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Secure. Comfortable. Familiar. Ahhhhhh…

Blankies, thumbs, pacifiers, and tattered old teddy bears – these objects provide real comfort and a sense of security, helping children soothe themselves and cope with many everyday feelings and experiences.

When my son Nick began to toddle about on his own stubby legs, his constant companion was a blue blanket. He played with it, he waved it, but most of all he hung on to it as though it gave him some essential comfort. And indeed, it did. Whether it’s a pacifier, a special blanket or a stuffed animal, these objects benefit children and parents.

In addition to providing comfort and security, research published last year suggests that children think the special toy or blanket has a unique property or “essence”.

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