The answer to the question of what is a security blanket is that it’s an item that provides a sense of relief for children. Perhaps it’s your child’s favourite baby blanket that they get accustomed to it. It’s the blanket that your child holds close to when they feel anxious or overwhelmed.
But aren’t kids supposed to skip the use of blankets at a young age? We will talk about the best time to introduce a security blanket and potential drawbacks. Overall, this article contains everything parents must know about security blankets.
What Is A Security Blanket: Everything You Need To Know
A security blanket is a type of comfort object in the form of a blanket. Most children opt to find comfort in a blanket than a stuffed animal and consider it an essential part of their childhood. They often sleep with it and bring the blanket everywhere they go because of the peace it provides.
It’s not surprising if your child names his/her favourite blanket, and having it around will ensure a good sleep. But why do children treasure their security blankets? It’s worth noting that your child eventually develops separation anxiety as they grow.
Having a blanket in their nighttime routine provides them comfort, hence the attachment. It’s a great way to help children adjust to new patterns and develop independence from their parents. But can you use any blanket as a security blanket for your child?
How to find the best security blanket for your child
Generally speaking, you can use any blanket as a security blanket as long as you consider the size and material. The size shouldn’t be too big that it’s tricky to carry around and wash when needed. On the other hand, the material should feel soothing to the skin and breathable to cuddle with.
A good size for a security blanket is ten by 10 inches or 12 by 12 inches. Then, check the blanket if it’s hypoallergenic and free of any parts that your child can remove. And finally, it should be durable enough to withstand daily wear and regular cleaning, so your child can have it longer.
When Should You Introduce A Security Blanket?
You are probably familiar with the guidelines about the proper introduction of blankets for young children. To refresh your mind, you should only introduce a blanket or any other item in the sleeping area when the child is older than 12 months or preferably when he/she is 18 months.
However, your child doesn’t have to wait this long to get a security blanket. While you must not leave the blanket in the sleeping area, you can introduce the security blanket to a child at three months. You can have it over your shoulder each time you carry or cuddle your baby to help it get associated with comfort.
Are Security Blankets Bad?
Security blankets have more benefits than disadvantages, but you should also know why it can be a bad thing. You want the blanket to be a transitional object towards independence and not the opposite. It shouldn’t help the child soothe himself/herself by concealing or dismissing his/her genuine emotions at the moment.
Some parents also find it stressful when the child becomes too attached to the blanket. If it gets damaged, replaced, or lost, the child might feel too negatively. However, research has shown that the feeling of security children gets from such objects encourages them to explore more and take risks.
Should you take away a security blanket?
Studies have mentioned the benefits of having a comfort object, and it can help children feel less shy. The key to getting the advantages instead of the disadvantages is to know the right time to wean your child from his/her security blanket. First, remember not to shame or punish your child for their dependence on the blanket.
Instead, plan the time of weaning them from the blanket when no significant changes are happening. You also want to reward and praise your child when they are willing to return it. There is no definite time when you must take away the security blanket, but you must do it before the blanket becomes an issue more than something that motivates the child to be independent.
Is It Normal For Adults To Have Security Blankets?
Are you a grown-up, yet you have a security blanket? Science has shown that this is entirely normal! Don’t feel ashamed if you find comfort snuggling with a blanket. Perhaps it has a deeper meaning or story behind it that symbolizes one of your favourite times in life.
It’s normal to become attached to an inanimate object like a blanket. Remember that caring for an item and have it symbolize something is part of being human. According to scientists, this is a touch-based attachment where touching the blanket is an extension of yourself.
Blankets are more than just something to keep us warm. In this article, you have learned what is a security blanket, and it’s something that both children and adults can benefit from. It’s a blanket that you associated with the feelings of safety and happiness.
However, remember how to teach your child independence as well. And if you’re an adult who has a security blanket, feel at ease that it’s completely normal.