Here at Happy Little Hippos we here stories of parents who are often looking to purchase the exact same toys for their toddles. It is usually about 4 months after the initial purchase that we hear of mums coming back to the store and asking for the same blanket, wrap or stuffed toy they bought the first time except this time they don’t want just one but often 4 or 5.
Why do they need 4 or 5 of exactly the same item well, it’s called attachment and the babies just can’t seem to be without that special blanket or that cute little rabbit?
Why do most kids get attached to certain items?
Children usually between 9 months and especially in their second year are in need of security when they are becoming independent and exploring the new world. Transitional objects or attachment items are the objects they keep with them and turn to in times of fear or uncertainty.
More than likely between the ages of 2 and 5 toddlers and kids are ready to give up their attachment items and say goodbye to that not so new looking blanket or teddy bear. Attachment is not out of the ordinary but if your child is constantly in need of the item and rarely plays with other toys or other kids then you should consider what may be causing this behaviour.
Some possible problems to be aware of are:
- Issues at day-care
- Problems at home
- Prolonged illness
What should you do about attachment?
Offer as much attention to your child as you can lots of hugs and playtime.
Mix it up, do lots of different things with your child, like taking them to the zoo, take them for walks at night and take them on play dates with other kids to feed the ducks and visit parks they may not be used to. This will keep them on their toes and they will have a vast number of good experiences to relate back to so they are less afraid of change and less reliant on specific routine
Make washing the attachment item a fun experience, get your child to help you put it in the washing machine so they understand the process and know where the item is when it’s out of sight.
Be creative in getting your child to become used to being without the item, play hide and seek where with it, get them to put it to bed for rest time or find a special place just for the blanket or teddy.
The main thing to remember here is that attachment is normal; your kids need to feel secure and attachment items are just the thing to help them.