Many children develop an attachment to their baby toys and comfort objects such as blankets. For some parents, this type of attachment can be concerning. However, it doesn’t have to be alarming. Below is a closer look at why children become attached to toys.
Why Are Kids Attached to Toys?
Children tend to designate value to items like baby toys, blankets, and pacifiers when they become separated from their mothers. These transitional objects, sometimes called comfort items, serve to minimize the stress associated with separation and give a child the confidence to observe their environment. They make a child feel secure and loved, with a study showing how a strong attachment results in better mental health and parental relationship. Taking these away or restricting access results in anxiety and negative feelings, which are likely to have long-term repercussions in life.
When Does This Become a Serious Attachment?
Most children outgrow their attachment to baby toys and comfort items by the time they turn 4 years old. But when they remain fond of into their teenage years and beyond, it’s a sign of poor mental health and increased vulnerability to pathological disorders, based on research.
How Can I Encourage a Healthy Attachment?
The first step in promoting a healthy attachment is recognizing your child’s need for their transitional object. Let them have access to it, as it acts as a comforting substitute for their parents during separation. At the same time, it’s also helpful for your child’s development to give them cuddles and hugs. Spending time with your child is related to their attachment. One study showed that kids who stayed in daycare for shorter periods were less attached to their toys or transitional objects.
Your child’s attachment to baby toys is not always unhealthy. Should you need to replace their beloved toys, head to Toy Box, the largest toy store in Westchester County, NY. Based in Mamaroneck, they carry a wide variety of learning toys, arts and crafts, children’s books, and sporting goods. They also have free parking and free gift wrapping. Call (914) 698-7110 to ask about a particular item or visit their website to browse their products.