What do comforters, tetra nappies, soft blankets and plush toys have in common? Babies love them! Do you know why? Because they remind them of their mum's warm arms, loving shelter and warmth. It sounds logical enough, but there is also some scientific research and expertise behind it. Let us take you through 5 reasons why cuddly toys for babies are so important.
1. Transitional subject
A comforter or a soft blanket is usually the first thing babies put in their mouths (apart from a pacifier). It is an association with feeding and the comfort that the mother otherwise gives the baby. Even when Mama is not around, the baby transfers the comfort to the soother, and Mama is still accessible in this way. This 'transitional object', as psychologists term it, is a link between the inner and outer worlds and has an important emotional value for babies. It also plays an important role in the separation from the home environment or a person. Most toddlers have a favourite object throughout their pre-school years, which they carry with them long after they have been introduced to kindergarten and had fallen asleep on their own.
2. Feeling safe
One of the primary needs of newborn babies is to feel secure. It has been shown that babies feel and progress much better when they have the shelter of Mum (and later, of course, Dad) to turn to. If Mum puts a comforter on her breast while she feeds and puts her baby to sleep, the baby gradually becomes attached to it. The baby's carrier thus becomes a kind of "extension" of the mother's shelter, staying with the baby even when the mother moves away. Even when mum is not around, the baby is reminded of her, her smell and her warmth, thus providing a sense of security.
3. Pleasant material
The comforters are made of soft and cuddly fabric that caresses baby like mum's soft palm. Minimellows comforters are known for their extraordinary softness, because they are made from the best materials. They are made of a special plush that is extremely durable and breathable. It also has the advantage that the comforter feels like new even after more than 30 washes and tumble dryings. Another interesting fact: the material is tested in the UK to strict standards suitable for babies.
4. A child's first friend
The comforter is baby's first friend and as such is very important in the development of a healthy and happy personality. Babies wants to have them by their side in new or stressful situations, as they provide emotional support and reminds them of familiarity and warmth. No wonder toddlers want to take them with them to nursery, to grandparents, to the doctor or on a trip. It is also easier for them to calm down in new situations and find comfort in their familiar comforter. Comforters are often a child's friend from the earliest age, then when they enter kindergarten and right up to school age.
Minimellows comforters are also designed with children's earliest development in mind. Paulina the Cow and Lina the Panda with their black and white pattern encourage the development of vision, as babies can only see in black and white for the first 6 weeks. Aiko the Bunny and Malmo the Deer encourage the development of senses with their bouncy structure. And then there's Pablo the Bear, who develops imagination - when you stroke him, his fur turns a slightly different silver colour in the opposite direction.
5. Sleeping association
As a young parent, you have probably heard of sleep associations. These are certain objects or habits that help your baby get used to a sleep routine. In simple terms - they tell your baby that sleep is now on the agenda. This includes tasks done just before bedtime (darkening the room, reading a story, snoozing, breastfeeding), as well as objects such as a sleep sack and a comforter. All these items calm the baby down, as they are used to them and know them. So here lies the magic formula that many mothers unknowingly discover and are delighted to find, that their baby is suddenly able to fall asleep on their own. It's true, with good habits and a soft comforter, it's possible!
So, now you know. And when you're choosing your baby's comforter, don't forget soft, baby-safe materials and the right size and shape for the baby to cuddle and snuggle with.
And here's a tip from experienced parents: consider buying an identical spare. This will quickly prevent the end of the world if the identical one is accidentally damaged or lost. How little it sometimes takes to save a child's world, right?
*The photos in today's post are from the personal archives of Minimellows and mum Katra Špacapan.