For many babies and toddlers, the security blanket or "blankie" is an essential part of childhood. This cuddly and much-loved item has also saved many a parent from sleepless nights or stress-filled outings.
There is something very endearing about seeing a small child or baby clutching their blankie. The image is not only cute, but it brings to mind snuggly, sleepy children and a peaceful break for a tired mum.
During a child's early years, the security blanket almost seems to be part of the family. Packing the nappy bag for an outing? Into the bag must go the snacks, water, baby rattle, bib, nappies, wet wipes.... and blankie!
Personifying their blankie increases a child’s attachment to it. With a name and personality, the blankie becomes as real as any of their friends. A little person asking for “Dashie” or “Banjo” so that they can take a nap is one of the sweetest things you can hear.
A security blanket is a comforter for the child and an assurance to the parents that, once the blanket is in hand, their baby will soon be napping. Here, we look at how to introduce a blanket to your baby.
Why is a Security Blanket so Popular with babies?
All babies start to experience separation anxiety when they reach approximately seven months of age. This is a natural part of the baby's development. Separation anxiety can also affect night time sleeps, causing your baby to wake up and call for you.
If you introduce a security blanket to your little one at around three months old, they will to form an attachment to something other than you to provide them with comfort. The blanket becomes an attachment object, an item familiar and comforting which can help the baby fall back to sleep or feel safe.
The blankie is a soft, warm, and cuddly item which smells familiar and feels nice against your baby's skin. It is also something they can become very used to regardless of where they sleep. It can make any unfamiliar place feel more like home.
Young babies are often moved around a lot. Having something familiar and comforting, such as a blanket, with them helps the infant feel more at ease regardless of where they are.
Choosing a Good Blanket
If you have decided that you would like to offer your child the security of a blankie of their own the next step is to find a blanket to serve the purpose.
Key points to remember are:
The sense of touch is very important when choosing a blanket. The blanket should feel cuddly, soft and smooth. The best fabric that meets these criteria is cotton. Consider choosing a blankie made from organic cotton that is free from chemical pesticides, which is better for both baby and the earth.
Your baby's blanket will often be close to their face. They will be breathing with their nose and mouth held very close to the fabric. Ensure you choose a blanket that has not been treated with harsh chemicals during processing and look for prints made with water-based inks.
Buy A Backup
If your baby has become extremely attached to their blankie and cannot sleep without it, what will you do if the item needs to be washed or is lost? It pays to choose a blanket which can be replaced or for which you have a back-up.
Many would certainly recommend purchasing two identical items. Having two identical security blankets offers you and your baby a great deal of peace of mind. Plus, if the blanket becomes old or torn, then there is no need to resort to McGyver-like methods in order to keep the blankie in sleep-able condition.
Once you have decided on the right security blanket, it is time to introduce the item to the child.
Introducing the Blanket
When the baby is around three months of age, you can begin to introduce the blanket. Under the Red Nose (formerly SIDS) guidelines, soft toys such as baby blankets should not be placed in the cot until the baby is seven months of age. Instead, each time you comfort your baby ensure you have the blanket over your shoulder, or cuddled with baby in your arms. The baby will gradually begin to associate the smell and feel of the blanket with the comfort that you provide.
Make sure that you also offer the blanket during cuddle times that are not associated with hunger, fear, or pain. It's important that, when you introduce the blanket, the baby be in a comfortable, happy place and mood.
The blanket should be part of everything that the parent is able to offer the child.
Soon you will discover that the baby will be soothed when you place the blanket into the bed beside them. The blanket will provide security to the child when you are not with them and become a loved bedtime buddy. It can also be very useful during car trips, sleepovers, and outings. Especially if you have multiple children, anything to help keep a baby quiet is helpful!
You will find that if you need to leave your baby with a sitter, or if you have to place the infant down to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, they will most likely settle more easily if they have their blanket along with them. Their cuddle blanket will become a trusted friend.
Beautiful Security Blanket Options
Kippins offer a range of beautiful and organic blanket options for your baby. Their cotton range is soft and gentle and the fabric is breathable. The water-based inks do not contain harsh chemicals and are not harmful to your child.
Only the gentlest and most earth-friendly methods are used to harvest the cotton for the Kippins range. Their products are made with the utmost love and care from the farm to the store.
When only the best will do, browse Kippins' lovely range of baby products and choose the right security blanket for your precious baby