Sometimes parents get exhausted by handling their child's sleeping tantrums. If you’re a parent, you must know the struggle of calming down a cranky baby. But, if you pay attention, there is surely something (an object or toy) to which your child has affection or bond. If you try giving that certain toy to your child, they may calm themselves instantly. What are they? And why does your baby have such an affiliation with them? Let’s find out.
What is a Comfort Object?
Are you curious about why your child always sleeps with one particular stuffed toy? Many kids attach their feelings to different things. It can be their security blanket, stuffed animal, toy, pillow, or mama’s scarf. Sometimes these remain their favorites until they are adults. They provide enjoyment, support, or release anxiety. Such things are called comfort objects or transitional objects, and every child has one.
If you think your kid does not have an attachment item, it’s time to re-observe their behaviour.
Also Read: Tips on Dealing with Kids’ Bedtime Meltdowns
Child Behaviour Towards Comfort Objects
Dr Donald Woods Winnicott, the English pediatrician and psychoanalyst well known for object relation theory and child development research, tells the public about the transition objects and points out these objects are represented as a mother and guardian in a baby world.
Moreover, these specific things help kids in the transition phases of life. When parents start developing a living-alone process, a single toy or a security blanket to which the kid is attached helps them feel less stressed during a separation or reduces their fear of sleeping solely.
Practical Tips - How to Introduce Comfort Objects to Children?
Take notes, you can not force a child to pick any particular toy. It depends on them; they choose favourite toys or items on their own. If your child is not getting involved with anything, then there are some tips that you can use to introduce kids to a comfort object.
Let Your Child Pick
Most infants develop affiliation with their security blanket. Your child may pick their pillow doll, plushie or even a figurine as their attachment object. Always let children choose their favourite toy themselves, and please do not force them; it will only cause anxiety.
Provide easy-to-carry toys to your kids so that if they choose it to make favourite ones, it will be portable to carry around. Also, an attachment toy should be constantly available so that while kids are sleeping, playing, or you are feeding them, they can grab that in their hand.
Try To Make More Than One
It is easy for parents when their kids have two comfort items. It can be different color blankets, or you can use separate toys. Multiple comfort toys will help when you have to wash one of them.
Also Read: How to Calm Down a Cranky Baby - Tips for Parents
Don’t Be Noxious
Many parents feel comfort objects make their kids dependent and emotionally weak. They think these make children addicted and take a long time to get rid of it. You don’t have to be tense if your child is always with their favourite toy. Some love to carry pillows, some have teddy bears, and many don’t sleep without their blanket.
Set Some Rules
If you feel your child is getting more attached to their comfort object, set some boundaries. Tell them to interact with other people and make new friends and only comfort them with toys when they feel more stressed, or they are going to a new place. This technique will help disengage their addiction.
Sometimes comfort objects can be a marker, a book, or a toothbrush. Your children could have a bedtime routine to cuddle one of them, along with toys. Moreover, these specific things help kids in the transition phases of life. When parents start developing a living-alone process, a single toy or a security blanket to which the kid is attached helps them feel less stressed during a separation or reduces their fear of sleeping solely. You must understand a child can get attached to anything, so don’t worry about it. Support them in all their choices from the beginning, and let them make their choices.