Cuddly, Lovey, Comforter!
Have you heard any of those terms before?
These are some of the names that are given to an object that your baby takes to bed with them that provides comfort and soothing to them.
Sometimes called a comforter or even more formally a transitional object.
While not every baby or toddler attaches to a lovey many do – and they can be a great help!
This little object can comfort your baby when you aren’t there – which is very handy in the middle of the night when we all need our sleep. A cuddly or lovey isn’t there to take your place but is something that your baby can become attached to and cuddle when they need to fall asleep without your help. Not all babies will become attached to a cuddly but many do and it can be a great help to parents when they are teaching their babies and toddlers to self-settle. Some children will have a special cuddly that they have become attached to since babyhood and others will switch from time to time through a small group of favourite cuddlys.
Of course, some babies will sometimes find their own cuddly – and these can be wide-ranging!
It is important to follow safe sleep recommendations and the recommended age for using a cuddly is 7 – 8 months, if you are in any doubt about what your child is using for a cuddly make sure you check with your health professional. When choosing a lovey or cuddly for your baby make sure that they are safe. No button eyes or noses, or any small removable pieces. Small and easy to hold is best!
And very importantly - a fully swaddled baby should never be left alone with any sort of comforter. If your baby is fully swaddled ie: they cannot move their arms or grip things in their hands - then just try securing the cuddly to the cot bars at night until they are older and able to safely hold on to each other.
Why have a cuddly at all?
Firstly some babies won’t need one – they will be able to self-soothe without one. They may suck their thumb or stoke their hair. But if you want your baby to self-sooth independently, especially without you in the room then a cuddly is a big help!
It also provides a great sleep association – so when your baby sees it or is given their cuddly they know that it is time to go to sleep. This can be a great help when you are out and about, when they are staying with grandparents or traveling. Some even go back and forwards to daycare on a daily basis. As your baby becomes a toddler a cuddly can become an important security item for them too. Helping them through transitions that are happening, like new siblings, moving house or any time they feel they need a little bit of extra security.
There are a few tricks that you can do to help your baby become attached to their lovey.
When you have chosen your cuddly or comforter pop it between you while you are feeding, rocking or cuddling your baby.
‘Wear’ it inside your shirt for a few hours or sleep with it for a night. That way it gets that lovely mummy smell, as your baby can instantly recognise your scent.
If your child is a little older and forming their own strong opinions try talking them through it. Get excited about it, explain that a cuddly friend is on the way to help them at night with their soothers (if using this type of comforter) or to help them snuggle down at night - open the parcel up with them and make a wee song and dance about it - give lots of cuddles and perhaps choose a name together to help them bond.
Most importantly you get a chance to choose your child’s cuddly or at least guide them in the right direction choose something that you are comfortable with as they may be part of the family for some time! Otherwise, an old piece of mums nighty or a funny looking soft toy could be the one special thing that they want to take to kindergarten on their very first day.
Of course, our favourite cuddlys are our Gobstopperz – especially for those babies that have a dummy.
Designed by a mum, who knows from experience what babies want, and made right here in New Zealand!
The silky soft minky fabric comes in a variety of bright colours and is perfect to snuggle against soft cheeks.
As well as being a perfect comforter, they have a handy holder for dummies and soothers so they can be found easily in the night! Designed with clever snaps means that they can be attached to car seats, cot bars and more. Your babies favourite item is never far out of reach and safe from falling on to floors.
We also love that Gobstopperz are designed by a mum and are made right here in New Zealand.
A great tip is to have a cuddly that you can easily replace or better still buy several of the same ones so that you will always have a backup for those times it is left behind or when the all-important wash day comes around, not to mention the times they are temporally lost. That way you won’t find yourselves up searching in the middle of the night looking for the one little buddy that your child needs to go to sleep and everyone’s happy.
To get your hands on a fabulous Gobstopper for your little one head to our website and choose your favourite👉 www.themotherhood.co.nz