Introducing & using a comforter

What is a comforter or blankie?

A small blanket or soft toy specifically designed to be used for settling babies and providing comfort.

"A cuddly stays with your baby like a piece of parental love." Penelope Leach.

Why use a comforter?

They can be a very useful sleep association, which tells your baby it is sleep time. Babies can easily find a blankie and use it to resettle themselves during the night...therefore helping your child sleep through the night.

A comfort blankie can really help settle your baby or toddler both at bedtime and other times when she is upset. During sickness, the arrival of a new sibling, times away from home and in child-care are extra useful times for your little one to have a comfort item.


As babies go through phases of separation anxiety (usually around 9-12 months and again at about 2 years), having a comforter can be especially helpful.

If you are starting sleep training with babies over 6 months, we highly recommend you include the introduction of a comforter in your plan. It will make the sleep training much easier, particularly if you are weaning your baby off a strong sleep association such as feeding, cuddling or rocking to sleep.


When can I introduce a comforter?

This really depends on what you choose as a comforter.

Any item introduced before 6 months of age must be made from a breathable fabric, such as the Cuski or made from muslin.

If using a comforter under 6 months of age, we recommend attaching it to your baby's swaddle or sleeping bag with a safety-lock safety pin, so it can't get up over their face.

If you are introducing one after that time, then any small, breathable comforter should be fine provided it has no loose stitching or any small pieces that can become unattached.

What to choose:

You may want to choose something you like for your baby's comforter, as it may be around for a while.

Here are a few tips:

  • Choose breathable fabric if possible, such as cotton, muslin or bamboo.
  • See if your baby is interested in satin tags, as our Taggies are good for that.
  • Choose something that you can get a spare of later or buy 2 at the same time.
  • Machine washable, as the comforter will get sucked and dribbled on!
  • Small is a good idea, so they can be easily handled by little hands.
  • With toddlers you may prefer more of a toy, such as a snuggly soft bear or bunny. Your toddler may want to choose their own.

Our recommendation:

We highly recommend the wonderful Cuski range - these are made from breathable fabric and are in a very easy to manage shape.

Babies almost without fail become very attached to their Cuski!

"I had read that it was quite important to have a comforter in the cot, something he could snuggle with that smelt of Mummy, so when I saw the Cuski I thought 'perfect'. Well, he ADORES it (we have 2 now of course!) It is the first thing he grabs when he is put in his cot and he loves holding it and chatting away to it before and after his sleep." Cherie Martin

Check out Cuski and Cuskiboo (made from bamboo)

Introducing a Comforter:

Here are a few ideas for getting your baby attached to their new friend:

  • Start by putting the comforter between you and your baby during feeding. Let your baby hold it while feeding, as they will be relaxed and cuddled up to you.
  • Pop the comforter up your top for a few hours or overnight, to get your scent onto it.
  • If your baby has been swaddled, you can start leaving one arm out of the swaddle and put the comforter in reach.
  • Tuck the comforter in with your baby.

Facebook Live Guide to Comforters & Blankies


Lulla Dolls - Are They a Good Comforter?

Lulla is a soft doll, small enough for babies or toddler to cuddle. She contains a small sound box that plays a recorded deep breathing sound for up to 8 hours. Typically the dolls batteries last about a week on normal use before needing to be replaced, good quality rechargeable batteries can also be used. 

Lulla uses two well-known forms of sleep association, both of which can help babies fall asleep and resettle during the night. These are white noise and use of a sleep comforter. 

Lulla Doll has been quite a phenomenon in New Zealand in recent times, and we have had an increasing number of questions about her. We are delighted to stock Lulla at The Sleep Store, and have had a great deal of good feedback about how babies and toddlers have responded to their new sleep companion, Lulla.   

Will Lulla help your baby or toddler sleep better? The reviews of Lulla have been good overall, or we would not be selling it! Many families have reported that Lulla has made a difference both to settling and improved sleeping overnight. However, there are also families who have bought Lulla and found no difference in their child’s sleep as a result of introducing Lulla.

Lulla uses white noise for soothing, along with the soft doll as a comfort item to cuddle. Both white noise and comforters are well known to help children sleep better and are two of the things we frequently recommend as part of our sleep advice and article.

BUT we are not suggesting that Lulla is a magic bullet that will miraculously improve sleep just by adding the doll to your child’s bed!  Lulla will work most effectively when you are also addressing factors leading to night waking or poor settling skills, including teaching your baby to fall asleep without help.

