Giving up the teddies. When?

(41 Posts)
matana Wed 26-Mar-14 09:10:30

DS is 3.4 and has 5 favourite teddies whose labels he sucks. He uses them a bit like a thumb or a dummy i guess, to calm down if he's stressed or tired and to sooth him to sleep. So he has them only when he's having some quiet time, such as watching TV or going to bed. They're pretty yucky, though i wash them every week, but that doesn't really bother me. Anyway, DH and CM have recently begun talking about weaning him off them. He's never just cuddled teddies, always sucked their labels. I am in no hurry to make him grow up and still have no inclination to make him give them up - it's his last bit of babyhood that he still enjoys. But are they right and should i be thinking of taking them away? When might be the right time/ age to do so? I know that most children continue to have teddies to cuddle at night until much later, but as mine doesn't use them to cuddle but to suck does that make a difference?

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 26-Mar-14 09:16:11

I let mine keep their comfort objects until they were ready to give them up, and they are happy independent little souls now.

I did restrict when they could be used though -when sad, ill, in bed, not out and about etc.

<looks over at childhood teddy on shelf>
I wouldn't wean him off them at all tbh. Why do your DH and CM think it's a problem?

Quinteszilla Wed 26-Mar-14 09:18:11

Why?

Teddies are cute, soft, fluffy and lovely! Why wean a child off the things in life that makes him well up with love, joy and positive emotions?

My nearly 9 year old loves his teddies. I could not "wean him" off them! shock

TheBookofRuth Wed 26-Mar-14 09:18:38

He's only 3, bless him, he's still a baby really. I'd let him decide when he's had enough of them.

Times have changed and kids are different, but I was in early adolescence before I gave up my cuddly toys

cariadmawr Wed 26-Mar-14 09:27:18

Ds2(8) still loves his dog say she's a soft toy really upsets him . Only has.at.bed time now.or if unwell /upset she comes out really don't see it as a problem they grow up so fast enjoy this time its lovely

no, i wouldnt take them away, let him decide when. he isnt taking them out with him is he? just when he is relaxing in front of the tv, or going to sleep?

lollipoppi Wed 26-Mar-14 09:34:55

Don't take them away, it is his comfort, I'm sure he won't be carrying them around as a teenager wink

My DS loved sucking tags, I bought a small square thing online from slumbersac its got different textured tags sewn all over it, DS loved this but gave it up, dd now has 2 of them

Bramshott Wed 26-Mar-14 09:35:12

DD2 (7 tomorrow!) has 2 teddies which she loves. She's used them gradually less and less as she gets older (them not going to school with her was a big step), and now there are days when they don't really come downstairs. They are still a massive comfort for her though, and I don't imagine she could sleep without them.

I would go slowly. Is your DS off to school in the autumn? If so, talk breezily about how the teddies won't be going to school, but will look forward to hearing all about it when he gets home.

matana Wed 26-Mar-14 09:52:26

Thanks all - that's pretty unanimous! I will stand firm on this and point DH to all the lovely, positive reasons we should let him keep them.

Ds goes to school next Autumn so no hurry in that respect. He takes two in the car on the way to nursery/ cm, but he leaves one in the car and puts the other in his bag on the understanding that it only comes out at naptime (he loves his sleep so still has a nap most days). He doesn't take them outside at all, he's so active he just doesn't want or ask for them when he's 'busy' and we wouldn't allow it anyway. It really is just when he's emotional, poorly or tired.

I think DH and CM are just grossed out because despite washing, they still have brown patches around the labels, and are concerned that he's using them as a dummy when dummies begin to get discouraged at a certain age. I told DH i think we should wait until he chooses to give them up because as others have said he's only little once and it's the one thing (other than me) that can help him calm down.

anonforabit Wed 26-Mar-14 10:00:50

<whispers> my ds is 12 and still has a special ted! He manages perfectly well at scout camp/school trips without him and never takes him out but he gets sniffed when ds is tired and we think it's sweet. He used to have a teddy rota so that all the bears got a turn in bed with him, when we were concerned he was too squashed by them! Kids grow up so quick these days, let him be a child as long as he wants!

LyndaCartersBigPants Wed 26-Mar-14 10:01:39

Ah, mine used to suck and stroke the labels too! DS2 called it teddy's tail. So cute.

