Whether it is a satin edged blanket, a velvety soft bear or knitted doll, many children become attached to a comforter. But, should they be welcomed with open arms?
To many parents dismay, the comforter can become the single most important object in their toddler’s day and a source of tears and tantrums if it goes missing - threaten to take away the loved object to wash it, and you just might have a major battle on your hands.
So should they be encouraged or should the offending object be quickly removed?
Many adults still have, or at least fondly remember, their own comforter, and there is good reason. As its name suggests, that soft toy or blanket provides comfort - security at times when a child is separated temporarily from its parent, (the official psychological term is a transitional tool) whether it is used at night time, nursery school or visiting grandparents.
Some parents are apprehensive about allowing such an attachment and may think that a child who has become so emotionally attached to their bear or blanket is perhaps destined to be less independent than other children, who seem to survive without a comforter. This isn’t necessarily the case and often the child who has their emotional needs met (whether from a cuddle with their parent or hug with their bear) can be just as confident and independent as their bearless peers. So, don’t be put off or feel that you are encouraging a weakness. You are providing a stepping-stone (a transitional tool) for your child as they learn step by step, month by month, to become independent individuals. A quick squeeze of their favourite toy just gives a little reassurance along the way.