The baby sleep trick that will make your life more bearable

Every baby needs comfort. It’s a fact. Some babies seek you out for rocking, patting and feeding and before you know it, you’ve become your baby’s ‘comforter’.

Not ideal if you’re ever wanting to sleep again.

I'm not claiming to be Jo Frost and go all baby whisperer on you, but comforters that don’t require parental supervision will become your saviour. A little cuddle blankie has mystical soothing powers and stays with your baby like a bit of mummy love.

My first baby was a great sleeper from birth until he hit the 6-month mark and became a stage 1 clinger! He wouldn’t sleep in his own bed for longer than 40 minutes and wouldn’t leave my side. It was so exhausting! My health nurse (bless her) asked if I had considered getting him a blankie. He was never interested in a dummy so I was a little doubtful, but we gave it a go and it was the best thing we ever did.

So to all the new Mums out there, let me share what I have learnt.

A comforter or blankie is a small blanket or piece of soft material designed for soothing, settling and comforting babies. You’ll find they are highly effective when it comes to:

  • Bedtime 
  • Sickness 
  • Travelling 
  • Childcare 
  • New siblings
  • New routines 

The blankie helps with separation anxiety when you can’t be nearby (ie off getting some damn sleep) and they also help build positive bed and sleep associations which can make bedtime easier.

Babies need to be comforted to sleep. Perhaps in the routine of rocking them to sleep, but when they wake up during the night, they expect you to be there to rock them back to sleep. This is when you introduce the blankie…after the usual routine of bath, bottle, book I would then pop him
in bed with his blankie and leave him to it. He would cuddle it, talk (babble) to it and rub his face on it until he drifted off to sleep. If he woke during the night, his blankie was within arms reach to grab and self settle back to sleep.

His blankie has been with him through all the important changes, leaps and phases. That small piece of material has comforted my son at day-care, sleepovers at his grandparents house, different port-a-cots on holidays. If he had his blankie, he was happy.

When to introduce 
Around 6 months of age is a good time to introduce a comforter. Your baby is no longer swaddled and starting to roll, they have the ability to grab and hold the blankie.

My top trick is to place the comforter between you and baby when feeding. Your smell will help the attachment process and relax your little bubba. It helps them move from the safety of always being with you to the big bad world and hopefully a step towards sleeping through the night.

Make sure the blankie is safe and breathable (bamboo, muslin, cotton). Babies love to chew and suck so ensure there is nothing on the comforter like buttons, string, tassels that could cause harm. You also want to make sure there is no fur or filling.

Too much of a good thing 
No one wants to see a snotty, ratty-tat piece of material at the dinner table. You also don’t want to see your little one carting that comforter everywhere! Be firm and make sure they know that their comforter is only for bed times.

And finally… 
This may sound like a huge sales push but it works. Buy more than 1 of the same colour/fabric. I bought 3 blankies for each of our kids– one for the cot, one for daycare and another for the nappy bag. Most importantly you need to introduce them all individually so they get the same state of wear and are then interchangeable. If one gets lost (as it definitely will) your other two back ups are at the same stage. We’re down to 1 for our oldest and you can bet we’re keeping a close eye on that one…

Here at Prairie Fox we love the Kippins Cuddle Blankies. They are high quality, colourful and there is sure to be a character your baby will love.

Click here to check out our range of Kippins Cuddle Blankies

Erin Boyd

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