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When To Say "Bye" to Your Child's Security Blanket

Updated on June 18, 2013

Bye-Bye Blankie?

When is the right time to wean your child off the security blanket or stuffed animal she can't part with? Here's the good news: This is one piece of your child's life that you don't have to think about, worry about, or deal with. Just let it ride!

Now, you may be wondering, "Well, if I just let my kid stay completely attached to her blanket, shouldn't I be worried that it will become unhealthy at some point?"

That's a great question.

Think of it this way: How many 12-year-olds have you seen hauling a blankie around? How about a doll or a stuffed dog?

How many 10-year-olds have you seen doing this? Eight-year-olds?...

Probably none. That's because children become keenly aware of their peers and their surroundings as they grow. Believe it or not, your child absolutely WILL wean himself from his security item on his own at the appropriate time. Guaranteed.

Now, he or she may still want to sleep with this object (since they don't encounter many peers during the night).

Okay. What's the problem with that? Seriously! They have something that makes them feel warm, secure, and happy. We spend our entire parenting lives trying to provide those three elements for our children but feel pressured to rip all three away when our kids seem attached to something benign.

If you want to really impart security to your child, go the extra mile and tell them that you will never make them give up their doggie (or blankie or whatever). Tell them they can take it to college if they want to. The expression on their face when you announce this will be utter relief and happiness.

Do you have older children who have already given up their security item? You need to talk to them about never teasing the younger sibling or making light of this aspect of their lives in front of other children. Speak to them about how that would make little sister feel. Tell them that in this family, we don't try to put others down or embarrass them in public. It's a good training time to focus on how you want the older siblings to treat the younger ones.

In the meantime, feel free to limit the extent to which blankie travels (getting "lost in Ross" could be a nightmare!). It can stay in the car or at home for excursions.

But don't rip something out of your child's life just because it seems time to let it go or because your friends mention that they've weaned their children off a beloved item. Years pass by quickly. Soon you'll be left with a tattered piece of cloth lovingly wrapped and put away in your closet. Enjoy seeing it hauled around the house for now.


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    • profile image

      MadameX 3 years ago

      My boyfriends 20 and 25 year old still sleep and take their stuffed toys with them? Is this a sign of serious mental problems at this age, isn't it time for them to put them away for their kids?

    • profile image

      lbel45 5 years ago

      That's awful that she 'lost' her blanket, if something makes a child more secure, happy and comfortable and really isn't hurting a thing, why in the world rip it out of their life? That's awful

    • profile image

      kelleyward 6 years ago

      It is different for each kid I think. My middle child has had a blanket he has loved but can at times go without. He lost it a week ago and asked about it for a couple days and hasn't said a word about it now for 4 days. I'm glad it happened that way. He seems to be fine. Thanks for sharing.

    • annescripts profile image

      annescripts 6 years ago from Gilbert, AZ

      My heart goes out to you! That is so wrong. I don't know why someone would do such a cruel thing to a child.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I agree 100%! Unfortunately, my mother-in-law doesn't, and "lost" my 8-year-old daughter's blankie the last time she stayed at their house. What a way to alienate a child's affection, huh?