What About the Lovey?

Hi Mamas,

My almost-4-year-old has had a special blanket (we call it her lovey) since birth. No matter how dirty or worn it gets, she asks for it whenever she’s tired or in need of comfort. My question is, how long is it OK for us to let her keep it? It seems like most children would have given it up by now, but whenever we try to “disappear it” she gets crazy upset so we need to go find it again.

When do we take it away once and for all? Thanks for all the help —


Dear Pattie,

Your little chica is one lucky girl! Kiddos who have loveys (known in the biz as transitional objects) get that extra boost of comfort and security, especially when you’re out of sight. Sometimes parents worry that it means their child is needy or insecure — not so! Whether it’s a special stuffed animal that only gets more loved with age, or a cozy blanket that goes with them everywhere, these beloved friends offer soothing like nothing else but the real thing … YOU!

We advise parents to treat loveys (a couple of the cherished ones in our house were Bankie and Teddie) the same way they treat pacifiers: At “that certain age” that’s totally up to what feels right for your family, start limiting lovey’s range. At first, start keeping lovey in the house and the car only (the exception is trips and vacations — often unfamiliar environments where lovey is needed most), then only car and bed, then only bed.

Frame it in terms something like “You are SO grown-up now that you’re going more and more places. Lovey needs to stay here and keep an eye on Baby (a special doll or toy).” Make it a mark of getting bigger and having more privileges, but let her know that lovey will always be waiting for her when she gets back.

When it comes to pacifiers, we generally recommend a final ceremony where the last ones are wrapped beautifully and “sent” to a baby who needs them. A lovey is a bit different, as it can live forever on your little girl’s bed or a nearby special spot. As she gets older it may lose some of that magical soothing power, but will always remind her of a feeling of comfort and safety.

Younger Son kept Bankie (well, actually Bankie’s meager remains that have been re-sewn time and time again) folded at the end of his bed well into high school. Even now it’s in a box of keepsakes with other cherished items. Daughter’s Teddie was a newborn gift from an old family friend and he’s been to super-exotic destinations all over the world. She still slips him into a pocket whenever she packs a suitcase.

Our wish for your little one is that she continues to adore her lovey for many years to come. A little word of warning: Never leave a hotel or far-away location without confirming that lovey is on board. Now that can be a parenting disaster.

~ The Mamas



Email This Post Email This Post

Rachel Zahn, MD is a pediatrician turned health writer who had three kids during medical school and pediatric training—crazy, huh?

Warning: Illegal string offset 'echo' in /home/mamasonc/public_html/mama/wp-content/themes/hybrid/library/extensions/custom-field-series.php on line 157

Leave a Reply




With One or Both of Us

Go to AskDrMama.com & AskMamaEllen.com for the scoop!

Phone • Internet • Your Home or Group

Listen up

Trade Ya!

Raising kids can quickly sap your energy and empty your checking account. Here’s a pearl that could change things in a flash.

Watch This!

Learning about mental illness and how to talk about it is key to good parenting and healthy living. Take a look. It's oh, so common!

What You Said

  • 33Harrison: I must say it was hard to find your page in google. You write great articles but you should rank your...
  • Lisa jacobs: My daughter was in a car accident and now has a concussion. She is plan to go to Mexico City which is a...
  • sexy dresses: I go to see each day a few sites and sites to read content, except this weblog offers quality based...
  • tap sports baseball 2016 hack: Thanks for finally talking about >Pack it! Lunch Ideas Theyre Sure to Go For...
  • RF: Well my baby had her first two bottom theeth at 10 months old and i tought so far so good and then now at 11...
  • ΠΡΟΓΝΩΣΤΙΚΑ ΟΠΑΠ: It’s remarkable designed for me to have a web page, which is beneficial for my experience....
  • sportsbooktop: Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site. You have some really good posts...
  • Kristen: Cassandra, I get these little white bubble type blisters on my hand that sometimes dont itch and sometimes...
  • discount nfl clothing: discount nfl clothing cheap nfl jerseys free shipping paypal
  • Desley Joyce Brooker: I have a rash, that began over 5 weeks ago on my chest and within days it covered by entire...

Just so you know

The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.