When my daughter was born, she had all sorts of gifts. Clothes, baby gear, gold necklaces and bracelets, toys, blankets… but only one gift came with a beautiful wrap and a cute pink teddy hanging out on the gift box.
Later on, when Ghazal was two months old, I started using the teddy as part of her pictures. She used to love it when her hands touch the teddy so I started keeping it in her bed when she’s awake. At a very early age, she showed so much interest in it and then we knew this little pink thing is going to be her comfort object.
Ghazal now will turn 3 next Monday and that same old teddy still accompany her wherever she goes. She won’t sleep without it and if it happens, she’ll wake up at night searching for “Teddy”. If someone sits on teddy by mistake we’ll probably have a tantrum to deal with. If we forget teddy at home, we know it’s not going to be a pleasant ride. She might be interested in other stuffed toys to carry around from time to time but this comes alongside with teddy.
So, what is it all about??
“Teddy” – in our case – is called a comfort or transitional object that provides psychological security to our baby. Comfort objects may come in a shape of teddy, blanket, towel or piece of cloth. These objects come as a substitute of the mother. The infant usually sees his mother and himself as one but when he/she separates from her, the transitional object comes to make this splitting stage a bit easier. When babies cuddle their soft toy or security blanket, they feel like touching their mommy. This phenomena starts showing between the age of 4 to 6 months.
Transitional objects help develop the child’s identity at a later stage. When children start knowing that teddy is a separate thing, they will also know that they are a separate thing, which helps them identify themselves as an individual. The same applies to the mommy and children will realize that she is a separate individual and they’re not one.
Comfort objects known as the first creative action done by babies as they use their imagination to generate such an act. And don’t worry if your baby has one; it is a sign of strong bond between the baby and his parents. Also this means that his need for love and attention is met by his parents.
If you’re wondering when will they give it up, don’t worry they won’t take it with them to college; they’re more likely to give it up by the age of 4 or 5 so don’t push them to do so as this will make them more attached to it.
An advise that might help if the comfort object was lost, is to keep a back up identical twin :P. This might work for some kids but in our case it didn’t work. We have the same teddy as a back up but our daughter doesn’t like it and below is a picture to show you why :D.