I am a big fan of comforters. Comforter’s (also called lovies, snugglies, blankies etc.), are a great source of comfort for babies as they grow. When a baby is tiny we swaddle them so their hands are covered. When we stop swaddling, it is nice for them to be able to have something to touch or cuddle into.
Babies won’t often attach to something until they are a bit older. This is usually after about six months and can be closer to 12 months. As they get older they are more likely to really attach to a comforter but I think it is a good idea to introduce one even when they are a bit younger. That way they will get used to having it around.
You also need to ensure that the comforter is safe for your baby to sleep with. I don’t usually encourage a comforter to be in the cot with the baby until they are able to roll. It also needs to be small enough so that it can’t cover the baby’s face or get wrapped around the baby’s neck.
Babies are all different and some babies will love having a comforter and take to it straight away and some just won’t want a bar of one. I do find that if a baby is being fed or rocked to sleep, or is co-sleeping, then they often won’t want to attach to something else. You are providing all the comfort they need!
So if you have been thinking about offering a comforter but aren’t quite sure, here are my top reasons for using one:
- To replace the dummy
If your baby is waking a lot in the night because their dummy is falling out then giving them a comforter, like a piece of muslin, a toy with a blanket attached, or a small, soft toy can be a great replacement for the dummy. They can suck on the corner of the comforter and it is much easier than a dummy for them to find in the night.
- Helps them self-settle.
Having a comforter can help to teach a baby to self-settle. If they have their beloved comforter in the bed with them, they might be happier to go off to sleep without needing any help from you.
- Adjusting to change.
Things like going on holiday, starting day care, leaving them with a new carer, can all cause disruption to your baby’s routine. Having the familiarity of their comforter to soothe them, can really help. When you are not there, a comforter can be a nice substitute.
- Separation anxiety
As a baby reaches around 12 months of age sleep regression can set in and they want someone with them to help them fall asleep. Having a comforter that the baby can snuggle into and find some comfort from can help reduce this anxiety.
Having a comforter is a lovely thing for your child. It is something your child can take with them as they grow and are confronted with many new challenges. If you are on the fence about it, I would say, just do it!