Comforters. What. Why. How. When.

Comforters can help your child sleep better

What's a comforter and why should you use one? 
A comforter, or a lovee, is a toy that a baby gets to help teach them to sooth themselves to sleep. As its name suggests, it provides comfort to your baby so he or she feels safe and can go to sleep on their own. It should be offered for all sleeps (naps and night time sleeps) to help your baby recognise that it is time for them to sleep.

How to introduce a comforter?
For a baby under 10 months you can just simply put the comforter in the cot with the baby.

If you like, mum can pop the comforter under her top for a few hours before introducing it so it has mums smell.

For older babies you can try to play with the toy just before bed to make the child excited to have the toy. You want to try to avoid your child having the toy all day because it defeats the purpose of it.

When to introduce a comforter?
I gave my boys comforters from birth. Samuel has the infamous Lamby and Sebby has his puppy. They love their comforters and I honestly think that their comforters have been a great sleep cue. But I didn't know then what I do now about the safety concerns with introducing a comforter to newborns.

SIDS recommends that there is to be no soft toys (i.e. comforters) in a childs cot until the child is over 7 months old because the toy may cover the nose and mouth and interfere with breathing. There is a gene that some children have that makes them more susceptible to SIDS, and we cant test for the gene but we can introduce safe sleeping habits so that if a child possesses the gene they are less likely to be impacted by SIDS.

Knowing this, I recommend my clients introduce a comforter to their baby between when they feel comfortable or between 4 - 7 months. I advise them to wait until they are confident that their baby can move the toy away from their mouth.

Final tip from me 
Purchase 2 comforters so that you can wash one and your child can still us the other one. You want to rotate them every 2 weeks so that they comforters "age" together and your child doesn't recognise that there are two comforters and have a preference for the older one that happens to be in the wash (I learnt this one the hard way).

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