Security Blanket and Kids: Is there a Special Connection?

When I was younger, I have a security blanket that goes with the name “Cuy-cuy.” It was a white dog but with an elongated body, which I had until I was six years old. So yes, just imagine how it looks after all these years. Believe it or not, having a security blanket runs in the family. Even my mom, who is already on her 50-something mark, has a security blanket that has been with her since she was in grade school.

When I became a mom, I thought maybe my kids will have one as well. Surprisingly, it has been 11 months and my eldest didn’t have any inclinations with any toy, thing or even as simple as blanket. Until my aunt gave her a Winnie the Pooh stuffed toy.

It seem like there was an instant connection between the two of them that they instantly clicked right then and there. All of a sudden, A and A-Pooh (what she calls Pooh) are inseparable. Everywhere we go, Pooh is with us – and she’s turning three this December.

So I think this is a good opportunity for me to research about security blanket and the “psychology” behind it. Here’s what I found out.

Security blanket, defined. 

This was A when she was 11 months and Pooh was given to her. A-Pooh was still clean back then :)
This was A when she was 11 months and Pooh was given to her. A-Pooh was still clean back then 🙂

Merriam-Webster online dictionary defined security blanket as a familiar object, often carried by a child, as a protection against anxiety. In other words, it helps kids transition between certain situations easily. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children choose their security blankets – and has a special name on it – between eight to 12 months and hang on to it for years.

Contrary to popular belief, a child with a security blanket is NOT a sign of weakness or insecurity. My daughter has a security blanket and she doesn’t seem weak or insecure to me (yes I know, love your own. Hehe). In fact, Psychology Today even noted that kids with security blankets are more likely to adjust easier in any given stressful situation compared to those who don’t have one.

The significance of a security blanket

According to experts, security blankets offer the following on children, especially when left in an unfamiliar, unstable environment:

  • Comfort
  • Security
  • Helps them withstand fear or pain.

Aside from this, security blankets are also known as transitional objects, which means it helps kids transition from being dependent to becoming independent, from the familiar to the unknown. At the same time, kids are more affectionate and confident compared to those who don’t have one.

A often have bad dreams when she turned one. Every time I give Pooh to her, she calms down and goes back to sleep. Even when she is in an unfamiliar place, all she needs is Pooh and eventually, she will feel better. Even at night, all I have to do is to tuck her in her bed, sing a few songs and she’ll eventually fall asleep – while hugging Pooh so tight.

What the experts say about security blankets 

This is A-Pooh now, which is dirty. I'm still trying to figure out how to wash this :)
This is A-Pooh now, which is dirty. I’m still trying to figure out how to wash this 🙂

Believe it or not, having a security blanket is a sign that the child is right on track when it comes to healthy emotional development – at least in the words of the American Academy of Pediatrics. At the same time, it reminds kids of home, your smell or anything they are familiar with, making it easier for them to feel at ease. And that’s not all. Experts suggest that an attachment to any object signifies the child’s ability to form a relationship easily.

I noticed that every time we are in a new place, A holds Pooh near her mouth and nose. At first, I was worried since she seemed reserved and shy but then again, it turns out that it is her way of comforting herself, which is a good thing. I also noticed that A doesn’t have any problems making friends, although I can’t totally attribute it to her security blanket.

Tips about security blanket

Nonetheless, here are some tips I learned in dealing with a child and security blanket.

  • Never force a child to let go of it. I’m not very fond of bringing Pooh especially in public places. However, I noticed how it helped A cope with unfamiliar places, which makes it easier for her to adjust. She lets go of Pooh eventually and only asks for it when she remembers.
  • Never offer a replacement. According to experts, it teaches the child that “attachments are disposable,” which is actually the kind of message you don’t want to teach your kids. What I did was I gave my daughter another Pooh – same everything except this one is cleaner – which she uses only when she wants to.
  • Try to keep the security blanket clean as possible. Okay, I’m guilty on this one. I tried washing Pooh and A ended up agitated the whole day. What I did was to wash certain portions of it para naman mailinisan kahit paunti-unti.

My worry is that A will go to school next year and bringing Pooh with her might not be a good idea. I noticed that when we attended the preview class in Gingerbread, she had a hard time letting go of Pooh, maybe because the environment is new for her. When she was able to settle down, she forgot about Pooh and only asked for it when they took a break.

How about you mommies? Does your child have a security blanket? What did you do to let go of it? I love to hear your thoughts on this! 🙂

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  1. musingsofakikaymom

    November 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hello, mommy! My 3 year old tot has her Dora stuffed toy (given to her on her second birthday) which she brings everywhere and she can’t sleep and drink milk without it. Fortunately, I was able to convince her not to bring Dora in school because their manang guard will not let Dora in. And if she insists, we have no choice but to leave Dora outside their classroom and it might get lost. 🙂 I think need lang explain it well to A and perhaps come up with other strategies that you know will work well for her.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Hello mommy! I shall try that too since she’s going to school by next year. Ang worry ko lang is tantrums so as much as possible, I try to distract her para makalimutan niya si Pooh. Effective naman but after a while, she’ll remember it again.

