As babies grow, they often develop attachments to toys, blankets, or other security objects. This is normal, and nothing to be worried about. In fact, knowing that baby has a special blanket or toy that she prefers can be very helpful when it comes to setting sleep routines. Simply incorporating the favored item the process of laying her down to sleep can help cause her to see sleep as a pleasant experience to look forward to. Babies invariably develop favorite things, and they are good at letting us know, in their own way, which items they prefer.
There are several ways you can use baby’s favorite items to help him doze off. Using a soothing voice, make a point of telling him that you have his favorite blankie, or whatever you choose to call it. If you do this every time you are going to lay him down for a nap, he will soon associate you bringing the favorite blanket to him with going to sleep. Often, babies will even begin to anticipate you bringing the favorite blanket to them.
Sometimes babies also fall asleep better with a favorite toy, such as a stuffed animal. This is OK if you are rocking your baby to sleep, and attending her directly, but it’s not recommended to leave your baby asleep with a stuffed toy or doll until after she’s at least a year old because of the danger of SIDS. If you let baby fall asleep with her teddy bear, make sure to remove it from her after she falls asleep. You can then place the toy where she will be able to see it when she wakes up.
In any case, if you use baby’s favorite items to help him fall asleep, it’s best to keep it down to one or two items. It’s all too easy when trying to get baby to sleep to offer them several comfort items. But this can have the effect of stimulating him, causing him to stay awake rather than drift peacefully off to sleep. So, grab one favorite blanket, sing him his favorite lullaby, and rock him and one favorite teddy bear to sleep.