A particular part of your baby’s development is transitional object. Your baby may not do anything without his/her toy or blanket, or bottle.
Transitional objects give your baby security when s/he begins to explore the world.
6 months to 12 months: With the increase in your baby’s movements s/he enjoys the new found freedom and also experiences separation anxiety. So in order to gain comfort your little one may start clinging to certain things to soothe himself/herself.
13 months to 24 months: By the time the child is two years old, attachment to transitional objects may increase with the increase in separation anxiety. The child may realise that s/he is a separate individual from his/her parents. To bridge the gap between parents and self, the little one may cling to his/her favourite objects.
This is not something harmful for your baby. In fact, these transitional objects help the child to feel safe when s/he is anxious or stressed or frustrated.
Here are some tips for parents to cope with your baby’s transitional objects:
- Buy safe toys for your baby. It is difficult to predict which object or toy your little one will cling on to. Prepare to take all the necessary precautions.
- When your child gets attached to a particular object, there is a high possibility s/he might lose it and you have to face tearful consequences. So be prepared to get a duplicate or identical object, so that it can be used in the hour of emergency.
- Try to make your child understand that s/he cannot take her favourite toy or blanket everywhere. Even then, if the child isn’t convinced, let him/her carry it around. This habit usually goes away with time.
- Try to keep the child engaged in other activities like drawing or writing or art and craft works. Engage his/her attention in other activities that s/he finds interesting.
Do not force your child to let go off transitional objects. If the child feels that his/her favourite object is being forcibly taken away, s/he may get more attached to it. It is best to wait for the time when your little one is ready to give it up on his/her own.