Q: My 11-month-old daughter has been sucking on her fuzzy blanket at bedtime for about 2 months now. Is this normal behavior?
A: Yes, quite normal. Like all of us, young children need ways to soothe themselves. In fact, self-soothing is one of the most important skills we need to learn as we face the many stressors our daily lives. Learning how to manage this stress is key to our emotional and overall health.
Whatever the reason, this fuzzy blanket is soothing for your daughter. Being able to comfort herself probably makes her feel confident and competent. Feeling “I can do for myself” is important for children of any age, and even more so as they enter the toddler years. Years 2 and 3 of your daughter’s life will doubtless offer many opportunities to practice calming and self-soothing skills. While she will certainly continue to need some help from you with this, the good news is that she has begun to develop these skills all on her own.