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Snugly part two!!!

(27 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sat 22-Mar-14 23:57:11

Snugly part two!!!

Hi, those who were kind enough to read or contribute to my snugly thread Snugly may be interested to know that we chose a blanket and it has arrived!

Now, how do I imbibe it with my smell!!!!!!


OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Sun 23-Mar-14 00:01:55

Wash it first with your usual washing powder. Sleeping with it should get some if your smell on it

Do you wear a certain perfume or spray deodorant? If yes, give it a very light spray with that as well

Your preparation threads are making me excited grin I'm so pleased for you

Italiangreyhound Sun 23-Mar-14 00:06:09

Thank you Lilka I am so very excited. I was so sure I was going to adopt a girl and now and now am over the room he is a little boy. The way things have worked out so far are great. I just hope all goes well and nothing goes wrong. I juts know I want to do my best for him and I am so very grateful to all on mumsnet adoption boards who have helped me so much.

adoptmama Sun 23-Mar-14 08:07:16

I just slept with the ones I was using (taggy blanket from Amazon) for a couple of weeks before explaining to foster mum of DD2 what I wanted and why. Also got her to give me some of the bedding to bring home too.

Missed your announcement of your son's 'arrival'. Congratulations smile

Italiangreyhound Sun 23-Mar-14 09:38:02

adoptmama it's so exciting. Lots to do still. Thank you.

Mercythompson Sun 23-Mar-14 18:48:04

Italian, I would start by buying two or three of the same snugly. Companies change their product ranges all the time and if he attaches to it and then you loose it, the world will end!!

I run a small business selling soft toys and I get emails from upset mums all the time desperately searching for a toy that is no longer made that their child is massively attached to!

Italiangreyhound Sun 23-Mar-14 19:57:22

Thanks, Mercythompson. smile

Italiangreyhound Mon 24-Mar-14 00:48:41

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing washed it in lovely fabric softener and powder. Fresh as a daisy, not to make it smell of me!

KristinaM Mon 24-Mar-14 18:12:39

< memories of searching every H&M for a replacement towelling bunny>

< more memories of searching every charity shop in the area looking for replacement blue ted >

Italiangreyhound Mon 24-Mar-14 18:42:12

I wonder about that. I mean when things go isn't it easier to say that that has happened? I never wanted to replace the hamster when he died and pretend he had not died. Isn't it the same with toys?

excitedmamma Mon 24-Mar-14 22:13:20

We have a much loved, very dirty bunny which has to come EVERYWHERE with us... they have since been discontinued (thanks Tesco!!) but somehow people are able to get hold of them and sell them on ebay for 20x the original price... but, in fear of losing him, we bought one at these crazy prices...

He is far too clean and not undergone multiple surgeries to be good enough to snuggle in with to sleep...

I dread the day/evening that he leaves us...

We did actually loose him one evening before bed... the sheer shock and panic in me brought on a dose of Shingles!! Thankfully we found him in her toy microwave!! shock

Hindsight would have been to have 2 from the start and swap and change them every couple of days....

I think young children who have suffered trauma of one type or another need more stability and security and to allow them to believe that some things do last forever i haven't phrased that very well but I hope you all know what I'm trying to say

Italiangreyhound Tue 25-Mar-14 01:28:29

I guess we will just have to see what is important to him. We have not even met him yet!

Meita Tue 25-Mar-14 10:05:33

Hi Italian,
the thing is that what people are talking about here, is not simply 'toys'. When people talk about the one thing (toy, soft toy, blanket, muslin, ...) that needs to go everywhere with them, and creates huge anxiety and panics if it goes missing, they are usually talking about a 'transitional object' (or transition object, or comfort object, or security object - all different names for the same thing). You can google this, it is a key concept of child development psychology.
The way I understand and remember it (i.e. probably quite limited and patchy!), around 60% of children have a transitional object, so it is absolutely possible that your daughter never had one, and also that your new DS won't have one. The average age for 'choosing' a TO is around 8 months.
Apparently in cultures where extended breastfeeding (up to age 4 or so) and co-sleeping are the norm, transitional objects are very rare. But I'm not saying this to imply that there is something 'second best' about TO. On the contrary, TOs are seen as beneficial to development, and children (and adults!) who have a strong attachment to a TO are generally more confident, independent, and less anxious.

