Toddler Sleep Solutions: Comfort Companion
Toddler comfort companions come in all shapes and sizes: Some are raggedy blankets, others much-loved teddies, and some may be as unusual as one of mommy’s T-shirts. These baby and toddler sleep companions don’t just have a place in the crib; they’re often used as a security object during all hours of the day. Read on for everything new moms should know, as well as some ideas on what bedtime toys to present your tot with to help him sleep.
Carrying around a security, or transitional, object is a completely normal part of your baby’s development, and many kids will pick out their companion between 8 and 12 months of age. Often a soft object like a blanket or pillow does the trick, your little one will use his companion to comfort and reassure himself when you’re not around. Many children can become attached to their transitional objects, which is also normal: Don’t view this as a sign your new baby is clingy or shy.
While it’s fine to let your older baby take her teddy to bed, it’s important to insist that children under 7 months leave soft toys and blankets out of the crib. They can pose a suffocation hazard, increasing your child’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Also, as your new baby may chew on his security object, it’s crucial to check it for choking hazards, such as buttons or other small pieces that could detach.
Quite the collection
You may be surprised if your tot chooses a non-cuddly companion to latch onto, but that’s normal, too. Some kids may form an attachment with their favorite board book, and insist on sleeping with it every night while others may find a toy train or car soothing. As long as you don’t think your new baby could hurt himself in his sleep, it’s fine to allow these more unusual transitional objects into bed.
Smart new moms know that keeping a replacement transitional object on hand is a must. Once your new baby chooses his security object, try to find an identical one and keep it tucked away. If your new baby ever loses it (or you decide that Teddy needs to be thrown in the washing machine), you’ll be able to whip out the new security toy before the tears start.