Is Your Child’s Attachment To Their Muslin Blanket A Worry?
One thing that all of us parents have in common is an undeniable want to do what is best for our children at all times. Raising little ones is exciting, terrifying and exhausting; it can be easy to question whether you’re doing it right. Making sure they are happy and healthy is always a priority, but it is also crucial to know when to step back and trust the process of parenting, or else you’ll cause yourself unnecessary stress.
Of course, as children grow they change, developing habits and attachments. At times, you may find yourself wondering if these fondnesses are normal, or whether you should keep an eye on them to prevent excessive attachment issues from forming. A common concern that crosses many parents’ minds is whether their little one is spending too much time with a comfort item such as a teddy bear, towel or muslin blanket.
While items such as blankets and toys are a positive element of childhood, creating a feeling of safety and reassurance, there may be cause for concern if a child maintains a strong attachment or need as they transition into later life.
Here is ClayBear Official’s guide to children’s comfort items and attachment.
What Are Comfort Items?
We all have things that make us feel safe such as a warm cup of tea, freshly cleaned sheets or sitting close to a loved one on the sofa. The need for safety and reassurance is a key part of the human experience and defines a large part of our existence. Comfort items serve a very similar purpose for young children. They are physical objects with which a sense of calm and safety are associated.
Usually, these items take the form of blankets, comforters and muslins, allowing children to hold them close, take them on journeys and snuggle at bedtime. Though this is not at all uncommon and comfort items do have many benefits, it is worth being aware of the negative implications of attachment in younger children and the signs of unhealthy bonds forming.
Child psychologists have studied the significance of childhood items for decades, working to understand the emotional and physical attachments to these objects and why they mean so much to so many children.
Why Do Children Become Attached?
Attachment to items happens at all ages. Perhaps it is a gift from a dear friend or a memento from a past relationship. Whatever it is, adults and children alike form emotional attachments to objects for a number of reasons. Whilst adults’ attachment is often linked to memories and nostalgia, a child’s love for their blanket or toy may be more than this; there is an inexplicable emotional bond between the two.
Psychologists have studied the relationship between young children and their attachment items and have suggested that, due to the lack of interference from logic or reason, children believe they possess a unique force or essence.
Perhaps this is due to a child’s belief that the object has some kind of invisible power or acts as a physical connection between the child and a person of safety. For example, if a muslin blanket is gifted to a child at a young age by a family member or loved one, the child may understand the object as a connection to that person.
Moreover, for many generations, the western world has associated items such as blankets, towels, teddy bears and comforters with bedtime rituals and routines. It is incredibly common for a child to sleep close to a comfort item such as a blanket and many are unable to relax or fall asleep without said item.
It is this association with bedtime rituals and the need for a blanket to fall asleep that can lead to a somewhat unhealthy attachment in older years. If children become too emotionally attached to an item of comfort, transitioning away from this item as they grow older may be more difficult.
Children that become reliant on physical objects as part of their bedtime rituals may find it difficult to fall asleep, relax and feel calm without these objects, even as they enter their teenage years. Some studies have even suggested that there is a correlation between poorer mental health in teenagers and the continued need for comfort items at bedtime.
Facing The Unknown
Aside from their roles within a home environment, such as at bedtime, blankets and other attachment items can provide children with a great sense of security and emotional support when visiting new places and exploring the unknown.
Many young children will take their blankets, towels or teddy bears with them on holidays, car journeys and to relatives’ and friends’ houses. This serves as a comfort aid in times of uncertainty, providing a sense of security and reassurance to little ones in new places and unfamiliar situations.
Of course, it is important to help children to learn to negotiate these situations without relying on attachment items in order to prevent the development of detachment anxieties in later life.
Comfort Objects As Transitional Aids
As mentioned briefly above, in addition to their role as childhood companions, comfort objects can play an important role in supporting children through transitional periods. These items are often referred to as ‘transitional objects’ as they enable the transition from familiar territory to the wider world.
What’s more, these transitional objects support the psychological and physical movement from dependence to independence, encouraging children to face situations independently without total reliance on a parent figure.
Certain child psychologists have also suggested that objects such as muslin blankets, children’s towels and toys also provide an emotional alternative as children and toddlers wean off breastfeeding.
Is Attachment To A Fleece Blanket Negative?
Unfortunately, the question as to whether attachment to comfort objects is positive or negative doesn’t have a black and white answer. Blankets and comforters do not signify a lack of love in other areas of life by any means. Instead, they are a reminder of security and a feeling of safety. However, it is important to avoid your little one becoming totally reliant on these objects while they grow as this is where the negative implications arise.
Most young children will grow past their need for attachment objects before they are five. Wanting to keep these objects for nostalgic reasons should not be resisted or viewed negatively either; it is only when the need for these objects continues into teen years or even adulthood that there is a cause for concern.
ClayBear Official: Children’s Towels, Blankets and More
As a parent, it is only natural to worry about your little one’s habits and development but, essentially, there is no such thing as a child loving their blanket or toy too much. Objects that present children with a feeling of real safety and reassurance are a useful way to nurture their independence, aid their childhood transitions and calm them down.
Here at ClayBear Official, we have a wide range of blankets, comforters and towels that are the perfect way for your little one to feel safe and secure as they begin their journey through life. From gorgeously decorated muslin swaddles to fleece blankets and comforters, there really is something for everyone.
If you are looking for blankets, comforters, newborn clothes, accessories or gifts for a little bear, look no further than ClayBear Official. With a wide range of products as well as a focus on sustainability, you can be sure that you are shopping for products that are made with love.
If you have any questions or queries regarding our range, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Send an email to email@example.com or visit our site and find the perfect item for your little one today.