Lost your 'forever friend'?
Whether they're cosying up to a velvety blankie or cuddling a one armed teddy, comfort objects are a positive addition to little people's lives. They have a special way of supporting babies and children as they rest, play and grow; and over time, these well-loved items become part of the family, and there are many reasons why a threadbare teddy or dog eaten rabbit softie are so important to its owner.
According to many Paediatricians and Psychologists, security objects can be part of the emotional support system every children need in their early years. Transition objects provide the predictability that youngsters require as they separate from their parents (e.g. at bedtime) and gain independence.
What are the main benefits of comfort objects?
Overall, transitional objects make children feel good and help them manage new experiences:
Comfort objects help youngsters relax and get to sleep
They are companions that children can talk to, sleep alongside and share experiences with
They provide reassurance when children are separated from their parents, e.g. at bedtime or child care
They provide comfort when children are frightened or upset, e.g. in the middle of the night
They help children feel secure in unfamiliar environments, i.e. by providing a link between a new situation and the comfort of home
How many children go through a 'comfort object' stage?
Many, but not all, youngsters have comfort objects. Studies have shown that up to 70 per cent of young children develop strong attachments to objects such as toys or blankets. However, it's interesting to note that the phenomenon tends to be confined to the western world, where children usually sleep apart from their parents at an early age. When should children give up their comforter toy? Although a parent might feel that it's time for their child to let their comfort toy go, there's no 'normal' age for a child to move on. Experts agree that the age children stop using comfort objects varies according to the child, the family situation, the child's temperament and experience. Some children at age eight may still sleep with a bunny they had when they were 12 months old, and other children may have changed their choice of object over time.
Over the years we have had many messages from families whose have either lost their beloved soft toy friend, been eaten by the dog (or cat), ran over by the car when left in the driveway, or simply hiding (very well) in the house. As a result we now aim to keep and nurture a few of each of our softies once they have been discontinued. If you do have an unfortunate incident and are in need of another ‘forever friend’ and you can't see them on our website, chances are we have a couple in a softie nursery waiting for you!