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Security and Comfort Objects

Parenting Tips

By

Updated December 13, 2004

It can be a blanket, a stuffed toy or a silky rag. In any form, it offers your baby comfort and security. It is a substitute you—faithful, loving and accepting.

Security comfort objects are sometimes called loveys, blankeys or other made-up names. Usually babies between nine and 12 months choose their loveys. Once chosen, the lovey may be a part of the family for years to come.

Loveys are not a sign of weakness. Instead, they help your baby learn about being apart from you. With a lovey, your baby can control her own comfort. It can help her find comfort anywhere, even if you aren't there. It will help her go to sleep when she's tired. It will reassure her when she's away from you. It will comfort her when she's scared or upset. It will help her remember the security of home when she's in a strange place.

Think of a lovey as a symbol for you. It allows your baby to think, "I can't have my mommy or daddy right now. I have this instead. It reminds me of my mommy and daddy. It helps me remember that they love and care for me."

Use these tips:

  • Encourage your baby to choose a lovey. Offer the same object whenever she is upset or needs comfort.
  • Develop a bedtime ritual. Remember to include the lovey. For example, say "Let's get Binkey. It's time for bed now."
  • Don't hide or deny the use of a lovey. Never use it as a reward or punishment.
  • Show your baby where to keep the lovey when it's not being used.
These tips were reproduced from the U.S. Department of Education.

View more Infant Parenting Tips.

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