Most children have one; a treasured blankie, stuffed animal, binkie or bottle that is their go-to comfort item. Their lovie often is the only thing that calms and comforts them in times of crisis and helps them fall asleep. So what do you do when it’s time to take their lovie away? How do you know when it’s time?
I think the answers to these questions are individual to every child. You should consider the age of your child and if they have a physiological need for their lovie. For example, up until a certain age (around 5 months) infants have a physiological NEED to suckle. Ask your pediatrician for clarification on this. Consider the circumstances in your child’s life. It is certainly not a good time to take away their comfort item if a big change is about to happen; like the birth of a new baby, moving, starting preschool, etc. Also consider how often your child uses their lovie. If they have the binkie in their mouth all day long, you may want to reduce their use of it during the day before taking it away completely. And lastly, decide how important it is to you for them to give up their lovie. I have a friend who brought her “woobie” with her to college. No harm in that…and she felt the comforts of home by having it near.
Below are some tips, ideas and things to think about if you decide to take on the challenge:
1. Give their lovie to a baby in another family. Some children feel a sense of pride and accomlishment when they are able to give up their treasured item to a baby who doesn’t have one yet. I wouldn’t suggest giving their lovie to a baby in your own family. This may cause jealousy between your older and younger child.
2. Give the lovie to Santa or the Easter Bunny. You may be able to convince your child to leave their lovie for Santa or the Easter Bunny to take in exchange for presents.
3. If it is the bottle or binkie that you are taking away, get rid of all of them in the house. And check everywhere! You’ll be surprised where some might be hidden and how quickly your child can search them out!
4. To reduce binkie use to nap and bedtime only, keep the binkie in the crib. When you get your child up in the morning, make them drop the binkie down into their crib. And they can only have it when they are in the crib. This may help getting them down for a nap a little easier!
5. If your child insists on taking their blankie or stuffed animal to preschool with them establish the rule that is has to stay in their backpack. Remind them when they are missing home or their lovie, they can quietly go over to their backpack to peek at or quickly hug their lovie to make them feel better.
6. Have the “Binkie/Bottle Fairy” visit your house. With verbal preparation from you, this can be an exciting event. Your child can look forward to what the “Fairy” will leave for them when they leave their lovie under their pillow over night.
We hope some of these strategies help you and your child with parting with their lovie. If you have any tips that have worked for your child, please share them with us by posting a comment below 🙂