Baby's Transitional Object

Why baby is so attached to that blanket, toy, or bottle.

Why She's Attached to It

Some babies won't do anything without their toy, blanket, stuffed animal, or bottle. So what gives an ordinary object such extraordinary power? According to experts, it's not about the item itself. It's about your child's particular stage of development.

Between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, babies begin to enjoy the freedom that their increasing mobility brings, says Heidi E. Murkoff, coauthor of the What to Expect series. At the same time, they start to experience separation anxiety over this newfound independence, so they begin to crave comfort. Babies in this age range are also beginning to realize that they are individuals separate from their parents. In an effort to ease these anxieties, many children try to bridge the gap by latching on to transitional items -- "comfort objects" or "loveys," such as stuffed animals or blankets. This love affair often lasts through toddlerhood.

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