Once baby gets to be a few months old, moms generally want them to start sleeping on their own, whether it be at naps or bedtime. By 5-6 months, mom is exhausted and needs some time to rest and do things without having baby attached to her hip. This age is also a time when moms consider sleep training if, like me, they don’t have one of those unicorn babies that started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old – or younger (I can’t even imagine!).
With my youngest, I decided to introduce a “lovey” or security item around 6 months. I felt this was a good age since I didn’t have to worry as much if he had the lovey on his face, he was old enough to pull it off. I was also in the midst of sleep training and willing to do ANYTHING to get my little guy to sleep. So, off I went to my local baby shop to find some sort of safe lovey for a baby that my little guy would attach to. I ended up picking up two items in case the first didn’t work.
My first pick was a set of muslin security blankets, called Issies, by Aden & Anais. It was a 2-pack, and each lovey was a small square of muslin fabric with a satin trim. I felt that this was a good and safe choice because if the blanket did end up on his face it was a breathable fabric.
My second pick was a Peppa Organic Bonding Doll. The head is filled with wool, and the body is floppy with little knots for hands/feet. The idea is that mom or dad sleeps with the doll for a few nights, allowing the wool to absorb their natural scent. Baby then gets the doll, and is comforted by the smell of mom or dad, and the little knots also make the perfect little teether.
I decided to let baby choose which lovey he would attach to. I put both in his crib for a few nights to see which he preferred. It turns out, he loved the Aden & Anais Issie. From then on, he always slept with his lovey. He would chew on it and play with it and it was definitely a comfort item for him. I bought a few more when it came time to send him to daycare, so he could have one there and one at home, plus a couple extra. This little guy is now 7 years old and still occasionally asks for it when he sees it in the back of his drawer – definitely served its purpose!
Baby #2 didn’t take to either, she preferred a Wubbanub soother with a little suffie attached to it. Also a good idea if you don’t like searching for lost soothers. They’re cute and cuddly and my girl loved hers.
Baby #3 was also given the option of the Issie or the Peppa bonding doll. He seemed to attach to the doll, and now at 3 years old, he still loves to carry it around and always has it at bedtime. It’s held up well in the wash, although he’s missing an ear due to tug-of-war with his siblings.
My recommendations for a safe lovey for baby are: pick something small, breathable and offer your baby a couple of options because they might not like your first pick. And finally, BUY MULTIPLES! You don’t want to get stuck with a lost, torn or forgotten lovey. Plus, you’ll have a spare if you need to wash it. I think I ended up buying three 2-packs of the Issie’s and we’re at Peppa doll #3. Pick something that you know you can buy down the road. If it’s a one-of-a-kind item, you may find yourself in a jam if it gets lost – babies and toddlers are particular!