Some parents chose to purchase a comforter, like a Cuski or Kippins and white noise machine separately instead of opting for a Lulla. A Marpac Hushh, for example, has a built-in rechargeable battery and is a more versatile device for using as white noise and a Cuski comforter is made with a breathable fabric and is more affordable than a Lulla to replace if it gets lost or to get a second one as a backup, for occasions when one is in the wash or left a daycare.

So yes we do think that Lulla will be a very useful addition to a sleep plan or to your bedtime routine but it is certainly not guaranteed to improve sleep if this is all you change and there are other options that may be more suited to your needs!



Mentioned Products:

Fabby Original Cuski Comforter Cuski is a calming, safe and a healthy alternative to other infant comforters or sleeping aids. Suitable from birth Cuski has all the qualities a child looks for in a comforter, softness, sheer lovability and of a course a label to twiddle but unlike a traditional blanket it can be easily replaced if lost or damaged. Babies love Cuski, and most babies attach to a Cuski quickly and find it a helpful self settling tool. Cuski is a truly amazing comforter and it is always best to have 2 during the early days especially if planning to breast feed, one with baby one with mummy and keep swapping… It is machine washable, can be tumbled dried and retains its comforting softness, wash after wash. Cuski® is the anglised Welsh term for ’sleep’, and was created to bring comfort to babies and toddlers all over the world. Fabric: Super soft terry cotton (80% cotton & 20% polyester), with cotton filling in the head. The small polyester component helps Cuski stay soft & retain its colour, even after years of cuddling and washing. Directions for use: Keep Cuski close to you, either inside your clothing or next to you in bed for a few days; it will absorb all those comforting mummy/daddy scents, then introduce to baby to create a naturally safe comforting environment. Cuski helps to soothe and reassure your baby whilst giving you some well deserved mummy/daddy time! Use for all sleep times, through the night and any time your baby or toddler needs some extra comforting. Ideal for use with children attending childcare! Safety: Cuskis are used in the neonatal and SCBU in the UK and safety tests have recommended Cuski from birth onwards. Cuskis are made in a breathable fab
36.95 The Sleep Store New Out of stock


Ears Boxed GREY Bunny Comforter A gorgeous organic comforter that is plush and super soft, it’s a blanky, plush toy and dummy clip all rolled into one - place a dummy in the Velcro paw for safe keeping.Made from 100% organic certified cotton velour with corn starch filling, the eyes, nose and paws are hand stitched.Features:Allows Baby to manoeuver pacifiers at an early ageMakes finding baby’s pacifier a snapHuggable design is comforting for little hands to holdPacifier removes for replacement & sanitationComes in a lovely gift box with card, making it the perfect giftUse with pacifiers that have a ring handle.30cm Long.About Us:Maud N Lil is an Australian based design company which has been specialising in certified organic cotton as a resource since 1993. The business operates as a partnership owned and run by Manda Epton and Vicki Hilcke. Manda obtained a BA (Hons) Design degree in fashion and textiles from Ravensbourne College, London in 1991. She became interested in textile/ environmental issues whilst completing her degree and is the founding member of the business. Vicki is a fully qualified patternmaker with extensive retail and production experience in the UK and Australian fashion industries. She also managed and co-ordinated a PR consultancy firm before becoming a partner in the business. The focus on organic cotton evolved as the pair realised the influence and damage of this important and versatile crop. They believe there isa very real need to provide well designed products made from sustainable textiles as a market option both locally in Australia and internationally. During the early nineties the business supplied Greenpeace, Australia with merchandise for their mail order catalogue which led to a natural progression to other cause marketing clients including WWF
39.90 The Sleep Store New Out of stock

Maud N Lil

Grey Big Bunny Sleepy Tot Comforter Sleepytot’s award winning baby comforters have little velcro paws which can hold onto dummies, soothers or teethers.The Millpond Child Sleep Clinic (UK) recommend Sleepy Tot comforters as a way of helping little ones find their dummies easily at night and return to sleep without fully waking.What’s so special about the Sleepytot Baby Comforter?Sleepytot has little velcro paws that hold things like dummies and teethers to comfort and soothe your baby. He can hang onto cot bars, so he can comfort baby safely and soundly, right from birth! He’s a perfect pillow for little heads on hard surfaces like changing tables and supermarket trolleys! He can hold dummies which helps everyone sleep because they don’t get lost at night anymore! He can grab onto baby’s car seat or buggy strap when you’re out and about so he never gets lost! He makes it easier for babies and toddlers to give up their dummies! Even toddlers love him because there are so many ways to play with his paws.Simply open the paws and attach a soother or teether and close the paws again!Fully machine washable at 30 degrees.Perfect for older babies and toddlers.Approx size: w22cm by h25cm Colour: cream.Colour: cream
39.95 The Sleep Store New Out of stock