How to introduce a security blanket

Monster Ruggle

Whether you want it to happen or not, your baby will probably choose a security item at some point in their first year. The good news is that you can steer them toward something you want them to use. The bad news is that it doesn’t always work. He might choose one of your old slips or a chipmunk dog toy*, but at least you’ll have tried.

A lovey, woobie, security blanket or whatever you want to call it is just an item that comforts a baby or toddler. It helps to give them a sense of security and safety, even when you aren’t around. I’ve never heard a Mom outright object to their child having a lovey, but I guess it can be similar to the pacifier debate. Much like pacifiers, there’s little risk that your 8 year old will be dragging his woobie to school with him.

You’ll want to choose something soft and attractive to your child. For the purpose of this post I’m going to assume you’ve chosen a Ruggle. 😉 Timing isn’t critical but it is important. According to things I’ve read, attachment to a security object tends to develop around six months of age, but peaks at about eighteen to thirty months. You want to introduce the object to your child before they’re six months old, so they have time to form that attachment and before your baby finds her own. I missed the mark with my oldest son and he ended up using my hair as his security blanket. That wasn’t ideal, to say the least.

The first thing I recommend is to sleep with the Ruggle yourself for a few days. This will help get your scent into it. The next step is to feed your baby with the Ruggle in reach. You can use the Ruggle like a blanket over your baby, drape it over your shoulder so she can play with the claws, etc. Just have it there with her every time she eats. From there it’s just a matter of keeping it with her or within reach as you go about your day.

Remember that NO blanket or toy should ever be left with an unattended sleeping baby. Babies 12 months and younger are still at risk for SIDS, so be smart about this.

Hopefully, after you’ve gotten your scent on the Ruggle, introduced it to your baby during feeding time and then kept it with her while she’s awake, she’ll gravitate to it and choose it as her security item. Don’t make the mistake of giving your baby choices. It might seem like a good idea to have a backup plan in place if he rejects the first item, but it will more likely just lead to him not choosing either one.

Good luck! And remember, if your child ends up choosing one of your husband’s “I drank myself stupid” t-shirts from college* that you then have to drag around everywhere… this too shall pass.

Lion Ruggle

*Yes, these are actual examples from children I know.

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