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Should we take away her comfort toy?

(47 Posts)
niamh29 Thu 11-Aug-11 14:36:09

DD2 is 2 in September and sucks her thumb and has a toy lion that she loves, she holds his tag (which is now in tatters) and holds him close to her face while she is sucking her thumb, thing is in the last few months she has become very dependent on the lion and carries him everywhere and today her minders at her daycare said they felt she was too dependent on her teddy and they wanted to limit her use of it (today they took it away for a while and apparently got so upset she went for a sleep afterwards, which she's doesn't usually do)

I can understand that she does need to be able to be away from the teddy cause at the moment she can't be, but they seemed to be relating the teddy dependence to her social skills saying that she doesn't interact with the other kids, she interacts with other kids fine as far as I can see. I also don't see the harm in having the teddy sometimes, surely there are a lot of much older kids who need a teddy with them all the time?

I'm kind of torn on the whole thing, opinions please????

PippiLongBottom Thu 11-Aug-11 14:39:47

I'm very dramatic but it really upset me to think you would consider taking her comforter away when she isn't even two. Harsh IMO.

PippiLongBottom Thu 11-Aug-11 14:40:36

Ok, so I see it is her daycare that are more keen than you. Tell them to piss off.

Sirzy Thu 11-Aug-11 14:41:23

You have to do what feels right really, and the nursey need to go along with what you decide.

Ds is 2 months younger than your Dd. He had a blanket and teddy he is attatched to and would take everywhere but I limit it. He doesn't take them to nursery at all and rarely takes them out the house (I dread losing them!) but still has them for when upset/going to sleep.

sleepysox Thu 11-Aug-11 14:43:09

She needs her comforter. She'll give him up when she's ready. DS had a Winnie the Pooh he had as a comforter, that went everywhere with him until he was 3, then gradually he stopped bringing Winnie out and now he keeps him on his bed.

Hassled Thu 11-Aug-11 14:43:47

Yes - tell them to piss off. Maybe phrase it more politely.
A boy in Ds2's class took his toy squirrel to school everyday for all of Reception. He's 13 now and completely normal.

It gives her comfort, and that's important.

rushofbloodtothefeet Thu 11-Aug-11 14:44:28

No, no, no, no sad

She is small, the world is big and unreasonable. Having a comforter helps her face all the things she doesn't understand without feeling alone. She is still a baby at 2.

My DD has had a comforter from birth. She took it EVERYWHERE until she turned about 4. Nursery helped her gradually reduce her dependence by encouraging her to put it in her tray. Whenever she needed it she could get it out and have a sniff. DD has always been a shy child, but just recently has really come out of her shell, I think having a comforter actually gave her more confidence in social occasions until she could manage by herself. She is now 4.5 and finally it doesn't leave her bed, apart from the odd occasion. I am fully prepared that she may regress when she starts school in September and need to sneak him into her bag for a few weeks or months.

I expect he will be a part of her life forever! (I still have my old teddy by my bed)

JustFiveMinutesHAHAHA Thu 11-Aug-11 14:44:52

I'm a bit torn on this one because I don't think she should have been allowed to become this attached to it in the first place, but now she is, you can't just take it off of her - that's really mean sad

I would encourage her to put teddy somewhere 'safe & clean' while she eats/paints/does other messy things and try to make this times stretch out then start to put him somewhere 'safe & dry' while she plays outside, does a puzzle etc... basically wean her off of it.

Mostly, I'll admit, because I can't stand to see kids dragging filthy looking rags/toys etc around with them.

What is she like at home with it - when she's with you??