So in normal development, infants at some point develop an awareness of separateness from their mothers, or in other words, that they are not the same as their mother. A sense of 'me' and 'not me' and there are complicated psychological things going on here. As a result, some infants find themselves a TO (frequently, however, it is not the object their parents intended for them). This TO represents to them the space between themselves and the mother, and comes to represent the mother, and comes to feel as if it were part of the infant. As the length of separations between child and mother increases, the TO becomes kind of a 'stand-in' mum, providing al the comfort and reassurance and security that the child usually associates with its mum.Hence the huge distress when it goes missing. It's not just a toy that goes missing, it's all the symbolic value. To the child it can feel as if it had lost a limb, and its mother, all at the same time.

Now, in cases of disrupted childhoods, where there may be neglect involved, i.e. the normal bond between mother and child never existed or broke down, and the child never learned to associate warmth and comfort and security with their mum; and when a child meets a new mum years after the normal age of choosing a TO; the situation will probably be very different! I've got to say your comment about 'isn't it better to just accept that the toy is gone' got me thinking about TOs and their role(s) in adoption. A quick google didn't show anything up, so these are just some vague thoughts of my own:

- even an older child may have a much younger emotional age. It would seem to me that if you were able to recreate that missing 'building block', that sense of warmth and security and comfort (probably involving a lot of 'regression'), then that must be a good thing. And if you do achieve this, then it could well be possible that a child, even at age four, projects some of this feeling onto a TO. So where you wouldn't normally expect a 4yo to find himself a TO, if this 4yo is going through the emotional phases and development normally experienced at 8 months, then they might very well do other things normally expected of 8 months olds, such as creating a TO.

- A child might come with a TO in tow. Either chosen during foster care, or whilst living with BM. It would seem exceedingly cruel to take this TO off them. As an adoptive mum, wanting the child to transfer her attachment to me, it might feel a bit threatening that the child is so strongly attached to an object which in effect represents her BM (of FC). However it should probably be seen as a positive sign, that the child is capable of secure attachments. That the child DID experience warmth and comfort and security, else they wouldn't have been able to transfer some of those feelings onto the TO.

- I can imagine that the bonding process between child and adoptive mum could benefit from some of the attachment being projected onto an object. The 4yo child will naturally have much longer times away from their new mum, than an infant would, and having an object to 'stand in' during these times may make the process be more continuous and stable.

- As I said, it is very possible that your new DS never makes the blanket you are giving him into a TO (that doesn't mean it wouldn't have its uses, particularly during the intro phase). If he doesn't, then yes I agree with you - if it goes missing, that's sad, but that's part of life; it doesn't necessarily need to be replaced. However, if it does become a TO to him, then losing it could be very traumatic. More so than normally (and it can be traumatic for any child to lose their TO, as explained above), as it might feel like an (uncontrolled) replay of all of his original losses and traumas.

- So in conclusion, I'd say if an adopted child has a TO, that seems like a good thing, but you'd need to be doubly and triply careful about not losing it, and be sure that you have a replacement ready for if you do lose it. However, not all children have TOs, and normally they 'create' TOs at a much younger age. And even if your new DS has or finds himself a TO, that might very well not be this blanket. So (particularly if it wasn't cheap) I'd hold off getting a second one until you see if he does attach to it.

excitedmamma Tue 25-Mar-14 12:24:52

grin... exactly what I meant!!

KristinaM Tue 25-Mar-14 13:16:20

Such a helpful post meita

Devora Tue 25-Mar-14 18:46:08

Wow meita what a great post.