FWIW my 14 year old DS still has his old teddy on his bed - he does get shoved down behind the cushions when friends come over, but I'd be mortified if he ever wanted to get rid of him!

Blu Wed 26-Mar-14 10:12:49

No need to intervene at all.

All DS's friends still had their teddies and cuddles at night until they were about 8, and I know the names of them all as they came on sleepovers, camping etc. Even the first couple of cub camps.

Then DS started leaving Bear at home, because he was 'busy', and eventually left him on his bedroom shelf where he still sits.

They leave them at home when they start school, but many schools take care to recognise them, our school had a teddies picnic each term, and a 'bed time story' where all the kids went to school after tea, in pyjamas and had hot choc and stories on the carpet. Plenty of cuddles in evidence!

I think you will create distress if you try and get his teddies off him and he will just turn to another form of comfort like thumb sucking.

Nocomet Wed 26-Mar-14 10:18:46

Also looks at bear on shelf.

DDs 16 and 13, still sleep with their animals.

Brownie leaders always put bear on the kit list.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Wed 26-Mar-14 10:19:02

Don't intervene, let nature take its course. If he's still sucking labels at 21 then you might need to have a word. grin

DS is four and has a 'blanky' he's happy without it at school and put and about but likes to sit down and snuggle with it and has it at bedtimes. I wouldn't take it away. I have a little rag type thing from when I was young blush if someone took it away from me if be distraught I cannot get to sleep without it!!! grin

Fairylea Wed 26-Mar-14 10:24:42

Dd aged 11 still has her comfort blanket when she sleeps. I just let her have it as long as she wanted and gradually it made its way upstairs and now she is embarrassed about it and keeps it hidden under her pillow!

They all grow out of it eventually. I wouldn't worry.

Dds blankie is just a load of threads now. I changed her bed yesterday and saw it there and felt strangely sentimental. Still my baby smile

I think its all about comfort, if they enjoy the company of having a fluffy bear to cuddle and play with when falling asleep or feeling unwell then they should be able to have it. my one has a teddy bear but has never been interested in a blanky.

mistlethrush Wed 26-Mar-14 11:04:56

I had a long line of soft toys at that age - and they all had to be there and lined up in the right order before I would go to sleep. One of them came to Uni with me... blush DS is 8 and still has his - they come down in the morning at weekends sometimes still although they normally stay upstairs in bed now.

lottieandmia Wed 26-Mar-14 11:09:15

I think this is one of those things that is not worth having a battle over tbh, he will stop sucking the labels in his own time.

I have a worse situation - my nearly 5 year old still has a dummy at night. She is gradually needing it less though. With dummies there is more of an argument to stop the use of them than anything else. But I missed the window when she was really little and I am not going to fight with her about it now.

Wrt other comfort objects there is no need to remove them at all. My 10 year old still has a particular blanket that she had on her cot when she was a baby and a stuffed rabbit that she got when she was 3. If it soothes them what's the harm?

titchy Wed 26-Mar-14 11:12:23

My teenagers still have their soft animals blush Admittedly all but two are in the back of their wardrobes, but they won't get rid of them. The two they each keep on their beds still travel with them on school trips and sleepovers! (DS is slightly embarassed at this and tends to leave his at the bottom of the sleeping bag so no-one knows- though he won't entertain leaving them at home - bless!)

have4goneinsane Wed 26-Mar-14 11:17:03

DS2 sucked the ears of his sleepy ted up until the age of about 7, most of the time he just ignores him these days (age 9), but I know that Sleepy Ted is still special - DS put him in the bag for tonight's sleepover at his nan's.

BTW the sucked ears are revolting and have holes in them and no amount of washing is going to make them look clean but it matters not.

My elephant still resides in my bedroom, I even find DH cuddling him if life has gone truly pear-shaped - he had a tail once, but I sucked it off when I was small.

Keeping the special toys in the house is definitely the way to go though. Losses are too traumatic to risk.

I have a teddy.
I see no issue grin

neolara Wed 26-Mar-14 11:19:33

My 9 year old has a disgusting old rag that she sniffs and sucks. I think it's going to have to be surgically removed from her when she hits 21. She shows absolutely no indication that she is willing to let it go any time soon.

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