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If your DC has a comforter (soft toy, blanket) do you control the use in any way?

(44 Posts)
Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 13:16:15

If so, how and why?
How old is your DC?

MrsJohnDeere Wed 02-Sep-09 13:25:27

Ds1 (3.4yo) has 2 soft toy dogs, and ds2 (18mo) has a blanket. They have them in bed (or on sofa if ill) but don't take them out and about (they've never tried tbh).

My 7 and 9yo nieces still have special blankets but they're only allowed them at home or in relatives' houses.

BornToFolk Wed 02-Sep-09 13:25:28

DS (22 months) has a special teddy, which he sleeps with. He sometimes carries him around during the day, depending on his mood. If he gets upset during the day, he might ask for him and gets him (even after/during a tantrum - it helps to calm him).

I don't control his use at all. I discourage him taking the teddy to the park etc in case it gets dirty or lost but if he really wants him, he can have him.

He's so little, it seems mean to control his use. He knows better than anyone when he needs a bit of comfort and if he gets that from his teddy, then great. The teddy is also great for a bit of role play, and things like getting DS to brush his teeth, or put a bib on.

mamakim Wed 02-Sep-09 13:31:57

My ds has 4 (yes 4) taggies that he refers to as "mankies" hmm he only has them in bed - always has, he does need one to get to sleep so have 2 at my mums too. They've never been carried around. He's never cared, they're just for bedtime. Dd 4mo has a blankie too now, i actually fing them really good for sleep association.

mamakim Wed 02-Sep-09 13:32:56

Ds is 2.1 btw

Dophus Wed 02-Sep-09 13:36:40

When Ds1 moved to his preschool class (age 3) we stopped him taking it to nursery. We really try to stop him taking it out the house (occasionally into the car is allowed). Our motivation is primarily that we are terrified of it getting lost ripped.

It is a blue baby velevet cardigan 'diddy' he adopted at about 18 months old. He is now 4.8 and still very attached. It is irreplacable.

DS2 (2.2) has 'mussies' - muslin cloths. No restrictions as yet. It is not as important to him as diddy is to DS1

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 13:40:59

Any older children?

DD is 4.9. Ever since she came out of a cot (when she was 19 months) she has been able to get at her 'doudou' whenever she wished. She carries it around all the time. Mostly it watches her or she plays with it. It's an animal so it can join in toy parties etc. But she does lie around alot cuddling it and sucking her fingers.

I could control it by putting him out of reach but I haven't as yet.

I do wonder if I shouldn't be doing something about it.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 13:42:41

Doudou comes out and about with us apart from when DD goes to school. It is like having a third child.

GooseyLoosey Wed 02-Sep-09 13:43:38

Dd (just turned 5) has several (all the same type of animal). She clearly does not take them to school but beyond that and me cautioning her not to take them where she might lose them, I would not dream of restricting them. She loves them very much and if she needs them so be it.

Sugarmagnolia Wed 02-Sep-09 13:44:17

Both DD (8) & DS(6) have special 'teddies' that they've had since they were babies. I don't allow them out of the house (except for sleepovers & holidays) partly out of fear of losing them but also because in all honesty, I absolutely can not stand seeing kids dragging grubby blankets & toys around with them. I just find the whole idea somewhat revolting (I'm sorry, I know that's my own hang up but you asked). It doesn't seem so bad when they're only toddlers but I think if you allow them to get used to it then you're in for a big fight by the time they get to nursery. Easier just to set the ground rules early on I think.

When we go on holiday the kids usually insist their teddies come in the carry on luggage and get carried round the airport. But after and after one near miss (that involved a harried wait at Gatwick while a very nice flight attendant went back out onto the tarmack for us while we prayed we didn't miss our connection!) I now actually put luggage tags on the teddies!


ByThePowerOfGreyskull Wed 02-Sep-09 13:46:42

both boys have Mussies. (muslins)

DS1 has only ever wanted to snuggle it. he is now 5.5 and only has it when he is sleepy or in bed.

DS2 sucks his mussie and has unrestricted access to it, but we are currently trying to restrict the sucking. he talks with it in his mouth and we really need to stop that.

optimisticmumma Wed 02-Sep-09 13:51:59

My 14 year old daughter and all her friends have various 'dou dou's 'blankies' and god know what else that still come out at every sleepover!! They are beyond grey, probably not been washed for years and are incredibly unhygienic, but, oh well they are all bright, healthy girls and we've all given up worrying years ago. HTH
BTW, my husband saw a woman commuter sucking a dummy.........

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 14:09:38

Oh, I still have my comforter and he comes in bed when DH is on business.

Sugar, 'doudou' does get regular baths, she has no problem with him smelling different.

GooseyLoosey, I don't like the idea of restrictions but I am worried about the excessive sucking. Partly because the dentist has picked up on it, partly because she seems sooo dependent on it.

