Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Meet Teddy!!!

Many children have a comforter. My daughter has "Teddy" - but how much is too much?
There are so many different types of comforter.....Dummies, blankets, cuddly toys...... and already I am finding some days tricky where my little one wont let her Teddy go!! The amount of times he has been washed is unbelievable!!! And when she saw him in the washing machine......well, a wailing banshee had nothing on my daughter!! But, how can parents make sure things don't go too far with comforters??

My daughter had a dummy to sleep with when she was younger. I was very anti them before she was born, but ended up giving her one when she was about 4 weeks old to help her settle at night. She also slept with a blanket. At the age of 8 months, I made the decision to get rid of the dummy, which caused issues for only one week, but we haven't looked back!! I have seen children of 7 and 8 still with a dummy, and it can be so damaging to children's teeth, I didn't want that for my child. (I also have a thing about how they look - we only used clear ones!!)

She still sleeps with her blanket and I am adamant she only ever has it for sleeping, although if she does spot it during the day if we are playing upstairs, she does try and make a grab for it!!
Now, there is Teddy - a lamb, I know, but he has always been called Teddy by her since she first started talking. She loves him!! He doesn't quite come everywhere with us, although I do let her take him on long car journeys or if she is staying with family as it is something familiar for her. She also took him along when I first left her in creche, but by the 3rd time he wasn't needed anymore.

Comforters act as a good sleep aid, with studies showing that babies and toddlers who have one sleep far better than those who do not.Research has also found that comforters are as effective has having Mum soothe a baby when they feel anxious or upset. Many toddlers aged around 1 to 3 use comforters the most for calming purposes, until they are old enough to realise that when a parent leaves, they will return for them later.

When it is time for the comforter to go (usually around 3 and 5 years old), it is important that parents take a laid back approach to it, not making a big deal of the situation. Many parents use Christmas or Easter as a time to get rid of comforters, using Santa or the Easter bunny as a leverage for the children to hand over their special items in return for presents or chocolate. I have seen Jo Frost use the fantastic idea of having a "Dummy Fairy" or "Dummy Pirates" as an idea, placing the dummies in bags or treasure chests and when the children wake up and return to them the next day, they are replaced with little gifts and notes. It takes some imagination, but tends to work quite well!!

The thing that does worry me the most is that Teddy was given to me many years ago as a gift at Easter, and I havent seen one like him since!! I worry that if something happens to him, we may not be able to replace him, but I also realise that given a week or so, my daughter would probably replace hime herself with one of her other cuddly toys as she is still quite young. If it happens when she is older, it may take a little more explainaition, but whatever happens, I knwo the freindship she has with her wonderful Teddy is one I will watch with a warm feeling in my heart. After all, he gets all the best cuddles and plays in all her very best games!!!

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