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4 year old and a comfort blanket

(18 Posts)
WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 11:11:02

My dd is just 4, and over the last couple of days has started to want to carry a blanket everywhere. It's an old one that she had on her pram when she was a baby, and she's used it in her doll's pram, but now she's snuggling up with it all the time, and insisted on taking it to bed last night. She's never bothered with a comfort blanket before, although she has a special cuddly toy that she snuggles with, and I'm wondering why she's started to do it now. I don't know whether to let her have it, or to stop it before it starts.

bundle Wed 25-May-05 11:15:31

why would you want to stop it? around 4 was when dd1 started to have bad dreams/be afraid of the dark and i think it's a normal (quite clever)coping mechanism for a child to use. on a practical note could you cut it in half/quarters in case you lose a bit?

Janh Wed 25-May-05 11:19:05

DS2 still has his blankie in bed and he's 12!

I agree with bundle (as usual ), they are really really useful things to have as long as there is more than one. DS's was a cot blanket, we had a white and a yellow that felt the same and cut them both in half so we had 4 although the yellow was only used in desperate circumstances eg after throwing up.

Try to keep it in her bed though, carrying it around can get awkward.

WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 11:24:21

It's the fact that she wants to carry it everywhere, and is trailing it around the house this morning, that makes me wonder whether I should stop it. She has recently started to have bad dreams, and has been using her stuffed cat as a snuggly in bed, which I don't mind, but to suddenly start to want to trail a blanket everywhere when she's never had one before just struck me as a bit odd - particularly as she already has her Catty for comfort.

PrettyCandles Wed 25-May-05 11:30:57

At 4 she's probably old enough to co-operate. My ds sucks his fingers and it is pushing his front teeth out of alignment, plus I worry that if he falls while sucking then he will hurt himself badly, so we explained that it was fine to suck his fingers but that it was only for sleep or rest times. It works very well, and now, if he wants to suck his fingers anywhere other than his bed he asks permission.

Perhaps you could explain that the blankie is wonderful, so wonderful that you don't want to risk it coming to harm or getting lost, so she should keep it in her bed. Encourage her to come to you for a cuddle if she wants. And give her plenty of attention to help her over this anxiety phase.

Even if you end up allowing her to carry the blankie around (after all, it's not necessarily a problem at home) definitely don't let her take it out of the house. That's a recipe for loosing it, getting mocked by other children, and keeping herself apart from activity. I find that when the fingers go into ds's mouth, especially if he had his cuddly as well, then he goes into neutral.

WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 11:39:39

Thanks, PC - makes sense. She does get lots of cuddles and attention, but if the nightmares and so on are just part of a phase of anxiety perhaps that's why she's picked up on the blanket. She's such a confident little soul, I hadn't suspected that she may be going through an anxiety phase but it's possible, with the nightmares and everything.

I'll give it a go. Thank you.

PrettyCandles Wed 25-May-05 20:23:32

The blankie can be useful to you too. This afternoon ds was being a real grotbag (when I collected him from nursery I was informed that he had, apparently out of the blue, thumped another child). When things started getting out of hand at home, I really didn't want to shout at him or punish him because I think that something is bothering him and punishment doesn't seem fair. So I suggested that he climb up into his bed and cuddle up with his cuddly - wow how that worked well . Only temporarily of course - we had further episodes of 'distress' between then and bedtime . Parenthood!

motherinferior Wed 25-May-05 20:27:16

My four year old fell madly in love with one of our fleece blankets recently, and declared how Blanky was her best friend and dashed home to Blanky every night...and now she's just gone off it, the little slapper. This may be a similarly passing crush.

DD2 has a long-standing passion for one or other of two identical light-weight duvets and wraps it round herself and waddles along like a little Inuit.

Mind you, I would not hold up the Inferioretes as typical of anything, really.

WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 22:53:34

Thanks - hopefully it's just a passing crush, as you say! She's gone to bed wrapped up in it tonight, just wouldn't be parted from it, but at least I managed to talk her out of taking it to nursery (although she swore that she would only hang it on her peg and just stroke it every now and then ...!).

darlingbud Wed 25-May-05 22:54:16

I still have blankie now - I'm 29 next month!

WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 23:02:12

It just struck me as odd that she's never needed a blankie until now, and suddenly she's carrying it around everywhere and howling because she can't take it to pre-school. I wasn't sure whether it would be the start of a bad habit that would be difficult to break if left too long, or whether it's the kind of thing that will be a fleeting "crush", as MI says.

darlingbud Wed 25-May-05 23:05:56

have you asked her about it?

WigWamBam Wed 25-May-05 23:08:14

She just says it's soft and snuggly, and she wants it with her. I haven't really said much to her because I don't want it to become an issue with her.

misdee Wed 25-May-05 23:09:54

my dd's love blankets. dd1 has her penguin blanket and has been attached to it since she was baby, she used to take it ti nursery in her rucksack, so she knew it was there. then progressed to leaving it in the car, then on her bed. its now in the cupboard and comes out at times of illness or if she is very upset.

dd2 has a winnie the pooh cot duvet. she wraps herself up in it. you have to fight her to put it in the washing machine. then i hide it hoping she'll forget about it. but she always finds it.

clary Thu 26-May-05 14:03:57

I find this can go in phases too. DD has Pink Teddy who is very big atm, eg she talks about him when asked in a group about her favourite toy and he has to watch her playing in the garden. And when she was younger she had to have him to go to sleep. Yet at other times she’s not been bothered about him at all.
Agree with advice re not letting cuddly out of the house!

PrettyCandles Thu 26-May-05 14:14:54

IME bad habits sneak up on you, whereas sudden crushes are just that, and if you treat them fairly coolly and unfussily they tend to disappear after a little while.

WigWamBam Thu 26-May-05 14:16:34

Mmmm, I'm hoping that is is just one of these sudden crushes ...

sandyballs Thu 26-May-05 14:27:40

WWB - my 4 year old has also started doing this, although she did have a blankie (or a moo moo as she called it) when she was younger. She found it in the cupboard recently and they are now inseperable! Doesn't bother me really, I'm sure its only yet another "phase" .

What does bother me though is her reverting back to baby language now and then, I'm sure she does it to wind me up. We were in a restaurant recently and she climbed into a high chair, and started babbling away like a baby .... soooo embarrassing.

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