Did you know there is a 'magic comforter window' - the perfect time to introduce your baby's first comforter? Introducing the right kind of sleep toy at the right time can make a huge difference to baby's sleep.
Baby Comforters are recommended by parents and sleep consultants as they have been shown to help in easing separation anxiety, allowing babies to feel comfortable and safe enough to fall asleep when their parent can't be there. A comforter also provides baby with a tactile object to physically soothe themselves to sleep independently, and can become a signal to baby that it's time to go to sleep.
We are so happy with our dusty! Our little love took to him straight away, we have dummies tied to the knots & he now sleeps through the night by finding his dummies & snuggling in! We definitely need a spare!!! - Ashlee
So...the perfect time to introduce a baby comforter is between 7 and 10 months of age. Why?
- Studies have shown that a baby first experiences Separation Anxiety between the ages of 8 and 10 months.
- Before the age of 6 months, a baby will not gain any real benefit from leaving a comforter in the cot
- Red Nose recommend that it's safe to leave comforter unattended in the cot from 7 months of age.
- We want to establish a baby controlled positive sleep association before the age of 10 months. Ideally, you want to introduce a comforter before the 8-10 months Sleep Regression.
We talk a lot about how important it is that a baby is using an age appropriate, safe sleep comforter. Bulky, 3D soft toys aren't recommended for use in the cot under the age of 12 months - which is past the age where your baby will attach to their first object.
It's why using a safe sleep comforter that resembles a blanket or cloth, rather than a 3D soft toy, is the best choice for your baby.
Busch* and colleagues found that attachment to blankets and cloths typically appears before 12 months of age, while attachment to soft toys or stuffed animals appears around 18 months or later. So while a 3D soft toy is a great choice for older babes - by this time, they're probably already attached to and/or have sleep associations with something else.
Baby younger than 7 months? It's never too early to start a Sleep Ritual using your baby's comforter. This articleprovides some great tips on establishing these Sleep Rituals, and the tools to help you get there.
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* Busch, F., Nagera, H., McKnight, J. & Pezzarossi, G. (1974). Primary transitional objects. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry , 12(2), 193-214.