Eg If I ask her to wash her hands because dinner is ready and she didn't really want to stop what she was doing, she has to have a cuddle and suck. Then if she gets splashed whilst washing her hands, she needs another cuddle and suck. Then if she gets cross during the meal because, she asks for another cuddle and suck. If she is hungry she doesn't ask for food but lies on the floor and sucks until I find her. If she is bored, likewise.

LionstarBigPants Wed 02-Sep-09 14:10:46

We have this dilemma too

My 2.5 year old has had a 'cuski' from birth (in fact we have 2 for ease of washing/insurance). She does tend to take it everywhere and drag it through every pile of dust. She won't sleep without one and demands one when upset/hurt. My constant refrain to her when out is 'where is cookie' or 'lift cookie up' (as she is dragging him again). I would dearly love to confine him to the house, but don't want cause any traumas. She takes him to nursery, but they make her put him in her tray and he only comes out for nap time.

Is it really bad to start restricting access to comforters? Anyone got any good ideas for doing it gently - would carring a laminated photo of him be a good substitute <clutches at straws>. For some reason I have just bought 2 more cuski's for new baby due any time now - will I never learn?

optimisticmumma, I had a friend at uni who had a comforter - it must have been some kind of animal or bear once, but was a tattered gray piece of material when I met it. She used to suck her thumb and rub it on her nose - at 19 years old!

JackBauer Wed 02-Sep-09 14:14:59

DD1 has Elly and Dooka, an elephant and a giraffe, they are not encouraged to leave the house for shops/park but soemtimes Dooka comes to friends. They always come away on holiday with us and to bed with ehr every night.
DD2 has 2 identical ellies, they come out with us everywhere but I try and leave them in the car if there is a risk of one being taken for a swim in a puddle.

Would never restrict use, when they have to be washed they set upa blanket and cushions in front of the machine and wait for them while sobbing weakly.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 14:15:18

I read somewhere that for preschoolers unlimited access is psychologically important.

PrettyCandles Wed 02-Sep-09 14:15:37

The more dependant my dc is on a cuddly, the more I restrict its use. (Sounds nasty!) I find that if the child has unrestricted access to the cuddly, they just go into neutral, doing their ritualistic twiddling/sucking/whatever thing with the toy, rather than interacting with the world. So I restrict the toy to the cot/bed, only letting it out when we're going somewhere where the child will be napping or staying the night.

As they get older, say past toddlerhood, and develop opinions and make choices about what they do, I let them take the cuddly freely around the house. I find that from about 2y they start actively playing with the cuddley, rather than using it only as a comforter.

But I never ever let the cuddley out of the house unless, as I said, it is going to be used for sleep. Too much risk of loss or damage!

optimisticmumma Wed 02-Sep-09 14:19:48

Lionstar - there's NO WAY my DD will have her 'doudou' at uni. It will be on the bonfire by then!
I just wanted to say to OP don't worry about it, it just sorts itself out in the end.

RumourOfAHurricane Wed 02-Sep-09 14:19:58

Message withdrawn

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 14:21:20

Ooh, just googled 'transitional object' and it would appear that 5 is the age by which most children have stopped needing this kind of comforter.

I think I will start talking to her about becoming a big girl over the next few months to try to cut down some of the excessive use.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 02-Sep-09 14:24:59

I'm worried that it won't sort itself out naturally before she damages her mouth/teeth in a way that it is painful and expensive to repair.

Also, some of the use is downright annoying, like it taking 15 minutes for her to get to the table because of 'doudou' sometimes.

I'm not talking about depriving her if she was hurt or at bedtime.

MrsBadger Wed 02-Sep-09 14:42:12


she is only 24m and wants it when in bed or hurt, and also at nursery drop-off time (though abandons it in the sandpit etc 10min later without fail)

we take it away for overnight stays but try to avoid taking it out for the day, iyswim

optimisticmumma Wed 02-Sep-09 14:48:59

I do know what you mean OSOTC but won't going to school sort out the excessive use? TBH my DD has never been as attached but I can think of numerous times when it was invaluable - the time aged 6 that her arm needed resetting after a very bad break. As far as teeth are concerned all my DC sucked fingers/thumbs/dummies and were all warned by the dentist but none of them needed braces etc. Most of the kids I know who have had ortho work were down to hereditary factors.

optimisticmumma Wed 02-Sep-09 14:50:29

Excuse my terrible English!!!blush

McDreamy Wed 02-Sep-09 14:58:25

DS (aged 4) has a taggy which we are trying to restrict to house use only for 2 reasons

1. He has lost many out and about and they're not cheap to replace.

2. We have spent many a bedtime searching for taggy in the car around the house etc so restricting it to the house only means we know it's inside somewhere.

3. He starts school tomorrow and although I wouldn't MAKE him leave it at home if he needed it I would preer him not to want to take it to school.

We've been doing this for a couple of months now and he is quite accepting. He has free access to it indoors.

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