As many moms and dads will probably tell you, weaning a child off a security blanket or his or her favorite childhood toy might become a huge challenge. After all, their favorite soft, scratchy, big or small comforter is the last thing they want to part with, no matter how many times it’s gone through the wash. But when is it time to let go of one? That’s what parents want to know
The security blanket, bottles, pacifiers, cuddle toys, teddy bears, stuffed animals and night lights can provide your child with a sense of security. And while it might seem okay to allow your child to hang on to his or her security blanket for as long as possible, keep this in mind: transitional objects cease to be helpful when they foster dependence.
When you and your child are ready to wean away from their security blanket or toy (mind you, it will be a collaborative, if not a team effort, too) there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, make sure to choose a time to start weaning when your child is ready. In other words, make sure that he or she is healthy, has parents that are available and isn’t experiencing any big stressful events in their life (like moving to a new house or school).
Next, make sure that everyone is on board with the plan. You can start off by making sure that the object is only available during the most stressful times in a kid’s life and if so, reward them when they return it. You can also build a schedule that slowly increases independence without the object. In addition, you can add a series of rewards to encourage leveling it up. In other words, it will be a step by step process, if not a slow one.
Sure, you might worry that your child might end up carrying his or her security blanket with them on their first day of college. Even if that happens, don’t worry. It’s without a doubt that everyone still carries a small trinket or item that helps them think of home. We won’t tell anyone.
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