  2. May De Jesus-Palacpac

    November 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Oooh I never had one growing up, I wonder why. I wonder if some of my insecurities root from not having a security blanket. :/

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Hindi naman siguro Mommy. And there’s nothing to be insecure of 🙂 We all have our good and bad moments and sometimes wish our lives are much better but that shouldn’t let us down 🙂

  3. tweenselmom

    November 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I love your post Mommy Ayi! Different kids use different methods in coping with stress, just like adults. The important thing is that they know how to deal with the situations in ways that won’t be harmful to them or to others, right? My youngest, I think her blanky is me 🙂 She’s 8 years old and she sleeps in her room but she still likes me to sleep with her. She told me she feels more comfy when I sleep with her.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Mommy! 🙂

      But I’m really hoping my daughter will get over her security blanket, in time 🙂 Oh, and such a sweet daughter. I hope my kids are like that too when they grow up. Iba parin talaga ang mommy 🙂

  4. Janice / The Roller Coaster Ride

    November 11, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Among my three kids, only the youngest has had a security blanket. It’s actually a white lampin, which he used to call “wipe”. He took it with him all the time too and it helped him fall asleep faster. But I think that he has already outgrown it now.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      How did your son outgrow it, mommy? Wala naman tantrums or iyakan blues? 🙂

  5. rozellevendil

    November 11, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Hi mommy! This post reminded me of my childhood. I used to have a security blanket too until I was in gradeschool. My 11 month old son surprisingly hasn’t chosen his security blanket yet. He has a lot of stuffed toys but he doesnt have a single favorite. Maybe, he still hasn’t found “the one” yet. Lol.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Probably 🙂 My second daughter also doesn’t have a special toy too. My eldest lang talaga is so atached with Pooh, I don’t know how she’ll be able to let it go :))

  6. Rackell

    November 11, 2014 at 5:04 am

    After reading this post, I realized that my daughter (9 months old) still don’t have any security blanket although we put lots of stuffed toys besides her, she will not do anything about it and guess what, all she wants is to hold remote control or keys. Haha.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

      At least she’s matipid mommy! My second daughter is like that too. Yun nga lang, may mga nasira na sya na remote so we don’t let her play with it na.

  7. Kat | Petite Momma

    November 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

    My son’s current security thingy is not a blanket or toy – it’s my thumb! 😀 I don’t recall having a security blanket when I was growing up, Hmmm..

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Goes to show how close he is to you, Mommy 🙂

  8. Que Sullano - Gavan

    November 11, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I had one – my pillow that I even brought it from Bacolod! But my son do not have one.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Not all kids naman daw will have a security blanket 🙂 For me, so far, only my eldest has one 🙂

  9. Audric's Mom

    November 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Naku.. for my baby.. I think it’s his Elmo! 🙂

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:21 am

      As in your baby brings Elmo anywhere? My daughter kasi ganun. Kahit saan talaga :))

  10. Shiella A

    November 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I have one – a blanket. Its so smooth that I have to rub it on my cheek. My hubby has too! and so are my kids. My daughter started out with Winnie the Pooh, then her pillow ->
    My son can’t sleep without his Lightning McQueen pillow. Naku, pamilya weaklings ata kami!

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

      No naman Mommy :0 Actually having a security blanket is not a sign of weakness or insecurity, at least according to the experts. That’s a common misconception 🙂

  11. thedreamermom

    November 13, 2014 at 12:13 am

    My daughter has none she has GDD. but thanks for sharing this post. 🙂

  12. icecreamandchocolates

    November 13, 2014 at 4:29 am

    I remember my youngest sister having her security blankie. She won’t let it go no matter what. So it hasn’t been washed for 6 months. Mom had to cut it in half. Wash the other half so she can hug the other half. But she won’t hug the washed half. And when both halves were finally washed – we didn’t know what to do coz she wants the unwashed blankies. Guess she’s looking for the old scents 🙁

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Even my sister has a security blanket, although hers is a pillow. One time, our helper washed the pillow, she got really mad – and she’s almost 20 na ata at that time 🙂

  13. Mayu

    November 14, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I have this stuffed toy that I hug on my teenage years, yes, it kept me secured and I indeed slept comfortably. My son, he just wants my mom’s hand. Hehe!

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Okay yun mommy. At least he knows you’re always there 🙂

  14. Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)

    November 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    My kids didn’t have a security blanket and I think part of that was because I was aiming for independence which meant independence from things as well. These are good tips though for kids that have a security blanket.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      It’s good you taught them the concept of independence early 🙂 Anyway, thanks 🙂

  15. Jem Alvarado (@esupermommy)

    November 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    With my children they only have those fave blankets and I think it just gives them real comfort and more relax when they sleep. Security is when they sleep with mommy 🙂 .

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      My second child is like that naman. She doesn’t have any security blankets and just the thought of sleeping beside me already relaxes her 🙂

  16. Neri Ann

    November 17, 2014 at 4:50 am

    May one twin always want to have our kumot on his face at masarap lage tulog nya kapag ginagawa nya un. He is just 9 months old. So security blanket nya na ba un?

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

      I think it depends mommy. If he can’t sleep without it or gusto nya hawak nya all the time, I think security blanket nya yun 🙂

  17. Vicky Thompson

    November 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Wala pa. My son’s only 10 months old. But after reading this interesting post, I’m now wondering if he will eventually develop an attachment to a toy or blankie :p I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m curious, when did A start using Pooh as her security blanket?

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 22, 2014 at 12:17 am

      11 months 🙂 It was so sudden nga mommy. Pooh was just given to her and right then and there, they became inseparable na :))

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