How did you decide your partner was the one? You just knew. And that’s exactly how your baby will feel about the stuffed animal, security blanket, or satin-edged lovey that becomes his one and only.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls them “transitional objects,” since they help children make the shift from being dependent on mom or dad for comfort to being able to soothe themselves (a crucial step towards sleeping through the night). Though not all babies become attached to loveys, some adore the same soft, cuddly friend from infancy through childhood.

Once your pediatrician gives you the green light to allow one in the crib (usually between 9 and 12 months), try offering your little one a lovey as part of your bedtime routine. To help foster attachment, tuck it into your T-shirt or keep it close while feeding, so it smells soothingly like mom. And when she’s sweetly snuggling with it on a regular basis, keep an extra (or two) on hand to avoid inevitable lost-lovey meltdowns.

Your baby will ultimately choose the object of her affection for herself, but these soft, lovable options are the best place to start.

 

Angel Dear Dark Monkey Blanky, $13

 

aden + anais Classic Lovey Soft Blanket Toy, $19.99

 

Wubbanub Giraffe, $14.95

 

Little Giraffe Chenille My First Baby Blanky, $38

 

Apple Park Pirate Pig Blankie, $13

 

Restoration Hardware Luxe Knit Security Blanket, $18