How to rotate comfort items

New parents are told over and over how it is important to have a routine with a child. Often times part of that routine is a particular blanket, stuffed animal or toy. There really is comfort and stability with good solid routines, but there are creative and interesting ways to teach a child how to choose and not need one certain item for stability or comfort.

Learning how to have a routine that is comforting with a lot of a variety is a skill that is worth learning. First of all, three choices are too many. This one or that one is something a child can master. So perhaps a toddler gets to choose which parent reads the story and which parent tucks them in. Simple choices that can be incorporated in everyday tasks helps a child face choices with confidence.

Rotation is the perfect word for lovey items. It turns a potential problem or challenge into a learning experience. It prepares the child for learning to make choices and to be satisfied with the choices they make. From the very beginning, use different comfort items. Use a variety of toys and blankets.

It is challenging for many parents not to take the easy way out in the moment. If a child is crying for a particular lovey it is tough for a parent not to just give in. After all, what is wrong with a little comfort? The answer is all about balance. There are times when “giving in” is worth it. However, if you are always giving in, there is something wrong with the overall plan.

Sometimes silly choices are helpful when letting go of some favorite lovey items. Justina loved her stuffed animals and always wanted one of them in the choices. On one winter day, her mother invited her out to make a snowman. Her choices were the brown coat and the blue coat. She picked brown. The choice was then two different colors of mittens. Justina threw a fit and wanted to take her bear. Mom finally gave in and Justina learned a very important lesson. You can’t make a snowman without mittens, even if you have a bear. After about five minutes, Justina requested to go back in and trade the bear for any mittens.

Comfort items are fine, just have plenty of them. Use hugs, kisses and time with family as comfort and the item becomes less important. When parents begin right from the beginning, it is almost always a non-issue. The answer is simple, rotate choices.