Did you have a blankie or security blanket while growing up? Chances are that you did, that you gave it a name and can remember the feeling that it gave you when cuddling it. Well, it is just the same for our kids today. A security blanket is beneficial to a child’s development in that it plays a role as a transitional object. This is an object that the child bonds with, and one that brings them comfort.
Things were all good until around the 1970s when suddenly child psychologists claimed that security blankets were a sign of a mother’s failure. In some way, it was thought she did not do a good enough job of helping her child feel secure and confident. They then were thought to have turned to develop an attachment with an item to ‘make up for it.’
Thankfully, the true experts stepped forward and completed research which showed that blankies were beneficial. The study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2000 demonstrated that a child who had a security blanket present during a doctor’s appointment was less distressed. They had a lower heart rate and blood pressure, and I can imagine, were not scared or crying.
The next question is then, what makes a particular object so important to a child?
Essentialism and the Popular Security Blanket
Essentialism is the idea that an object is more than just something you can use. It has special ‘powers’ or conveys emotions. It is said that a child developed an attachment to a specific blankie or soft toy. A 2007 study showed the study group of kids didn’t want to swap their special toy for one that looked the same – they just wanted their original. The emotional connection between the child and their object was so strong, along with their feelings of attachment, that an identical copy of their toy was an unacceptable substitute.
Or in plain and simple terms, a cuddly blankie makes a child feel good. I remember how my blankie made me feel secure, loved and safe. Because of that, a security blanket or cuddly toy makes a great baby gift because you literally are giving the gift of happiness. We have many wonderful cuddly toys for babies just waiting to bring joy to their new owner. Will you be the one who unites them?