- Date: 13th century
A comfort object is an item used to provide psychological comfort, especially in unusual or unique situations, or at bedtime for small children. Among toddlers, comfort objects may take the form of a blanket, a stuffed animal, or a favorite toy, and may be referred to by the terms blankey and lovey.
Stuffed animals may be given by emergency medical services workers, police, and others to victims of disasters such as fires and crime. After the September 11 attacks, writes Marita Sturken in Tourists of History, "the Oklahoma City National Memorial sent six hundred teddy bears and then the state of Oklahoma sent sixty thousand stuffed animals to New York, which were distributed to children in schools affected by 9/11, family support organizations, and New York fire stations."
Closely related to the concept of a comfort object is a security blanket, a term made famous by Charles Schulz in his comic strip Peanuts, in which the character Linus was almost always seen with his blanket in hand.