smiling girl teddy bearFavorite blankets or stuffed animals provide comfort and help young children soothe themselves when they are upset or transitioning to sleep. Toddlers and young children also rely on the security of blankies and loveys for the boost of self-confidence they need to face new experiences and new social situations.

Love That Lovey!

Most toddlers carry around a favorite blanket or stuffed animal between the ages of 18 and 24 months. By age 3 or 4, most children are able to leave their loveys at home and may only look for them at bedtime or when they’re upset. As with thumb sucking, the start of childcare or preschool presents a natural opportunity to wean your child from the constant companionship of his lovey.

The Weaning Process

We think you’ll find these weaning tips from and our teachers helpful:

  • Timing is everything. Begin the weaning process when family life is calm and well before any major change in your child’s life such as the beginning of preschool.
  • Explain why. Children want to know why change is necessary. You might tell your child that he is a big boy now and going to school, so bear needs to stay home.
  • Take it slow. Giving up a lovey is a process; expect occasional regression. Create opportunities of short separations; such as, blankie can come in the car but not into the store.
  • Be patient. Don’t punish or embarrass your child when he needs his lovey. With encouragement and maturity, he’ll be able to give it up.

When you’re ready to wean your child from his lovey, talk to his Horizons Education childcare or preschool teachers. We’ll be happy to work with you to encourage your child to take this step toward independence.