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Comfort Objects: Do they help Your Baby or Encourage Dependence?

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 05-12-2006

Babies often form an attachment to certain objects such as toys, a pacifier, or a pillow. We as parents encourage this attachment as it helps soothe the babies and calm them. The advantages of doing so are as follows:  

  • Comfort objects reassure the baby.

  • They provide babies with a sense of familiarity.

  • Comfort objects are there with the child at all times. This is something that is difficult for most parents to do.

  • Comfort objects provide the support that infants need to soothe themselves.

  • Babies often look upon comfort objects as substitutes for parents in their absence.

  • Comfort objects help babies learn to sleep by themselves.

  • Parents can use the comfort object to help children cope with change. For instance, a child adjusting to a new baby sitter or a playschool is reassured by the familiarity of the comfort object.  (See article on Separation anxiety).
These are some important precautions to take with comfort objects.

  • Do not depend on the comfort object to fill in for you when your child requires your presence.

  • As children grow, gently encourage them to start learning to cope without them. Help them to naturally outgrow their attachment.
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.