6 Things You Need to Know About Security Blankets
Whether you want it to happen or not, your baby will probably choose a security item at some point in their first year. Here’s what you need to know about them.
1. What is a security blanket?
A lovey, woobie, security blanket, transitional or comfort object is just an item that provides psychological comfort. It helps to give a sense of security and safety, especially in unusual or unique situations. They help make the transition from the familiar to the unfamiliar easier.
2. They aren’t just for nighttime.
Nighttime is a scary place for little kids. Fear of the dark affects upwards of 73% of children aged 4 – 12. Having a familiar object associated with safety and security can help ease the transition into bedtime. But that’s not the only way a security blanket can help. They also can help children be more comfortable when faced with meeting strangers or a new and unfamiliar location or situation. It can also provide a bridge to Mom when you aren’t around, and make leaving them with a babysitter that much easier.
3. They aren’t just for children.
It’s more common than you’d think for adults to carry their love and need for comfort objects beyond childhood. Even if it’s not entirely socially acceptable to admit sleeping with a stuffed animal, or tucking away the last bit of a childhood blanket in your purse during doctor’s visits plenty of us do just that.
4. You can influence what your child chooses as a security blanket.
If you don’t want your child to accidentally end up forming a deep attachment to the scary clown toy Aunt Elmira gave him, you can gently encourage him to bond with an object you choose. You’ll need to do it before he’s 6 months old. To learn how, read the blog post I wrote on How to Introduce a Security Blanket.
5. Backups only work if you rotate them regularly.
If you want to keep a second security blanket in reserve in case your child’s gets lost or damaged, you need to rotate them regularly. Otherwise when you find yourself in the situation of needing to give them the backup, they’ll know it’s a fake immediately. The two should be used as equally as possible to avoid this, so switch them out every week or so to ensure they look, feel, and smell as identical as possible.
6. You don’t have to fight your child to have them give it up.
Unlike pacifiers, security blankets cause no emotional or physical harm so it’s perfectly okay to let your child grow out of the need for it on their own.
And One Bonus: the best security blanket?
A Bewhiskered Ruggle, of course. ;)
I’ve heard of kids latching onto one of their Dad’s old fraternity shirts, one of Mom’s slips, a nondescript plastic dinosaur, and a silk dress sock. What’s the wackiest or most embarrassing thing you’ve seen or heard of with which a child developed a security attachment? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!