Munchkin is a terrible sleeper. Actually, that’s not quite fair. He was a terrible sleeper. He has gotten immeasurably better over the past year.
For the first six months, he wouldn’t nap unless I was holding him in our Ergobaby carrier. I would walk in a quiet room for half an hour until he fell asleep, then sway or walk for another half hour while he slept. And we’d repeat this four times a day.
He sleeps in his crib now, or if that fails, in his swing. Overall we’re much more rested. But I’m still up with him two or three times a night, and not always because he’s hungry. He’s never sucked his thumb or a pacifier (his choice, not mine), so he doesn’t have an easy way to self-soothe. After one particularly bad night of being up every hour and a half, I decided I needed to get him hooked on a lovey.
I thought about using a small stuffed animal, but I wanted something I could tether into his swing or car seat for when he’s not in his crib. I also wanted a blanket that he could hold and snuggle but that wouldn’t be big enough to block his airways. So I knit this mini lovey prototype. It’s small and quick to knit, so it’s easy to make more than one in case one gets lost.
Now, I’ll admit before I even give you the pattern that the jury’s still out on whether he likes them. He’s in the throw-toys-out-of-the-crib-to-watch-them-fall phase, and the lovey goes out just like anything else. I’m still waking up three times a night. But we’re trying.
What you need:
- Baby yarn – I used Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly
- A set of 4 double pointed needles (dpn), size 5
- Polyfill stuffing
Gauge: 6 sts per inch
(With this pattern, gauge doesn’t matter a whole lot — you could substitute needles/yarn sizes easily with this pattern, just know that if you use larger needles, you’ll get a larger lovey. The blanket part of my version is about 3″ square.)
Skills you need:
Cast on 5 sts. Knit this section flat on 2 dpn:
K1, k1fb, k to end. Repeat this row until there are 29 sts.
Knit 2 rows straight across.
K1, k2tog, k to end. Repeat this row until there are 7 sts left.
Next row: k1, k1fb in each of next 5 sts, k1. You should have 12 sts now. (In these next photos I used larger needles and thicker yarn to try to get clearer shots of what I did.)
You’ll need a third needle now. (The two empty needles will be Needles 1 and 2.)
Slip 1 st onto the first needle (Needle 1) and hold it in back of your work.
Slip 1 st onto the second needle (Needle 2) and hold it in front of your work.
Slip next st onto Needle 1; keep holding it in back.
Slip next st onto Needle 2; keep holding it in front.
Continue to slip alternating sts onto Needles 1 and 2, holding 1 behind and 2 in front.
You’ll end with 6 sts on each needle. (The needle that was originally holding your 12 sts is now empty.)
Knit across sts on Needle 2. Turn and knit across Needle 1.
Now knit 4 sts on Needle 2. Using the 4th needle, knit the last 2 sts on Needle 2 and first 2 sts on Needle 1. Using the remaining free needle, knit the last 4 sts from Needle 1. You should now have 4 sts on each of 3 needles and 1 needle free.
Continue to knit in the round until tube measures 6”. Stuff with polyfill. (It’s easier to stuff a couple of times as you go. Don’t overfill it or it won’t bend as well.)
Bind off. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Sew the tube shut flat, then sew the end to where the tube meets the blanket. Sew ends under.
You can tether the lovey to a car seat or swing harness using a pacifier clip, which is how I did it at first. I also crocheted a tether with a loop at one end to go through the stuffed loop of the lovey and a loop with a button at the other end to attach to the straps.
I’m not great with crochet patterns, but if I can figure out how to write it up, I’ll post it.
Hope your little ones enjoy these mini loveys, and that you always have restful, peaceful sleep!