarity. This so-called lovey has your child’s scent on it, and it reminds him of the comfort and security of his own room. It makes him feel that everything is going to be okay.”
As a Sleep Consultant, the topic of transitional objects comes up in the first conversation I have with clients. I always encourage parents to introduce a lovey prior to sleep training. Depending on the age of the baby we may wait to put it in the crib. Learning to self-soothe is the first step to getting on a healthy sleep schedule.
Here are some tips for introducing a lovey:
- During play, what is your child interested in? What kind of textures?
- Start testing different objects to see if your child shows any interest
- Bring the object close to the baby during feeding, in car trips, during bedtime calming routine
- If you baby sleeps with you, try stashing the object in your bra or sleeping with it to put your smell on it
- Loveys can be anything: hair dolls, wigs, hair extensions, blankets, piece of fabric, pacifier, pacifier holder like a Wubbanub or Sleepytot, t-shirts*, stuffed animal*, toy, toothbrushes, wash clothes,
- Consult the recommendations for Safe Sleep or talk to your pediatrician before introducing a lovey. *Some loveys may be safer for older babies and toddlers. Make sure the lovey you introduce is not a choking hazard.
One client was prepping a lovey for her 10 month old and had her older daughter rolling, when she pulled it out of her bra. Getting the mommy smell can be important.
Should you be interested in more support, contact Sleep Happy Consulting at 214-856-0341. Sleep Happy Consulting clears out the clutter of information by providing personal sleep strategies through support, coaching, and sleep training. Strategies are customized for your child to learn how to self-soothe and for parents to learn how to read sleep cues and create a sleep-friendly environment. Jessica will study your child’s sleep cycles and nap schedules, while adapting to fit your child’s temperament and your family’s needs.
But more than that, Jessica will provide support and the reminder that you know your
child better than anyone.