When your precious little bundle is first born, you’re unlikely to think about the importance of choosing a comforter for your baby. It won’t be until she has selected a totally unsafe soft toy, or lost her absolutely unique, never to be found in any shop again, pink cuddly mouse. Then you’ll realise that had YOU chosen the comforter, it wouldn’t have those wobbly buttons for eyes, or you would have made sure it was replaceable, and you had some spares.
Baby comforters, loveys, security items, transitional objects – whichever name we give that special something – play a huge role in the lives of our small people. Do you remember yours? Blankies and soft toys tend to be the obvious comforter that comes to mind. But dummies or pacifiers also act as transitional objects – as do bottles or another toy.
Essentially, a baby comforter or lovey stands in for you when you’re not there. This may be at nursery, when visiting Grandma, or during the night. It might be something your little one reaches for when you go out of the room for a few moments. Baby comforters help your small person feel secure and safe without you.
In that all important first year, your baby will come to realise that she is separate from you, that you can go away and this is understandably a scary realisation. From here, your child will begin to move back and forth from independence to dependence. As she grows she will take brave and bold steps into the big wide world one minute, and return to you the next, looking for what makes her feel safe and secure.
Baby comforters and loveys are called transitional objects because they help your child move from complete dependence to relative independence. They help your baby learn to be separate from you. This is a good thing. When your baby is hungry or tired, when she’s in a strange place or just can’t have you right that minute, her comforter reminds her of the safety and security you provide.
Here are four things to consider when choosing a baby comforter:
1 – Is it safe?
Safety is essential. Look for potential hazards like buttons for the eyes which can come loose and become a choking hazard.
2 – Can you machine wash it?
This comforter is going to be dragged around, chewed, dribbled on and dropped on the floor many times a day. Make sure you can machine wash it!
3 – Do you like the look of it?
It might sound a little superficial but it does help if you your little one’s lovey is cute. After all, will be part of your family for years to come!
4 – Is it easily replaceable?
Baby comforters get lost and this can mean lots of sleepless nights and fretful small person until another way of self soothing is established. Choosing a comforter for your baby that you know you can easily replace will mean you avoid situations like this.
For more information on baby comforters, take a look at the following articles:
How a Comforter Can Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
Should I Give My Baby a Dummy?
How to Stop Your Baby Waking for the Dummy or Pacifier