Young children often benefit from a transitional object (often referred to as comfort object or security blanket) to help them cope when mom gradually separates for longer periods of time.
The American Academy of Paediatrics says, “Your child may not choose a blanket. He may prefer a soft toy or even the satin trim on Mom’s bathrobe. Chances are, he’ll make his choice between 8 to 12 months of age and keep it for years to come. When he’s tired, it will help him get to sleep. When he’s separated from you, it will reassure him. When he’s frightened or upset, it will comfort him. When he’s in a strange place, it will help him feel at home. These special comforts are called transitional objects, because they help children make the emotional transition from dependence to independence. They work, in part, because they feel good: they’re soft, cuddly, and nice to touch.” – Healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Paediatrics.
This secure bond is a positive sleep association that can help your baby during their partial awakenings. Because the transitional object does not change, it is soothing. Essentially, the object is meeting baby’s need for love and attention even when mom or dad is not actually there.