Maybe you've seen it before - you've been out with your baby and it starts to cry. All best efforts to calm them with a dummy and even swaying them don't do anything. Only the beloved comforter can help. If they have hold of this, you can no longer get it off of them. Your baby seems to have a particularly intimate bond with the comforter and no longer wants to do without it. But what makes a comforter so special for your baby?

Child with comforter

The comforter is more than just a piece of fabric

What exactly your little one chooses as their cuddly favourite can be very different. Often it’s an old T-shirt that smells like you or a cloth with a stuffed animal's head that becomes their closest confidante and constant companion.

The reason for this is explained by psychologists that the comforter becomes a so-called transitional object that helps your child to break up the first relationship with his or her parents and to explore the world independently. This is especially important when they notice that you as parents are not by their side all day and they feel unsafe around strangers. This usually happens between the ages of four and twelve months. Since the attachment system of your little one is automatically activated in stressful situations, your child looks for an object that is always available and, unlike mum and dad, can be cuddled at any time. As a result, the comforter gives them security and support when they are afraid and calms them down.

It can withstand all the hardships that your little darling expects, regardless of whether it tugs at it, puts the ends in its mouth or chews on it. In this way, your child can train their sense of touch and their grip reflex at the same time and get relief from teething. Since your loyal companion has to be with you everywhere and at all times, it of course also has to be washed from time to time. So that the waiting time doesn't become an ordeal for you and your little one, you can consider putting a second version of their favourite cuddly toy aside.

Pay attention to this when choosing a comforter

Since your baby always has their cuddly towel with them, you should make sure that it’s of high quality, well made and made without harmful substances. After all, it should withstand baby hands and teeth for as long as possible. In order not to endanger your child, no buttons or other small parts should be sewn to the comforter.

Let your sweetheart take their cuddly blanket with you to nursery or to grandma and grandpa’s if they want. It will give them self-confidence and security in a strange situation and thereby make it easier for them to find their way around. That's why you shouldn't just take your baby's comforter away, even if you may think that it's too old for that. Let them decide when their ready.

When your child decides to leave their comforter at home is completely individual. Little by little, it will wean itself from it and find other ways to respond to new people and situations. With a bright and positive baby, it's twice as much fun to explore the world.

Don't just swap stuffed animals and comforters

If your little darling has chosen a comforter or a stuffed animal, you should definitely accept this decision. Even if the soft cloth looks torn off, you shouldn't replace it. Washing should only be done in "hygienic emergencies" as the smell and feel of the fabric change after washing. Small children in particular, who still need their own “smell” or “mum's odour” can therefore initially get a little strange with the freshly washed stuffed animal. Alternatively, if you don't want the comforter to wear out too much, you can simply buy an identical second one. Then, if one ends up in the laundry, you can easily swap the towels for one another in the meantime.

Soft toys and cuddly blankets are great mementos for adults too

Are you wondering when it’s time to dispose of your beloved comforter or stuffed animal? In principle, there is no suitable time for this. Instead, your child should decide how long they want to cuddle with the comforter or soft toy. It’s not uncommon for the former playmates to stay with them even during their school days and beyond. Even if your little darling feels too old for it at some point, you could keep the comforter as a reminder. Often the offspring in adulthood are happy to indulge in "childhood memories" thanks to the cuddly toys.