At the ripe age of just a few months, babies learn to grab. And due to the fact that they have strong olfactory senses, they mix the two aforementioned and get hold of what they most like. Slowly, step by step, they form a bond with a common object (usually a toy – a teddy bear or a similar plush toy, or a blanket), which will help them, in time, gain their independence, as their comfort object is what offers them security as they grow up and discover the world. This is for them an object of trust and support, which they’ll grow very fond of, so, as long as you can, you should supervise your child’s attachment to a security item in order to keep things under control. It’s not that something bad is going to happen to the baby because of it, but he’ll develop a close relationship with it, so you have to guard it as a very precious item. We have some tips and tricks to make your life easier in what regards your baby’s comfort object.
- Try to control a bit the attachment process right since the baby’s birth. You know what the common comfort objects are, so prepare in time with two identical cozy blankets and two cute little toys with no difference among them. Give the child only one of each. As long as he forms an attachment to one of the items you have in double, you’re a lucky parent. This means that even if the first is lost, you can easily replace it with the second without too much fuss. In case the item is lost and irreplaceable, you can expect some heavy clouds of storm above your house for a few days. As your child is much attached to his security blanket, or whatever item he favors, he’ll suffer a lot if this is lost without a trace, as the object that offers him permanent support is gone forever.
- Only wash the comfort object when the child is asleep. And, also, make sure you dry it really quick. Usually the child needs it for his sleep, but one night, after he’s sound asleep, remove it gently and refresh it. Otherwise, he may end up carrying around a stinky object you’ll both feel sort of embarrassed about. One more thing: don’t overdo it with the laundry detergent. Part of the baby’s attachment to the item is due to its intense smell – it may smell like the mom, this is the rule in most cases, due to the fact that it’s always carried around by her. So make sure the object is gently washed and does not suffer major changes.
- Allow the child to carry it around it all the time without any drama. So even if you are really fancy, getting ready to go to a wedding or an elegant family dinner which the child attends, get ready to have the comfort object with you. Don’t worry too much about the aspect, the calm and serenity of the baby is more important. And clearly it will be easier for you to accept that he needs to carry a ragged teddy around all the time than to deal with a teary-eyed fussy baby which cannot stop screaming.
- Don’t stress about the “separation”. Your baby’s attachment to a blanket won’t last forever, don’t worry. But as long as he’s on his way towards independence, he’ll need to use his favorite item as a safety net wherever he goes. As he’ll grow up from a toddler into preschooler, chances he’ll let go are quite high. Don’t pressure him; let the child take the decision. Also, don’t expect this to happen all of the sudden. As the attachment was a long process, the separation is similar. And at the end of it you’ll have a happy, independent and confident child.
As you can see, your role as a parent is rather to avoid mixing up things than driving them. However, supervise with love your child’s attachment to his comfort object and be there for him no matter how he needs your help.