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Tue 25-Mar-14 19:00:02

Agreed, great post

Italiangreyhound Tue 25-Mar-14 21:18:15

Thank you Meita that is very helpuful.

I have not seen this kind of information before so I have a look for more info and, of course, try and find out if new child has a TO. My dd never had one although she did become vary fond of a very large soft toy around age 4 and I have been worried that he would go missing but as he is about the size of a large butterball turkey, I doubt it! DD breast fed and co slept so maybe that is why she never had one, although she did find her thumb early and weaning her off that has proved impossible!

I must sound very heartless saying I mean when things go isn't it easier to say that that has happened? I guess I am thinking of those people who replace pets when they die, I just always felt it was better to say what had happened even if it was very sad. I think there is a joke about a child who is worried their hamster is still alive after 8 years!

I know that little one is nearly 4 so if he has found a TO then of course we would look after it, that seems kind of hard if it has to go everywhere with them. I can't quite imagine it. I would definitely want a spare. But if he already has one then I probably not be able to get a spare! I don;t think this blanket will be special, it would be rather touching if it was. I guess I imagine if he had anything special it would be from birth mum or foster carer.

If he does not choose something as a TO should I just not worry about it or should I try and encourage one? I can see they have great benefits but I am not completely comfortable with the power they have!

Just to clarify when I talked about a 'snugly'I just meant something soft and when I talked about a blanket I just meant something that would have some meaning (it is personalised) for him and would maybe smell of me! I was not thinking of the full on Transitional Object but now I am off to google it.

Can anyone else share if there child has had one and how it has helped, please?

(I recognise none of this may be in my power!)

Italiangreyhound Tue 25-Mar-14 21:20:23

their child (who would think I had taught English!)

Italiangreyhound Tue 25-Mar-14 21:36:26

OK, found some....

Oh I like the sound of this, far harder to lose a word or a melody!

"The transitional object is often the first "not me" possession that really belongs to the child. This could be a real object like a blanket or a teddy bear, but other "objects," such as a melody or a word, can fulfill this role as well. This object represents all components of "mothering," and it means that the child itself is able to create what it needs as well. It enables the child to have a fantasized bond with the mother when she gradually separates for increasingly longer periods of time. The transitional object is important at the time of going to sleep and as a defence against anxiety.[citation needed]"

I wonder if lullabys come into this?

Also, how do they wean off the object, when they are older? Is it a natural transition?

"Providing the child with a soft object such as a teddy bear can encourage them to transfer affections to that object and thus become more independent and less clinging. A problem can occur when the object becomes a pacifier on which the child fixates rather than using it to transition to independence."

excitedmamma Tue 25-Mar-14 21:50:01

From experience I can only try and stress HOW IMPORTANT our bunny is to our lo.... sometimes he and only he can soothe her... when she hurts herself, first thought is for bunny to make it better.. we rarely leave the house without him... he's well travelled and takes part in all our of toddler classes, the park etc... he even came to the celebration hearing and sat on the judges knee grin

I doubt we would sleep for weeks years if he went missing... she loves his label and when is really tired pushes the label up her nose... he is her best friend and she loves him despite putting him down the toilet... he even has to sit in the bathroom and watch her have a bath..

Luckily for us, it is the toy we bought for her when we went to meet her for the first time, so he's actually really special to us too... we didn't encourage it, it just happened, and it was really interesting to read that it can happen around 8mths old (as she was 6mths when we first met her)...

I don't worry about weaning off.... it'll happen when she is ready and I wouldn't dream of trying to force the issue - its her 'safety blanket' and if it makes her feel safe and secure, then I'm happy...

I think until you meet your LO its hard to imagine what he may or may not need for comfort/security...

they've already suffered loss and trauma in their short lives that for me, I welcome anything that comforts her

Meita Tue 25-Mar-14 22:06:54

Thanks ladies <blush> I guess I'm slightly ridiculous but it does mean something to me that you appear to appreciate my humble effort!

