Should Baby have a Security Blanket or Other Item?

While it doesn’t always happen, babies can really become attached to a certain item. You might even notice that, from a very young age, your baby seems to be more restful or have better sleep when she’s wrapped in a specific blanket. What’s frustrating for your baby (and for you at times) is that it’s not always easy for her to show you those preferences. The same goes for specific toys that your baby enjoys, or even a certain pacifier.

In some ways, babies aren’t that much different from grown people. We all have our own favorite things and activities. Babies very often look to those security items at bedtime to help them calm down and go to sleep. It’s normal and natural for a baby to look to security and comfort items when they’re distressed, alone, or even tired.

A security item gives your baby a sense of the familiar. They can create associations with the object. It could be that your baby’s blanket makes him think of you. It could be that his favorite toy makes him think of home. Everything in the world around your little one is brand new, and sometimes it’s nice just to have a familiar object. That object provides a point of reference and stability for your baby.

One of the concerns voiced by parents about security items is that they are worried that the baby won’t ever give them up. To be sure, this can happen. There are plenty of teenagers who have a favorite stuffed animal, and more than one student has gone off to college with their favorite blankie. That being said, most children outgrow the need for the security item, and it becomes more of a nostalgic thing for them rather than a real need.

The bottom line is this: let your baby enjoy her security items, as long as they’re safe. It isn’t recommended that small infants have a blanket with them in bed, as it can increase the likelihood of SIDS. The same goes for toys. Barring those kinds of risks, it’s perfectly safe and normal to let your little one have those favorite things.