When to Blankie Break or Do They Just Outgrow It???

Updated on October 08, 2011
D.S. asks from Katy, TX
21 answers

my ds is 3 1/2 and has hearing and speech issues. he is and always has been a blankie or lovie baby. ppcd has taken it away at school from day one. she said to try to take it away before he gets on the bus. My daycare tried this he had a total meltdown and refused to get on the bus. He has had a lot of recent changes daycare, school surgeries etc. So do I actually blankie break him or let him do it himself?

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So What Happened?

I decided not to force it. I also found out I can add his blankie to his iep. it is a small 9x9 square with an animal head on it. I felt like he wasn't ready for it and was debating to challenge ppcd on this. I decided I needed too. and my daycare worker agrees with me. He is going through too much to fast medically and way to many changes so I am going to leave it be for now. Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate the input.

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L.L.

answers from Rochester on

It seems cruel to take away a toddler's lovey. Why in the world does it need to be done? He will outgrow it...have you ever seen an older boy carrying around a stuffed animal or blanket? Trust me, he'll outgrow it. For whatever reason he needs it right now...and you ought to let him have it. I don't know what "ppcd" is, but there just may be a rule about not carrying it around at school...but can't he still take it with and leave it in his cubby or what have you?

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V.B.

answers from Miami on

I would let him do it himself. My daughter and son both had blankies (son still does). My daughter gave hers up on her own at around 4 years old. Just came to us one day and said "I'm too big for a blankie now. Can you put it in the memory box?". So, we had her write a note to put with it and put it away. My son will be 3 1/2 next month and he still sleeps with his blankie. We just moved from TX to FL in August and he has started a new preschool and is having separation anxiety in the mornings. He will ask for it as soon as we get to school. I give it to him and his teachers let him hold it for as long as he needs to get comfortable (which is usually around 10 minutes) and then he lets them put it away. It is a comfort thing for those kids and I see nothing wrong with it. Now, if we were talking about a pacifier, I would feel differently since that can interefere with them talking, but a blankie is perfectly fine. He will outgrow it, I promise. Good luck!

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H.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have a child with autism and he has always needed some form of a "security blanket". Sometimes when professionals tell you things but your mommy gut says "no", listen to your gut. When my son first started going to school, he was only 2 1/2 for 1 1/2 hours a day. They allowed him to bring his favorite toy/book/blanket whatever to act as a conversation starter. As he advanced to going to an actual pre-school, the teacher said his Little Einstein stuffed Rocket was a distraction to other students so we compromised and allowed my son to bring it and leave it in his backpack, at break he was allowed to have it back as well as at recess. Now fast forward, he's 8 and still has to have some security object with him, he usually brings with him to school his favorite book (I Spy). Just knowing it's with him but in his backpack brings him comfort. I don't plan on ever taking away these small things that do such huge things for my sons mood. If my son ever feels he wants to break the habit, I'll let him do it all on his own on his own time.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

... why oh why, does it have to be taken away???? Just because Daycare said so?
Sorry D., I do not agree with them.
I have my loveys, from when I was a child. It is in a special box. I will give it to my kids as a memento from me, when they are older.
My siblings have their loveys too. Still.

I would say, your Daycare is a bit cold hearted.
IF anything, most Preschools even, let the child keep their lovey in their cubby. My kids' Preschools did that.

NO kid, will go to Kindergarten with it.
They will be mature enough by then, to leave it at home.... where it is special.

DO NOT, just take it away.
It is NORMAL for children to have a lovey.
My kids are 8 and 5 and still go to bed with theirs.
Normal.
I did that too.
Your son is only 3.5 years old.

A child, WILL OUTgrow it, on their own.
It is special to them.
Very special and cherished and a part of childhood memories.

My son calls his stuffed cow his "BEST friend"... who was there for him since he was 6 months old. He LOVES his cow.
And my daughter has like several loveys.
It is all, okay.
They don't carry it around.
Once they hit Kindergarten... it stays home where it is safe.
They know that.

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J.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

My kids all still have some kind of blankey, even my 6 1/2 year old. His stays on his bed now, but the other two still haul them around sometimes. My almost 5 year old will still sometimes put his in his backpack on a bad morning, it helps him go to school. He knows he has to leave it in there while he's at preschool.

I say 3 1/2 is too little to expect them to go without, especially if he's had a lot of changes, school surgeries, and the fact that he may have problems expressing himself (hearing and speech issues).

He's still very young, he'll outgrow it when he's ready. Why remove something that helps him with the transitions?

J.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Both my sons had and still have their blankets. They are 7 and 4. My oldest only sleeps with his and my 4 year old carries it around some and sleeps with it always. The rule has always been that the blankets never go further than inside the car. They never go in stores, school, etc. We wouldn't want to get them dirty or lose them. I would never take away a beloved object. He will grow out of it on his own.