In truth I just got thinking, your comment Italian, set me off - I just wanted to say to you, yes of course it is important to recognise when something is lost/dead, and not attempt to replace it - I totally agree with that, EXCEPT if it is a transition object. Wanted to send you a link that introduces, explains about TOs but then started wondering, hang on but how does this work in adoption, or with the backgrounds and early lives that are frequently reasons that led to a child being adopted in the first place. The rest is really just musings! And based on no experience, just theories and reflections.
However now that I have got thinking, I have become very curious. With the role that TOs can play for attachment, I'm thinking there must be something on the interwebs somewhere which explores and describes the role of TOs in adoption settings. I'd appreciate any pointers; and second Italian's question, any real life experiences, adoption-specific, with TOs, anyone?

Italian I was thinking along similar lines, regarding being worried about the power that TOs have. But more in a way, could it be something negative? Like an emotional crutch that we become dependent on and therefore don't learn to live without it. Because we never try. So we always live in fear of losing it. Actually losing it may then in fact be liberating (after the initial shock and panic) as we would learn that we CAN live without it, and would no longer need to fear.
But on the whole I think I'll take any emotional crutch a child can come up with! I just think that if a child is 'emotionally damaged' then I'd rather they have something that helps them get through the day in the short term, and worry about the rest later.

I have no idea regarding encouraging, or not, for an adopted child to have a TO. I think I would just take it as it comes.
However I can imagine that in some cases a child may actively try not to get too attached to any objects (as they may have experienced anything that was important to them being taken away), or that it may be hard to DETECT if a child had become strongly attached to an object, because they may do their best not to show you.

FWIW my birth DS has a bunny blankie thing. It was a gift from an acquaintance and it is brilliant in that the company who make them, guarantee that replacements will be available for at least 10 years after date of purchase - for exactly this reason! So one less worry. Also it has a velcro loop to which you can attach a dummy. Very useful because DS would be able to re-find his dummy by himself when he lost it in the night. It came with us everywhere because of the dummy thing, and I didn't realise how important 'rabbit' was to him until he gave up his dummy but would not under any circumstances go to sleep without rabbit.

Meita Tue 25-Mar-14 22:11:52

mhm I read somewhere that a large hotel chain estimates that 35% of their (adult!) guests sleep with a teddy...

I have found myself cuddling one of DS' cherished toys when spending time away from him... (am thinking it can work the other way too perhaps?)

It's supposed to be beneficial and healthy, not only for children but for adults as well...

is there really a need to (worry about) weaning off?

Italiangreyhound Tue 25-Mar-14 22:35:26

I am by nature a worrier! I also have a 9 year old who thumb sucks after people told me that she would stop naturally.

I had not read about this stuff and I must admit my knowledge of the snugly thing was more that it would be something that would go from our house to his and back to our house with him, so that he knew we knew about him. Maybe I was wrong to think of a blanket!

We also have a gift for DD to give him when she first meets him.

Meita Tue 25-Mar-14 23:04:05

Italian no I think a blanket is fine! And I am sorry for derailing the thread. It's just that some people were chipping in how important it is for you to have a replacement ready for in case the blanket gets lost. Which is true enough, IF your new LO does attach to it in a significant way. Your point was very sound, you said you'd wait and see, and that (if the blanket doesn't become terribly important to him) losing it may not be the end of the world, and may need to be acknowledged appropriately. YOU were not really talking about TOs, your thread was/is about an object to ease transition from FC to your home. It was just me who pounced on the TO reference and ran with it!
This blanket may become very important to him, but there is no reason to expect this, nor anything wrong with it if it doesn't. It will fulfil its intended purpose (easing the transition from FC to your home), either way. So you really DON'T need a replacement blanket just for in case!

And yet I'll continue derailing (sorry...) just to repeat that I'd be very grateful for more information/experiences/thoughts on the question of transition objects in adoption contexts.

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