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Choosing a Lovie, Binky, Banky, Blankie, Doll or Security Blanket for your Baby

Updated on May 27, 2015
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Susannah Birch is a certified birth doula, journalist, and owner of Trimester Talk, a leading pregnancy website.

From birth, babies slowly develop a sense of the world around them. At first it's all new and strange, and they're happy with anything that feels secure and warm.

Before long they begin to form attachments to certain people - most often a mother figure or the person who cares for them most.

Of course this can be upsetting for both carer and child when baby needs to go with another person or simply has to sleep alone.

For this reason it's a good idea to pick a suitable security item for baby. A security item allows baby to have a familiar object always close, even when they're in unfamiliar surroundings.

Below are some tips for choosing a security item to help lower separation anxiety and sleep issues.

Tips for Choosing A Security Item

1. Size - It's important that the item you choose is an easy to handle size as well as easy to fit in a nappy bag.

2. Type - There are all different types. You could go with a blanket, a doll, a stuffed animal or anything that suits you and your baby.

3. Cleanliness - Choose something that is easy to wash and doesn't have any hard to get to places. Something you can throw in the washing machine is a safe bet.

4. Replaceable - If possible choose an item you know isn't a one off or end of line. This way, if it's lost, it's easier to get a replacement.

5. Double Trouble - Once your baby becomes attached to the item, consider buying and storing an extra one just in case, or using both in rotation so you can easily wash them.

6. Safety - It's important to have a suitable item that won't put your child at risk of suffocation or injury. Always check the label for appropriate age requirements and avoid anything with sharp or hard parts since this item will probably get held and cuddled a lot.

Can I Choose a Security Item?

Babies often become attached to any item they regularly see, since it gives them a feeling of security. Instead of waiting to see what item your baby picks, it's possible to help them by choosing a suitable one yourself. 

Once you've chosen a security item, make sure it's within easy sight and reach at every opportunity. As they grow used to it as part of their environment, they'll begin to bond with it. As they grow older they'll also begin to interact with it more.

How Old Does Baby Have to be To Get a Security Item?

It's usually wise to wait till baby is between three and six months before trying to introduce a security item. By this age the baby is learning about their environment and starting to distinguish colors and shapes, as well as realizing that not it is a separate entity from the world around it. To start with you can even have the item nearby, clipped over the edge of the cot or pram, so your child can grow familiar with the sight of it.

Different Types of Security Items

Of course it's possible to use anything as a security item. However the most common items are usually blankets and toys. Anything soft is great since baby won't hurt themselves cuddling it and can sleep comfortably with it.

Why Should Baby have a Security Item?

A security blanket or toy allows a child to have something familiar close by whenever they need it. As a baby grows, they often have everything around them change - from their clothes going up in sizes to carers and car seats. A security item adds stability to their environment. It can also help baby learn to fall asleep by themselves at an earlier age.


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