Loveys: Dos and Don’ts

Loveys! It can be a blanket, stuffed animal, pacifier or any other object that comforts your child.

In my daughter’s case, it’s a blanket. As an infant, it was any blanket be it flannel, fleece or muslin. Then at around eight months, it HAD to be a specific one: her CoCaLo Snickerdoodle Blanket. This blanket was given to me while I was pregnant because everyone knew giraffes were going to be a big part of her nursery/playroom decor. I loved it. I thought it was so cute and nice and soft. It went with us to the hospital, and it covered her every night and at most naps.

I believe this is why she chose it to become attached to, but I’ll never know for sure.

At the same time that she decided she only wanted this blanket, she also decided that sleep was just not possible without it, so we accommodated her by making it available at every nap and every bedtime, while scrambling to throw it in the wash when she wasn’t looking.

She doesn’t just cuddle it, she also chews on the corners so they become quite grody. Since it’s only a “sleeping aid” and not a constant companion, I’m not concerned.

Whatever helps her sleep helps me sleep, which makes for a happier household!

When she was 16 months old, we took a trip to California and— horror of all horrors— the blanket got left behind in the mad dash to the airport.

We decided we’d simply purchase a replacement when we landed. After visiting two Babies-R-Us locations and phoning the others in the area, we found that our blanket was completely sold out.

Bedtime was rough!

What is typically a 15-minute ordeal turned into a two-hour fiasco. I phoned a friend who had a key to our house so that she could ship me the precious blanket, but this was during the weekend, so even express shipping would take a few days.

During the first two nights, co-sleeping was the only way to soothe her which was stressful and uncomfortable. Definitely not how we had planned our first weekend of vacation.

We were finally able to track down a replacement, but my daughter could not be fooled. She smiled slyly as she shook her head and pushed the blanket back at me as if to tell me: “Nice try sucker!”

The next night “her” blanket arrived and the look of excitement on her face surpassed any reaction that trips to both the zoo and Disneyland had elicited. Finally, we all started to enjoy our trip.

I asked around and “Googled” about loveys to make sure it was all fine and dandy and found these tips from the “What to Expect…” website.

I definitely suggest acquiring “spares” and breaking them in. While we finally did get a spare, getting her to accept it has been quite the challenge and is still a work in progress.

Lovey Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t let your child take it anywhere and everywhere, if you can possibly avoid it. Limit lovey time to your home and car to lessen the chances of losing such a valuable item. Which brings us to my next point…
  • Do stock up on spares if you can. Your best bet is to rotate them so they wear evenly. Because if the unthinkable should happen — a well-loved lovey goes missing — chances are a brand-new version will be solidly rejected.
  • Don’t expect him to give it up or pressure him to give it up any time soon. It’s normal and harmless — and even helpful — so there’s no need to try to take it away. (Most kids give up their blankies on their own sometime before they turn six).
  • Do wash the lovey regularly so it doesn’t develop a “signature” scent (i.e., one that’ll smell like heaven to your child but might not be so pleasant for you — or a scent that might be hard to replicate in a spare.)
  • Don’t skimp on the hugs and kisses! Even the most adored of loveys is no substitute for affection from you.
  • Do make sure your child’s love for his lovey doesn’t keep him from other activities. If it does, consider whether he’s feeling especially anxious (perhaps about a new sitter or sibling) and give him some extra TLC. If you can’t figure out what’s behind the behavior, a checkup might be in order to rule out any medical issues.

Guest Mama Debbie is the mother of one adorable daughter, A. She’s a full time working mom who tries to squeeze in as much quality time as possible. She loves all things food related, to take long drives alone, read when she gets the chance, and to relax at the end of the night with her husband on the couch.

Does your child have a lovey? If so, what is it? How do you think they became attached to it?

2 Responses to Loveys: Dos and Don’ts

  1. This is the exact same way our son ended up with his lovey blanket. It was a baby shower gift that my aunt knitted for us and he slept on it when he was a newborn. It went with us everywhere too. When he totally latched on to it, we asked my aunt to make another one. She even made us 2 “travel” blankets that are 12″ squares. We keep them in the car in case of an emergency.

  2. Great article Debbie! My son is getting to the age where he loves a specific blanket, great tips!

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