Beamur Thu 11-Aug-11 14:47:17

This object gives your child comfort - why would you want to take it away? Most children grow out of this attachment as they get older and more confident anyway.
I had a totally different attitude to this at my DD's nursery - she has never had a particular comfort toy at home, but did have a favourite toy at nursery and played with that (to the exclusion of other children). I was slightly concerned at this, but the staff were not - they were content that if the child was happy, that was the main thing, toddlers do not generally interact that much with each other anyway - there's a lot of playing alongside, rather than with, each other. My DD did speak with the staff and other children when she wanted something and at mealtimes, but generally preferred to play alone with this toy.
She is now 4, loves soft toys but favourites still come and go and is a happy and sociable child.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 11-Aug-11 14:48:12

She's not even 2, she's still such a baby and obviously still wants the comfort of her teddy.

RitaMorgan Thu 11-Aug-11 14:48:18

I would be very cross if suddenly nursery decided my child couldn't have their comforter - upsetting her that much seems cruel. She probably needs the reassurance of the teddy most when she's away from you at nursery.

However, it probably is a good idea to start gently reducing her dependence on it, as it's going to be harder for her to carry it everywhere as she gets older. Maybe start talking to her about it living in her bed, and only get it out if she is upset and really needs it? I would work on it at home first though.

Could you maybe cut the tag of it, so she could keep it in her pocket and rub it between her fingers if she needs it? Maybe take some tags off other things and use them.

TheSkiingGardener Thu 11-Aug-11 14:51:52

No, no, no!

It's her transitional object, it's how she feels safe in the world as she realises she is her own person. It's her connection to you and home when she's not there. As she develops and starts to feel confident in being herself then she will gradually lose her dependence on it.

Everybody has some kind of transitional object, even if it's a song or a dance instead of a toy. They are such vital things and really wonderful when you think about it.

I would encourage her independence and encourage her to explore out and about and she will gradually need it less, but taking it away can be so traumatic, it can be remembered decades later.

stealthsquiggle Thu 11-Aug-11 14:52:04

Noooooo - don't take it away - you'll scar the poor girl for life. And tell nursery to piss off. Well, maybe don't do that - but they need to make it her idea that Lion would like to occasionally watch from a safe distance while she does (whatever) and very gently progress to Lion having a sleep in her drawer for a couple of hours, and so on.

My DC always had "comfort objects" (various, rather than one, fortunately) with them at nursery - they didn't need them with them all the time, but they needed to know they were there. I know other DC who hauled animals around at all times until age 5-6 with no lasting harm (and one whose comfort object is an old pair of her DB's pyjamas grin)

Please don't make her go Cold Turkey on Lion, whatever you do [person who still has her childhood blankie and occasionally gets him out on "black days"]

4madboys Thu 11-Aug-11 14:52:05

and how do propose that you 'dont allow a child to get that attached' to a toy justfivemins?!!

my ds4 is 3, he was 3 in march and he has two blankets, one a cot size blanket and the other a little moses basket type one, they are both those cellular cotton type. they are his 'diddies' and he has gone through phases of taking them everywhere, and i let him, he has them and sucks his thumb and is HAPPY! now he is a bit older i can say lets just take the little one, which he is generally fine with but he has them both for bed and when at toddler groups etc he leaves it in the pushchair but if he gets upset, hurts himself etc then he will immediately run off to get it!

my elder three never developed an attachement like this, tho one boy has a cuddly dog he sleeps with. some kids need them, others dont and i think not quite 2 is FAR too young to be trying to stop her from using it.

i would encourage her not to have it near messy activities and you could suggest the tray idea at nursery? or even a little shelf that it could sit on and be 'watching her' from? but the reality is she needs it and at her age thats perfectly normal imo.

my dp btw hasnt been keen on ds4 taking his blankets around with them, one is a bit tatty and despite regular washing they do get grubby, but MOST people who have ever had a toddler will recognise it for what it is, a much loved comforter.

i had a mouse as a child, that i still have, well actually i think he is in ds2's bed, but have kept him my whole life as he was a very special part of my childhood.

rushofbloodtothefeet Thu 11-Aug-11 14:57:23

JustFiveMinutes I'm a bit bemused by your assertion that "I don't think she should have been allowed to become this attached to it in the first place"

I don't think there is any 'allowing', either kids need a comforter or they don't. You would hardy deny access to a treasured object just to suit some aesthetic sensibility of you own would you?

cubscout Thu 11-Aug-11 15:04:45

If you read any developmental psychology you will find that actually 'comfort' toys or 'transitional objects' are there are known are actually incredibly important. It's a bit ridiculous to say she she should be weaned off it - they have an important function. A child that learns to self soothe using their comforter is well on the way to developing healthy coping mechanisms for later life.

