If you really did read the baby books, you’d know that a safety blanket carried by a thumb-sucking peanut is both the most famous sad Christmas tree warmer and transitional object in pop culture history. You’d also know what a transitional object is. Either way, an intro to the importance of that blankie follows below (and your secret’s safe).
First, the basics. A transitional object is (most often, but not always) a stuffed animal or blanket that kids between the ages of 6 months and 1 year use to relieve the stress of independence from their parent. Why “transitional?” Because it symbolizes security and stability for kids as they grow more comfortable being alone or with new people.
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While the attachment factor (or, frankly, the gross factor) might stress you out, your little Linus toting baby bluie everywhere like a human Swifer will ultimately be a good thing. In addition to helping them adjust to something like a new daycare scenario, it can also help soothe them in a transition to a big kid bed. Most importantly, it ensures that you don’t become the transitional object (unless you’re happy to bring the kid to work every day for the rest of your life). That said, you’ll want to follow some guidelines when encouraging the adoption of one.
To make this association even more effective, consider sleeping with the object yourself, against your skin, for a few nights. Your kid will absolutely recognize your smell and be further comforted, unless you brilliantly decided to sleep with the toy after pushing your newfangled jogging stroller through a morning 10K. That smell is comforting to absolutely no one.
Finally, to avoid trauma should the transitional object be lost, make sure you have more than one on hand and attempt to use them interchangeably. Oh, and start washing them right away. You kid might be less stressed if they know it’s part of the process. Plus, you’re going for Linus here, not Pigpen.