When my son Miles was an infant, there was a period when we were frequently awoken by cries coming from the nursery. My husband and I instantly knew what the problem was: He'd lost his paci. As we negotiated whose turn it was to go and find it for him for the fifth time one night, I vowed to find a better solution to this increasingly frequent issue. We first tried the WubbaNub, a popular stuffed animal-style pacifier holder. Having the pacifier attached to something larger like a small stuffed animal would surely help him find it in the crib without our help and prevent it from falling out of the crib as often as it was now.
Unfortunately, Miles didn't take to it like I'd hoped. He didn't care for the style of pacifier it comes with, and the small stuffed animal didn't seem to appeal to him, either. So I looked for an alternative that would allow any pacifier to attach to itself — and boy, did I find a good one! The Chicco Pocket Buddies Soft Pacifier Holder-Lovey ($10) was the perfect solution to our problem. It worked so well with my son that I ordered one for my daughter before she was even born — and she loves it, too. Here's why they're a staple for my kids.
- It allows any pacifier with a handle to be attached to it.
This was a critical feature for us because Miles had a preferred pacifier style. We absolutely needed a lovey that would hold his favorite paci, which was the Philips AVENT Freeflow. My daughter was a little more flexible when it came to pacifier styles, but the ones we got her all had handles that could be attached to her Pocket Buddy.
- It contains, not one, but two locations where you can attach a pacifier.
This lovey has two different spots where a pacifier handle can be Velcroed on — one on the animal's arm and one on its tail, which can be tucked into its front pocket to keep it clean if you are taking this on the go. This was just icing on the cake, really. We didn't need a second location for another pacifier, and my kids were happy to use the pacifier in either location. It did come in handy, however, when the Velcro began to wear in one location . . . we had the other to swap to!
- It's design is perfect for fidgeting.
Its longer, flat design makes it the perfect size to reach baby's hands for fidgeting purposes. Both of my babies loved fidgeting with this lovey as they tried to fall asleep — and they still do as toddlers. It offers something for them to manipulate with their hands and also look at, which of course babies love. It's a wonderful sleep training tool, as well, offering a comforting object in your absence.
Amazon currently offers four different styles of animal buddies including an elephant, rabbit, blue bear, and fox. They're truly adorable (and fit a variety of nursery themes). We kept ours in the crib only, but if you want to use them on the go you could even buy a couple of different animals: one for the crib and one for the diaper bag.
- They're inexpensive.
It's truly a steal in return for much better sleep. My babies rarely lost their pacifiers once they started using these, and if they did, they were able to find them themselves inside the crib. My 14-month-old still sleeps with a pacifier every night and nap, and we have to retrieve her pacifier for her less than once a month. Amazon is currently selling these from between $10 and $12, depending on the style. I suggest buying at least two because they do become worn from such frequent use, and you'll want to have a backup on hand if the Velcro loses its strength or the lovey starts to appear more tattered than you'd like.
- It helps when it comes time to wean your child from the pacifier.
We weaned by son from his pacifier when he was 2 and a half, but he still sleeps with his Chicco Pocket Buddies elephant every night. It made the process so much smoother by having the lovey already established as a comfort object. We simply started cutting off the tip of the pacifier little by little until he stopped using it, and after a couple of weeks removed it altogether.
It's important to note that the AAP advises against placing any soft objects in the crib before 12 months. I personally felt comfortable offering this lovey to my babies once they could roll over and sit up, but for optimal safety you should wait until 12 months to introduce this lovey during unsupervised sleep times. But know once you give your baby the Chicco Pocket Buddies Soft Pacifier Holder-Lovey, you're probably never getting it back – it's that good.