Don't worry that your child might be too attached; such attachments are not a sign of unhealthy insecurity. In fact, they're often a sign of a strong bond between parent and child, notes George Askew, MD, a pediatrician at Zero to Three, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the healthy development of infants and toddlers. A child who seeks comfort with a security object is often one whose need for love and attention has been met consistently by his parents.
Not only are these objects a sign of healthy development, but they serve a valuable purpose. Comfort items are helpful in any situation where a child feels anxiety or stress, says Irwin H. Berkowitz, MD, a clinical associate professor at New York Medical College. When your child is separated from you -- at day care, or for that first sleepover at Grandma's, for example -- it allows him to take along a little piece of home that reminds him of Mommy or Daddy.
Loveys also help children navigate new experiences and role-play stressful situations. For example, going to the doctor isn't so scary if you have your teddy bear to keep you company and the doctor listens to his heart first, says Dr. Berkowitz.