Recognition memory is typically demonstrated in the Visual Paired Comparison (VPC) task when infants display a preference for looking at a novel stimulus compared to a stimulus which they have been recently habituated. Events occurring during the habituation period may, however, alter the expression of a visual preference from novelty to familiarity. The present study examined the effect of emotionally salient habituation stimuli on the expression of recognition memory. Eighty infants aged between 6- and 24-months were habituated to an interactive glove puppet. Visual recognition memory was tested immediately with static pictures of the familiar and a novel puppet. The expected novelty preference was notably absent in 6-, 9- and 12-month-old infants. Eighteen- and 24-month-old infants exhibited a visual preference for the familiar stimulus. Familiarity preferences appear to be an important measure of recognition memory that evolve with age and social competence across the infancy period.