Does this ring a bell with you? Have you ever set out on a journey only to realize that you have left behind the most important item belonging to your child?
In our house, it was Wolfie, and maybe in yours it’s a special toy, or blankey or something else perhaps. But it’s the one thing that will, without fail, soothe your child and send them off into a blissful, peaceful sleep.
Wolfie arrived in my son’s life when he was a year old and now he is a part of our family! You might think I’m crazy and perhaps, with good reason, because I always kissed Wolfie ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ and have been known to have a chat with him. Well maybe I am a little crazy, but I wanted to acknowledge and nurture the special feelings my son had created through his attachment to Wolfie.
Your child’s attachment to their teddy/blankey is very special and serves a purpose. Are you aware of the benefit that children receive by having such an object? Not only do they draw comfort from their special object, but all those quiet, soothing and loving experiences that a mother provides her child are wrapped up in the teddy/blankey. These objects represent all that is positive in an infant’s world, his mother.
Your child’s special teddy/blankey is what’s known as a ‘transitional object’ – a term coined by D.W Winnicot, Paediatrician & Psychoanalyst. They are called this because they help infants transition from
- absolute dependence on their mother to gradual independence and,
- they are the bridge between an infant’s inner world and the outer world, which means they can use their special toy to connect the sleeping self that dreams and the waking self that participates in the ‘real’ world.
From one mother to another, you can relax in the knowledge that your child will know the right time to let its teddy/blankey go. In saying that, I know some men and women who wouldn’t go away anywhere without their pillow or teddy, it just gives them that wonderful sense of comfort and security!