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C.P.

answers from Provo on

I think that making too many changes at one will cause too much trauma. Make rules concerning the blanket instead. Maybe leave it in a special backpack or use it only at home. My son (now 7) always took one in the car and to bed with him. Now he only takes one to bed. Maybe a blanket with you in a rocking chair might be a good rule for him. I have had special needs children come on the bus with them and I just try to make sure it is in the back pack before school.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

My son has a few beloved stuffed animals.
When he was about 3, I started telling him he could bring ONE along, but then it could only stay in the car.
Eventually it could only stay in bed at home - where it was safe and sound and no one could hurt it or steal it or get lost.
I'd tell him he could relax and know it would be there for him when he got home and went to bed.
He'd seen other kids who lost/broke their lovey (some cried for weeks about it).
He fussed at first but eventually he was happy and could see the sense in keeping it safe at home.

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R.A.

answers from Providence on

My son has loved blankies since he was born. He loves to hold anything soft. He had two when he was a toddler. They went everywhere with him. He then grew out of those, and know uses a regular sized blankie for sleeping. He calls it his "cute gigi" because it was mine, and it is soft and it long enough to go over his bed. This thing he would want to take everywhere. I told him he could have it in the house, but when he went to preschool he had to keep it at home. He was very sad about this, and told me he likes to cuddle with it, because it is so soft. I took this as a comfort, and secure type of thing. So, I allowed him to take a stuffed animal to school instead. It was a small one, a soft little bunny. I explained to the teachers that I would believe he would eventually get distracted, and have no need to hold it. He did. By the time he started kindergarden, the bunny stayed at home, and the blankie stayed on his bed. He will grow out of it.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

My son is 9 and still has his blankie. Starting in preschool is when "he" (kiddo's blankie is almost as real as the velvateen rabbit at this point, and is referred to as HE not it ;) started staying at home to stay "safe".

For my very sensory child... I made him a "tags" bracelet in preschool. The silky tags LIKE the ones from his blanket, but not. Pretty simple:... cut a pair of silky tags off something, thread the bracelet through the hole in the tag, finis. That way he could rub it if he wanted to. Bracelets are literally TIED to you, so they don't get lost or damaged often. OTHER options would be like a polar tech or satin band... something of similar texture to his blankie. Or something completely different that's "special".Ssomething special he can have with him (necklace, watch, temporary tattoo... anything)

We spent most of last spring/part of the summer at Children's hospital. Know what I learned? MOST kids still have a lovey. Whether it's a stuffed friend (teddybear, wombat, whatever), or a blankie, or a pillow. In the hospital all the toddlers, kids, teens, have their lovey's with them. They usually stay home, but when the hospital becomes "home"... well one gets to see the full array. AND THEN there was a Q on here some months back, and guess what? At least half the PARENTS on this site still have a lovey, and most kids with loveys STILL (regardless of age) have them as well. They just stay home. Pretty durn cool.

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R.D.

answers from Richmond on

Rule 1- lovey stays at home (except for overnights at grandma's)

Rule 2 (when they're a little older, like your son's age)- lovey stays in your room

Rule 3- Use it as a bargaining tool. You don't clean your room? I take lovey.

I snapped a few years ago and took both my daughters blankies away... I saved them, but THEY never got them back... and they did fine. The first 2 nights were hell, but after that it was a breeze.

My son's blankie I'm currently calling 'rag blankie'... it's literally a lump of material now, with more holes than I know what to do with. Blankie is getting retired as soon as spring hits ;)

ETA: Just read the other responses, I guess I'm playing the devil's advocate here. It's a lovey, yes it's security, but it's not a big deal. Your child should not be dependent on that for self confidence; he needs to learn to do things on his own and create his OWN self confidence. I guess that's why I always kept my kids blankies on lock down. Ew, no one else wants to see some school age kid dragging around a drool covered, grimy lovey!! Reminds me of Pig Pen frm Charlie Brown... no, lovey, blankie, whatever, is for you and no one else, and you can love it to pieces... in the comfort of your own home.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

My son had a little elephant blanket that was his security object. He just loved his little Dee Dee and took it everywhere. We had the rule that he could take it in his backpack to preschool but he could not get it out. Just knowing it was there made him feel better. On outings he could take it in the car but had to leave it in the car so it did not get lost. He kind of lost interest in it all on his own...maybe around age 4. He slept with that thing till he was 6. Now he is 7.5 yrs old and he doesn't even remember it -it is stuffed down in his basket full of stuffed animals. Makes me kind of sad! I say don't take away your child's lovey! They just outgrow it on their own.

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M.B.

answers from Orlando on

I wouldn't break him of it, maybe just tell him his lovey is a special item that needs to be kept safe, and taking it to school can hurt it. I dont see a problem with a child having a special item at home or out and about, but at school I can see the issues because then every child will want theirs and that's a lot to keep track of.

