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Toddler too attached to blankie?

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Question

Dear Dr. Laura,
My 22 month old has become very attached to his blankie/paci (they are sewn together) He wants to walk around the house with them when it's not nap or bed time. I really want them to be bed time (and car time) items, but it's becoming a struggle. Any suggestions?

Answer

Like any other limit, it it's important to you, you will have to repeatedly hold that boundary. Your son can be expected to protest, so you'll need to be clear in your own self that this boundary is worth it to you. He is likely to feel grief. He is also likely to feel any other upsets that he is soothing with his blankie/paci, meaning that he is keeping a check on those feelings by keeping his blankie with him. Once you restrict its use, all those feelings will come up to be healed, and he will need to show them to you. That's actually a good thing, because it will make him happier, and it will make him "need" his blankie less. But you can expect some big meltdowns while he's clearing all those old feelings out of his emotional backpack. If you have my book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, it describes the process of helping children while they empty their emotional backpacks.

Good luck!
Dr. Laura

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