Benefits Of A Transitional Object
What is a transitional object and why does it help?
A transitional object, otherwise known as a comforter, blankie or lovey is an item used to provide psychological comfort for babies and toddlers especially in unusual or unique situations, or at bedtime for small children.
Babies from six months onwards experience some degree of separation anxiety as part of their normal development. It is thought that it is a result of increased mobility and independence and a developing realisation that they are physically separate from their primary carer. In some children this can be quick phase, while in others (like mine) it can continue well through-out their toddlerhood. Any mum who has experienced their little one's anguish at being left with someone while you attend a doctors appointment know how intense these periods of separation anxiety can be. Introducing a transitional object is one way parents can help their little one feel safe and secure during these moments.
Transitional objects or comforters , similar to lullabies, can quickly help build positive bed and sleep associations which can make going to to bed and resettling during the night easier for your little one. Outside the house they can really help too - providing a sense of security and comfort during situations where they may experience a higher level of anxiety such as unfamiliar environments, child care or going to the doctors. Transitional objects can be introduced at any stage, even from very young but it is important to always consider SID and safe sleeping guidelines. They can be almost anything but most often take the form of soft toys or blankies.
As for my personal experience with comforters - my daughter's first love was her dummy. She has had it from the very start and loved it with an insane intensity from day one. Her second love was 'Fawny' and third love is her teddy. These tools have all had different moments in the spotlight for her but there is no doubt that they were incredibly comforting for her during her transition to 2 days a week childcare at three years old after being with me every day prior to that. My son, on the other hand, had never really 'loved' anything (except for his mummy) or made a close bond with any inanimate object. But as we were preparing to have him start childcare we made the conscious decision to introduce something that I hope will help him during this period. It was not an instant bond but within a few days he took to using 'Foxy' and with his dummy securely attached to it he then went on to forge an incredibly strong and secure bond that took him through childcare, kinder and even prep at school.
TIPS FOR INTRODUCING A COMFORTER / LOVEY / BLANKIE
My daughter had many objects of desire so her choices for a transitional object came naturally and easily for her. For my son however it has been a deliberate decision to encourage him to bond and therefore needed some tips up our sleeve to make it stick.
1. Wear the comforter down your top for as long as you can stand. Not 30 minutes, hours... Take it to gym, walk the dog, really get your smell all over it. Babies have an amazing sense of smell and even just doing this can bring a sense of comfort to babes when they need it.
2. Attach a dummy/pacifier to it. If your baby likes their dummy then attach one to the comforter. Riff & Raff have a special tag for this purpose but if using something else you can just use a regular dummy clip. This will immediately increase the amount of contact your little one is having with the comforter and also reduce the number of lost dummies - win / win!
3. Give it personality and use it regular nap and bedtime routines. Play peek a boo with it, sing songs to it and make it fun. But also incorporate it into nap and bed time routines by wishing it goodnight, snuggles and if a Riff Raff & Co toy turning on the lullaby. Persistence is the key. If you are choosing to use a Riff Raff sleep toy as your chosen comforter you can see more about our suggested introduction tips here.
4. Once a comforter sticks - buy more than one or make sure it is easily available. It will get lost and it will get dirty. A unique find at Savers might look great but it could prove quite fear inducing if it goes missing at the Zoo. Having two of them can reduce stress and negotiations when it comes to washing and drying of the toy.
IMPORTANT: FOR THE INTRODUCTION FOR BABES UNDER 7 MONTHS:
It is really important that SIDS safe sleeping guidelines are followed and no soft toys should in the cot for your baby. Our cuties have been designed with a strap which can be used to secure the toy to either the inside or the outside of the cot to prevent little ones from pulling the toy over their face. We recommend that this strap is always used with babies under the age of 7 months old unless being directly supervised. The recommendation in the USA is 12 months of age. The benefits from their comforter will not be diminished as babies under the age of 7 months will gain a lot of benefit from the audial and visual comfort when not able to feel the comforter. xx
We bought a Riff Raff comforter for our baby due end of March but have tried it out with our 19 month toddler. What a game changer, Koala has helped us transition our son into his own room for nights and day time naps. Would absolutely recommend to any parent. I will be purchasing a second Riff Raff for my newest arrival. Thank you Riff Raff and Co 🙌
Our little girl loves her little "raffy"
I absolutely love riff raffs my 2nd child has one she’s now 3 and loves her mr snuggles and I brought one for my new born 2 weeks ago and she can’t sleep without hers she loves it too! Amazing!!
Granddaughter, Emma, loves her Riff-raff racoon, we since bought the deer, and I now have Clover, the bunny waiting for when Emma visits, so mum doesn't have to bring the ones from home. One for home, one for car, one for nan's house.
I am so happy with the quality and how quickly my son's RiffRaff arrived, he is only 3 months old but loves it. He constantly cuddles it and likes you Chew on the fabric definitely will get one from here sgain
Super fast shipping, my 17month old loves it and it helps her sleep better at daycare. Will be getting another one.
Given as a gift to great neice. Her mum says it’s great and they both love it.
Such a sweet toy. I’m pretty sure my baby now associates the lullaby with going to sleep, it seems to make it easier for him to fall asleep.
Absolutely love it "Johny" is much more settled now he has his Riff Raff Koala to keep him company
My daughter loves the riff raff fox teddy and towel set! She’s had the teddy since she was born and the lullaby has saved us so many times!! I have gotten so many of my friends and family to buy one and they have all said the same as me
I was a bit dubious about buying one of these and wether or not it actually would help settle my son and loved it so much that I ended up buying one for a friend who became a dad for the first time. Will now be my present of choice for first time parents.
Our little man absolutely loves his Riff Raff! Thank you
I purchased the koala for my baby due in March but gave it to my toddler to help transition into his own room. It's been a godsend to help him self sooth and nap during the day. Will be buying another for my newborn. Thank you Riff Raff and Co
Charlie is only 2.5 weeks old but can already find comfort in her riff raff 😊
Got asked to try this product with my bub who has trouble sleeping in the room we are staying in amd ever since her Riff Raff she has been sleeping so much better now! I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given and now my bub sleeps so much easier 🤗
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