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Active encouragement of a transitional object?

(8 Posts)
BR44 Mon 20-Jun-11 15:45:12

I've just managed to get my 9 mo DS weaned off night feeds, but now need to try and help him to self sooth when he wakes in the night. Last night was horrific - two full hours of crying, picking up and putting down and desperate whimpering escalating to full-scale screaming until he managed to get back to sleep.

I want to try and encourage him to form an attachment to SOMETHING other than me and my boobs and have been wondering about the following-

1. Soft toy or piece of cloth, such as a muslin or blanket?

2. How can I get him to form positive sleep associations with the object?

3. At 9mo is it safe for me to leave such an object loose in his cot?

4. Is this just a stupid idea?

Thoughts and experiences anyone? I perfectly understand that what I NEED to do is put him down awake and let him sooth himself, but HOW to achieve this in the face of hours of misery is another thing entirely...

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Mon 20-Jun-11 21:15:28

My dd had a comforter before 9mths and still has it now at 3.3 years. I would recommend it but not sure how easy it is to make it happen iyswim. It was a gift when she was born so always in her cot.

Good luck.

WorrisomeHeart Mon 20-Jun-11 21:20:51

I've just started the process with my 8mth DS to help with naps. The object is a bunny with very soft fur so something quite tactile. He's quite a grabber when he's being rocked to sleep (hair, chin, neck you name it!) so it was partly to help with that too. What I've been doing is tucking it between me and him when he's on my shoulder so that he can stroke it's ears. Seems to be working so far, I've noticed that when I put him drowsy in the cot he keeps stroking/pulling the bunny.

WorrisomeHeart Mon 20-Jun-11 21:22:23

Meant to say, he's crawling so I wasn't worried about the object being in the cot with him as he'd be able to roll away from it if need be.

BR44 Tue 21-Jun-11 17:22:00

WorrisomeHeart - that is exactly what I thought I'd do. He has a very soft bird thingy that has floppy velvet ears and knitted legs so it's perfect for stroking and sucking. My DS is also very active, so I agree that probably mitigates against any danger of putting objects in his cot.

We start tonight!

WorrisomeHeart Tue 21-Jun-11 17:25:35

Good luck! I THINK the bunny is working - last night DS woke twice and resettled himself really quickly (meaning a 5.30am lie in for me!) and over the last two days he's had at least one 1 hour nap. I've probably jinxed it now!

olivo Tue 21-Jun-11 20:04:01

yes!!!! we gave DD2 a bunny with a long silky label, when she was about 14mo, and she now knows when we give her that it is sleep time. she has a similar one at nursery for na[p time. It bailed us out of many broken nights!

lukewarmmama Tue 21-Jun-11 20:21:45

I think its a great idea, but whether your DS will agree or not is another matter! My DD1 loved her 'transitional object' (aka fluffy soggy penguin), DD2 couldn't have given a stuff, even though I tried. So its very much down to them really as to whether they take to it.

Top tip though, if you do have the luxury of choosing something, try to make it something you have two of, to avoid future meltdowns when they get lost or need a wash.

If you're worried that something like a muslin is too big to leave in the cot, then just cut it into a smaller square, or choose a small toy.

Good luck!

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