How to Introduce a Comforter

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A comforter is any transitional object, often a stuffed doll or small blanket, that provides babies and toddlers with a sense of comfort and security.

It’s often used to reinforce positive sleep association for babies and children. A comforter is also used to help babies self-soothe and serve as a coping tool when parents physically present.

So, let’s take a look at how to introduce a comforter to a child successfully as well as the pros and cons of using a comforter.

Should I Introduce a Comforter to My Baby?

Having a comforter isn’t a necessity for babies, but it can be highly beneficial when used correctly.

To begin with, comforters provide babies and toddlers with a sense of security, which can help them relax and soothe in stressful situations. Although they’re only objects, comforters can make babies and children feel safe and accompanied.

Another benefit of having a comforter is that it helps toddlers establish a routine. If they’re used to sleeping or napping with a comforter, they’re more likely to recognise that it’s time to rest when they have it. In fact, they may sleep better with their comforters.

That said, your baby’s dependence on an object for comfort can have negative consequences.

As your baby grows more attached to the comforter, they may become overly reliant on having it with them at all times. If you were to leave the comforter at home, your baby may become distraught, and it may be difficult to calm them without it.

Similarly, if the comforter becomes unusable or is lost, your baby may become distressed. The situation becomes even worse if you can’t find a replacement or your child rejects your attempts to comfort them.

4 Tips to Successfully Introduce a Comforter to a Baby

It’s normal if a child doesn’t take to a comforter right away. Consistency is essential with babies and children, as it is with most things.

Use a Safe Comforter

A comforter is going to be in close contact with your baby. Therefore, before you introduce a comforter to your little one, you should make sure that it doesn’t put him or her at any risk.

You want to get a comforter that’s made from breathable material. It’ll keep your baby cool and the comforter fresh.

Don’t go for comforters that have bean filling, plastic parts, or fur, which your baby may inadvertently inhale. You should keep the comforter as simple as possible.

In addition, you can get two of the same comforter that’s easily washable, allowing you to alternate between them without causing any discomfort to your baby.

Start at the Age of Six Months

You can introduce a comforter at the age of six months. Start by placing it in your baby’s cot when they’re falling asleep, then removing it afterwards. You can either place it in their hand or tuck it under their armpit.

Until your baby is 12 months old, you shouldn’t leave them with the comforter unattended. You can give your baby the comforter to keep overnight once it seems safe to let them sleep with it.

Sleep With It Overnight

Before giving the comforter to your baby, sleep with it or wear it underneath your shirt for a few nights. While this may seem strange at first, the goal is to make the comforter smell like you.

In reality, nothing brings your baby more comfort than you. When you attach your scent to the comforter, it’ll smell familiar, providing a sense of security and comfort to your baby.

Introduce the Comforter at Specific Times

Give your baby the comforter during feedings and wind-downs. Your child will begin to associate the comforter with either sleeping or eating.

While breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you can place the comforter between you and your baby. You can also let them hold it as they’re cuddled up to you.

Whenever it’s nap time or bedtime, bring the comforter to your baby’s cot and place it beside them.

After your child has developed a complete attachment to the comforter, you can begin placing it in new situations. Your baby can hold or cuddle it to provide them with a sense of familiarity.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, remember that relying on a comforter isn’t a life-long habit. Your child is bound to give up their security blanket eventually.

Instead of forcing them to leave it, teach them healthy coping habits so that they learn how to deal with situations that make them want to hide behind the comforter.