Security Objects

Blankets

  • Security blankets often help young children sleep and feel more comfortable. Allow young children to bring them wherever they go.
  • Even if your child’s blanket becomes worn and ragged, he will most likely not want a replacement. Your child is strongly attached to the blanket, so don’t take it away.
  • When your child feels ready to give up a blanket, tuck it away and keep it. You never know if she will want it back a few months later. Plus, some kids (when they become teenagers or adults) are overjoyed to be reunited with their childhood blanket. It’s a strong link to their childhood, and it holds a lot of positive memories.
  • If you’re ever worried that your child will never let go of a security blanket, read the picture book Owen, by Kevin Henkes, with your child.

Pacifiers

  • Sucking is a natural instinct for young children, which is why pacifiers are favorites for them. If your child has a strong sucking reflex, he may use a pacifier for a long time.
  • It’s usually recommended that you start encouraging your child to stop using a pacifier when she is around 12 months old. The younger the child is, the easier it will be for her to let go of it (some parents report having great success with removing the pacifier when their child is around 6 months). However, most children will suck on a pacifier until they are 2 to 4 years old.
  • If your child uses a pacifier a lot, buy them in bulk. That way, if he loses one while you’re at the grocery store (or in the middle of the night), you have a quick replacement.
  • If your child uses a pacifier until age 3 or 4, it has become a security item, like a blanket or stuffed animal. Even when you convince your child to stop sucking on it, she may feel more comfortable to have the pacifier nearby as a sign of comfort and security.

Thumb and Finger Sucking

  • Since sucking is a natural instinct for young children, don’t be surprised if your child calms himself by sucking on his fingers and thumbs.
  • Some children start sucking their fingers or thumbs after they have been convinced to give up pacifiers. This is common for kids who have a strong sucking reflex.
  • If your older child still sucks her fingers and you’re worried that she’ll be teased, say, “You can suck your fingers when you’re alone, but other kids may make fun of you if they see you sucking your thumb.” Say this gently and calmly, not in a demeaning way. Often friends will coax a child out of thumb and finger sucking.

Bedtime Objects

  • Most young children sleep better if you allow them to sleep with their favorite security objects, whether they’re blankets, pacifiers, or stuffed animals (or a number of things).
  • Keep close track of the items your child is attached to. At bedtime, most kids become upset if they can’t find their security items—they really do help them sleep.
  • Sometimes children becomes attached to something that isn’t safe to sleep with (such as a toy with sharp edges). If this is the case, find a place in your child’s room (that he can see from bed) for the item to “sleep in.” That way your child can see the item and still feel safe.
 

Comments

1

This advice is luticrous and counter productive. By this age you should be talking to your child about being big kid, boy or girl that is not sucking fingers, relying on comfort items or using a pacifier. Sucking fingers is gross and is enabling a child to revert to an infant strage. They need to be encouraged to stop because of the parent expectation not because others will make fun of them. You should parent your child in to stopping so as they will not be made fun of at school. You can buy clear finger nail polish that is used to stop people from biting there nails, and it will also stop the child from sucking their thumb. It is harmless. As for the pacifers cut tiny holes in the end of the pacifer and it will no longer be attractive to suck on, sure the child will cry and throw a fit but that will just tire them out and they will sleep better. Finally the bedtime objects and comfort object…don’t even allow this to get started. Blankets belong in a bed and not dragged around the yard or anywhere else. Change out the bedding fairly often as well because you do not want to deal with a full melt down when the item is lost or damaged. Do not set yourself or you child up for failure in this fashion; child rearing is difficult enough in its own right. Imagine the embarrassment and horrilbe situatuion when you travel miles from home to visit a family or friend and stay the night and them suddenly realise you have forgotten the item. This is not going to go well, so it is best not to get it started.

The advice is not LUDICROUS or counter productive. Its an example of what may work for one person. We are all individuals. Finger sucking is not gross, however nor is it an example of ideal behaviour. Children go through very rapid stages of development, which they often find diffcult to handle, and finger or thumb sucking is an example of a child self soothing. I would rather have a child finger sucking, than biting, shouting or kicking another child because it doesnt know how to deal with emotion. And most children have a favourite teddy or something similar to sleep with. Its a matter of them feeling secure, and if they feel secure they are happier, easier to communicate with, and more open.

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