Top 3 Ways a Lovey Benefits Your Little One
Loveys can take many forms. Most of us have one in our lives. Traditionally, they’re something very soft and snuggly like a rag doll, a blankie, or a plush toy. For reasons only the little one knows, one toy will stand out above all the rest and becomes a beloved companion that will go everywhere with him or her.
Loveys are so special that they are often kept for a lifetime, well beyond childhood years. These are among the most common items to be kept in memory boxes that contain only the most important possessions from a person’s life.
Many kids start becoming interested in their loveys at around six months old, though some start earlier and others might take longer. There are significant benefits to having a lovey and many parents encourage their children once one has been selected.
Here are three of the top reasons your child will benefit from having a lovey in his or her life:
- Improved coping – Having this soft extension of their parents with them can help to make new or stressful situations easier to cope with. Kids commonly deal with separation anxiety more smoothly when they have the company of a lovey with them. It is soft, familiar and comfortable, helping them to keep their confidence when Mom or Dad aren’t there or when they have new surroundings to explore.
- Improved restfulness at bedtime – Loveys aren’t just soft. They’re an entire experience that is familiar and comforting to a child. They have a uniquely familiar scent. They have a way to be held. They feel nice to the touch. These are all very soothing to a child’s senses, right from the most basic and instinctual levels. Many kids will suck on their loveys, rub parts of them between their fingers, or brush them against their faces. These help kids to self-soothe, relax, and sleep more restfully.
- Reduced fearfulness – Similar to the way a lovey can help with coping in new circumstances or when parents aren’t around, it can also help to keep fear at bay in familiar situations. For example, kids who develop a fear of the dark can feel calmed and protected against the shadows and monsters under the bed. This can assist them in relaxing on their own instead of feeling the need to call out for Mom or Dad.
While there is no guarantee that your little one will form a lovey-level bond with a toy just because you hope he or she will, there are certain types of items that are more likely to become loveys than others. These are usually very soft – possibly with more than one fabric texture but without any hard parts such as plastic eyes or buttons – as well as being washable (to avoid having to throw it away if it becomes heavily soiled) and huggable. Ideally, it should be replaceable, too, just in case.