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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

it's not a normal situation because of your son's issues. my son was a thumb sucker with a lovie, from infancy. he still has his little blankies, at 5, but we have always had the rule that it doesn't leave the house, it's only for naptime and bedtime. i mean since he got to be a toddler and could understand. we also haven't had school and surgery and disruptions like you are talking. all those things combined are going to make it even harder. i'm afraid when they say "each child is different" they're really talking about this issue. i would normally say that boundaries and rules are very important. maybe with your child they're even MORE vital - or maybe in this case less stringent rules are a necessity. i have a feeling only you know that. but please don't use beloved blankie as a punishment or bargaining device as another poster responded. one has nothing to do with the other. that thing is sacred to him, and you know how much comfort it brings him...don't taint that. good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Neither of my children had any lovely-like attachments. They will get attached to an item for about a week, then move on to something else. I always take the item away from them before school/classtime. They are 3 and 5 and perfectly adjusted in class settings. They do like to sleep with their bears at night time though or when they are sick.

There are many reasons why personal items are not to be brought into daycare, sanitation issues (b/c most lovies I see are pretty yucky), lost items, children fighting over the lovely.... Most centers will take the item and put it in the child's cubby, and allow the child to have it during naptime, and plenty others will not allow the item to be left there in the first place. If you are adamant against the blankie being taken away before he goes on the bus, then speak to the school about this sort of arrangement.

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R.P.

answers from Cleveland on

my daughter has this fleece tied blanket she sleeps with every single night that she has had since she was born and no sight in giving it up. which is fine, we take it on long car trips and such and it stays in the car but if we are going somewhere short it stays at home in bed

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

Don't force it. Your son's teacher shouldn't be forcing it either. It will cause more problems than it solves. When he sees that the other children in the class don't have their lovies, he'll be more likely to leave it home.

You do need to have a conversation with him, though, and explain to him why it's best to keep it at home. It won't get lost. It will stay cleaner. Other children will be less likely to spill things on it. It won't get ripped or ruined if he keeps it at home. Tell him that you'd like to keep it safe at home for these reasons. Let him think about it, and ask him if he has any questions. Make sure that he knows he can have any time he wants to once he's home. He probably thinks that you want to take it away forever, so he needs that fear to be relieved AND he needs to understand the reasons behind why he shouldn't take it to school. You know, other than, "The teacher says so."

Basically, he does need to make the decision on his own in order to make the transition easier and he needs to know that his lovey won't be disappearing from his life.

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C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I would not take it away. It's his security. He feels safe and happy with it. My son is 4 and LOVES his blankie. We don't bring it out in public so it doesn't get lost. It stays home or in the car only. I could never imagine taking it away. Once we lost it for 1 night, I told him I would keep looking for it and after about 2 hours he finally fell asleep and then we ended up finding it in the morning. What a relief!!! He was so happy!

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

At 3??? No! My daughter has literally loved her blankie to pieces and it's her best friend. She'll outgrow it soon enough (my oldest outgrew at 6) and until then, she can have her blankie any time she wants. We leave it in the car or at home to go to church or the store, but she's usually perfectly fine with it.

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K.L.

answers from Medford on

He will grow out of it on his own but you can slowly and gently start weening him off of taking it away from home. A bit late now, but the best thing would have been to never allow it to go out of the house unless it was to spend the night at gramas, or go to the hospital. Those were the only times my kids took their blankies with them and it was just understood right from the beginning. We let them snuggle in bed with them, and on the couch in the mornings, and late at night before bed or when they were sick.When we headed out the door, and they started to bring the blankie, we just said, "oh, sorry, blankies stay home and wait for you." cheery and smiling, it just never became an issue. So, start telling him they arent allowed at school cause it might get lost, and work into leaving it behind. We never got rid of our kids blankies,, still have them in my hope chest and every now and then we pull them out and the kids get all mushy and sweet,,hugging them.. Kids are 28 and 34. (o:

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K.U.

answers from Detroit on

My daughter is 4 and has her Pancake Teddy Bear that has been her lovey since she was a baby. Pancake goes pretty much everywhere but DD is pretty good about keeping him in the car so he doesn't get lost. He also seems to like the same things DD likes and misses DD when she's not around. She uses him as a pillow for sleeping, or sleeps with him over her face. I would never dream of taking him away before she is ready to give him up. Considering what your son is dealing with, I would not take it away completely, but maybe he needs to get used to being without it for short periods. DD's preschool doesn't allow any loveys to be brought in class, but again, DD is okay with this because we've told her we wouldn't want anything to happen to Pancake and he'll be safe in the car or at home waiting for her. Once in a while she'll ask to bring him to school and I'll just remind her of what happened to her jacket which mysteriously disappeared one day while she was at school and she'll decide she's better off keeping Pancake in the car.

My stepson hung on to his teddy bear until 12. At that point it was just for sleeping but even if he went on a sleepover at a friend's house, he kept it in his bag so he at least knew he was in there without having to bring him out and get made fun of.

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