a child's blanket

A raggedy old blanket or tattered stuffed animal may appear to be your child’s best friend at times—but remember that it also can be your best friend—especially at bedtime.

Instead of your child requiring you to stay in the room until he falls asleep, he can derive comfort and reassurance from a “transitional object” Most children attach to a favorite blanket or toy in their young toddler years. If your child is slow to select a toy, you may wish to encourage a variety of objects, including them in bedtime rituals and story-telling, and tucking them in under the blankets. These objects give your child a sense of control, since they are available whenever he awakens, and will be there to comfort him to sleep again when he is separated from his parents.

In the middle of the night—when you need to get some sleep—your child can be reassured by a tireless, ever-present blanket or doll. So next time your child looks longingly at a toy or stuffed animal—think twice about all the pleasure it can bring him—and his parents!

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