Think back to your childhood. Do you remember that one blanket or toy that you couldn’t part with –even just for a second? You snuggled up to it every night, used it to wipe away your tears – it was your safe place when you were afraid.
Having a safety blanket is like having your training wheels on, it helps you find comfort and safety when your parents aren’t there to hold you. However, one thing you may not have realized while you were snuggling up with your blanket is that you were actually building developmental skills that would benefit you in the future.
Recent studies conducted by the University of Bristol have shown that there are both emotional and social benefits for infants who are introduced to a security blanket at a young age.
Key Developmental Benefits:
- Helps create confidence for your baby in future social settings.
A security blanket acts as a socializing tool for infants and equips them with more confidence when interacting in social interactions down the road. Research has proven that children who were provided with comfort items at a young age are less nervous and more focused than children without them.
- Provides emotional support when weaning from breast feeding
When transitioning from the intimate bond that breast feeding creates, a security blanket allows your baby to find comfort during this emotional time. When given a comfort item, infants will often project their feelings and anxieties onto the item enabling them to cope with difficult situations.
- Allows your baby to develop their first sense of independence
A security blanket can be one of the first sources of comfort for an infant other than mom and dad. Often, infants will personify toys, blankets and other comforting items to make themselves feel like they're not alone. Having this comfort item allows your baby to feel safe and secure on their own.
The bottom line is that security blankets and comfort items alike are positive tools for growing babies. Having an object for them to talk to and interact with enhances their social skills and provides them with a sense of comfort and security when you might not be there to do so.