My ds is 9 and still has a variety of comfort objects. Over the years his special animal has helped tell me what ds is worried about, practiced ways of dealing with things. Ds and I joke about wether he will be going to uni or staying at home because he is so precious. He knows his place though - in bed and around downstairs but ds is savvy enough to know when to keep stchum amongst friends.

stealthsquiggle Thu 11-Aug-11 15:15:06

cubscout - DS (8) "smuggled" (with my help) 3 animals to a recent sleepover (tucked in the bottom of his sleeping bag). As it turned out, he was sharing a tent with 2 other boys - and they ended up with one animal each grin.

stealthsquiggle Thu 11-Aug-11 15:16:12

(and I absolutely agree - DS's animals are very good at voicing (under gentle questioning) concerns which DS has been stewing over for ages)

niamh29 Thu 11-Aug-11 15:16:25

I agree, DD1 has a favourite teddy but he stays in bed and she was never dependent on it, we certainly did not "allow it to happen", it happened gradually and I honestly don't see the harm. It's also very closely linked with her thumb sucking, if we take away the teddy I think she would find something else to use while sucking her thumb.

Daycare said they wanted to wean her off cause she will be moving to a new room in Sept with older kids and there they do more activities and they only allow them their comforters during their "down" time. I think that's quite harsh!

I talked with DH and we both agreed to gradually reduce her dependence and to do it gently without forcing her and we certainly won't be taking teddy away from her.

niamh29 Thu 11-Aug-11 15:17:10

BTW: thanks for all the replies!

acatcalledfelix Thu 11-Aug-11 15:18:11

My DS (22 months) has a comfort teddy which is a godsend and I wouldn't dream of trying to wean him off it. We have lots of versions of the same which he loves equally, has been known to carry three round in one go! It helps him and us, and it had a huge part to play with him finally sleeping through.

His comforter is so incredibly special to him, it's his best friend, and at this age I think it's an entirely healthy and normal relationship to have.

We've got DC 2 on the way and I plan to introduce this type of thing as soon as I can so the new baby has the chance to develop the same sense of security.

HoneyPablo Thu 11-Aug-11 15:21:30

niamh29 I think the attitude of the daycare place is very wrong. Any professional early years worker should know about attachment and the importance of comfort items.
Are you in the uk? I ask because of your use of the word daycare.

Sirzy Thu 11-Aug-11 15:23:16

I don't think that is that harsh. If every child had a comforter they could end up with 10 teddies/blankets they have to keep out of paint/water/glitter etc etc. As long as it is done in a sensible "right let's sit teddy here while we..." way it seems a sensible approach to take. I would imagine it also reduces the chance of them being lost in other toys/other children starting to play with them

stealthsquiggle Thu 11-Aug-11 15:24:32

well I think the nursery are sounding a bit harsh and inflexible, OP, and if that is typical it would worry me.

However, when DD gets to the bigger room, and if they put it to her as "look, DD, we have XYZ activity here, but this one's not for Lion - he has to sit on the shelf and watch" then chances are DD would go for it and problem would be solved without the trauma which they seem to be intent on causing by taking Lion away. Meanies.

PeopleCallMeTricky Thu 11-Aug-11 15:25:16

I would be looking for another nursery I think. They seem to have a very harsh attitude to such a young child. She'll grow out of it in her own time.

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