Despite the potential drawbacks of using a baby security blanket, they are largely considered to be positive additions to a baby’s life and can help soothe a child as needed.
Different Types of Baby Security Blanket
While your baby may grow attached to any blanket in his or her crib, there are two main types of security blankets: soft blankets and soft blankets that include a stuffed animal attached to the blanket. The primary difference between a security blanket and a different type of baby blanket, like a swaddling or receiving blanket, is that a security blanket tends to be small enough for a child to take on the go.
The blankets that have animals as a part of them serve a dual purpose as a toy, or source of entertainment. They can help a baby keep occupied in a crib or stroller, and may serve as a puppet or prop to play with between child and parent. Still, the child will choose which type of blanket they love best, so it may be best to introduce both types of blankets and see which one is preferred.
Materials and Construction
Security blankets can be made with a variety of materials. Cotton, chenille, and velour are some of the most popular fabrics used in security blankets because they are soft to the touch.
While chenille and velour may be some of the softest fabrics available, they often have include rayon and polyester. Synthetic fibers may trigger sensitive baby skin. A 100 percent organic cotton product may be better from some children. However, fabrics that include synthetic materials may also hold up to multiple washings and keep their shape and color better than all-cotton varieties.
Some security blankets also have multiple fabrics and tabs sewn into them. Babies are tactile and learn about their worlds around them through touch. Blankets that offer different types of surfaces can offer different sensations and experiences for your baby.
Finding the Right Baby Security Blanket
Choosing the right security blanket for your baby can depend on a few different factors. For instance, different types of blankets address different milestones in child development. Some security blankets come attached to toys. Other blankets may be more aesthetically pleasing as a part of your baby room decor. Other security blankets are made with sustainable, organic methods and fabrics. Some key factors to consider are:
- Child development: Different features on blankets may appeal to different phases in a baby’s development. Some blankets are made with tags attached to them that appeal to a baby that is younger than 12 months. A toddler may be less interested in tags, but prefer a toy.
- Aesthetics: While a parent cannot fully control which type of blanket the child attaches to, some security blankets are constructed with adult aesthetics in mind. Others hope to appeal to a child only. Offer different blankets options and see which ones your child attaches to.
- Toxicity: Many security blankets are made with manmade materials, as they can be incredibly soft but could irritate some children.
Baby Security Blanket Care and Maintenance
Baby security blankets need to be incredibly soft, yet must withstand quite a bit of washing. Most baby security blankets are machine washable in cold water, but cannot be machine dried.
It is advisable to use gentle detergents when cleaning your child’s security blanket. Many detergents are dye-free, or are created especially for children. Look for fabric softener options that are equally gentle for children’s skin.
As your child may grow attached to his or her security blanket, the process of washing the blanket may cause upset in a daily routine. It’s advisable to buy a backup blanket to both swap in during washtime, and also relieve the wear and tear that daily use may bring.
What Else Should You Consider When Buying Baby Security Blanket?
Buying a security blanket for your child is a personal choice. Children attach to transitional objects, like security blankets, to help them develop the independence to deal with change and uncertainty. Security blankets are particularly useful for children that have to face a changing routine, such as parents that are away for extended periods, or constant trips from home.
When buying a security blanket, consider the fact that the blanket is going to be a member of your family for some time. Your child will use the object to comfort his or herself for months, or even years. It’s important that the blanket fits in with your beliefs and priorities, makes your child feel safe, and that it can be washed and withstand the test of time.