It doesn’t take long for babies to choose and become attached to particular items. Parents may begin to notice even at the earliest ages that baby sleeps better when wrapped or covered with a particular blanket. From the time they can make their preferences known at all, which tends to be earlier than you would think, babies show preferences for particular toys, especially when they are fussy.
In that respect, they’re not much different from adults. We all take comfort in favorite activities, people, objects, and even foods. For babies and toddlers, it’s a bit more noticeable because they tend to need their favorite items at key points like bed time. But that doesn’t change the fact that the overwhelming majority of us look to certain things for comfort. Choosing comfort items is a very natural and human thing, and not something that should be discouraged.
For a baby, security items often give them a sense of familiarity. They often associate the item with home, or with their parents. They may especially desire their favorite blanket or toy when they are in new places. Everything is new to a baby, and usually they face the world with a sense of wonder, but sometimes, especially when they’re tired, secure and familiar is preferable to new and exciting.
Some parents are concerned that if they don’t wean their child off of security items, the child will never outgrow them. On some level it may seem like this is true. A teenager may still like a favorite teddy bear (though he’s unlikely to admit it publicly) or a child may keep a security blanket until there isn’t much of a blanket to keep. Eventually, though, nearly all kids will outgrow the need for the security items that kept them feeling safe when they were babies.
So, don’t hesitate to let your little one enjoy the comfort that her security blanket gives her. If he doesn’t want to go to sleep without a favorite stuffed rabbit, let him have it without worry that it will affect him long term. When they’re ready, they’ll grow out of it on their own. Chances are, it’ll be sooner than you think, and the old security items will be nothing more than a pleasant memory.