Whatever you call it; security blankets (baby comforter) are the best sleep tool a weary mother could wish for. The basics of choosing and introducing a security blanket.
At around 7 months of age separation anxiety emerges and night time sleep can be negatively affected by your baby waking to call you back for comfort. By introducing a sleep blanket early on (soon after 3 months) you encourage your baby’s need for comfort to be transitioned from you to a blanket. Of course you are still essential when a real need such as pain arises, but when your baby wakes in the middle of the night just to be soothed back to sleep, a security blanket makes a good second best.
If better sleep is not reason enough, research has shown that babies who have soft security objects are better adjusted on temperament measures, such as happiness, attention and impulsivity than those that have no attachment object. So not only will your baby sleep better but in the long term she will be a better adjusted child.
The following principles are essential for choosing a security object for your baby:
- A good attachment object has sensory soothing qualities, such as soft fleece, smooth satin or comforting soft fabric
- Choose something small enough that the smothering risk is limited.
- Make sure it is something that is readily replaceable! Don’t use that precious limited edition bunny you found abroad.
- Examples include a soft toy, blanket, burp cloth or the unique and optimally designed Baby Sense Taglet
To help your baby attach to a security object choose one only and offer it to your baby along with your comfort. Whenever she cries from about 3 months old. If your baby is tired or over stimulated or has hurt herself, place the blanket or soft toy on your shoulder so that as your baby cuddles in to you, she receives comfort from the object too.
A security object is the best bedtime buddy system and one that is easy to manage. Make sure your baby has something comforting at night when she goes to bed.
Lehman, Elyse Brauch et al. Temperament and Self-Soothing Behavior in Children: Object Attachment, Thumbsucking, and Pacifier Use.
By Meg Faure