A lovey is an item your child has come to associate with comfort. It could be a blanket, stuffed animal, or favorite toy, all used to help transition from one developmental stage to another. There are some surprising things you're teaching a child when you give them a lovey that you might not be aware of, too, because what the lovey represents goes far beyond its physical attributes.
According to The Baby Sleep Site, the best age to introduce a lovey is at least 4 months of age, but waiting until your baby is 6- to 9-months-old is arguably a better way to go. The wait, according to the same site, is due to safety concerns. If the lovey has moving parts or pieces that could come undone, it's always better to wait until your baby is old enough to keep those things away from their mouth. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommends keeping all comfort objects, including blankets and pillows, out of the crib until your baby is at least 1-year-old, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). And while there are a number of other factors that can contribute to an unsafe sleep environment — like overheating, bed-sharing, or low birth weight — having a crowded crib can be problematic and dangerous.
Dr. Ari Brown, M.D., co-author of Baby 411, tells Today.com that giving your baby a lovey around six months is OK if the toy is "no bigger than the size of her head and has no removable eyes or buttons," adding that your baby should also be moving and rolling on his or her own first. Regardless of when you give in and let your baby have a comfort item, there's definitely some things you're teaching them, including the following: