How to Create a Transitional Object

Transitional objects are created when young children between the ages of 6 months and 1 year begin to recognize their independence and deal with the anxiety this causes by turning a familiar belonging into a source of comfort. The most common transitional objects come in the form of children's favorite toy, stuffed animal, or a blanket. Here are steps to take as a parent to help your children deal with and create comforting transitional objects.


  1. 1
    Understand the importance of transitional objects.
    • Transitional objects are healthy signs of the love, strong bonds and attentiveness between parents and children.
    • Transitional objects are effective for children not only because they are familiar, but because they represent security and comfort for your child.
    • Understand that transitional objects help your child cope and are faithful, reliable companions that are always there when sometimes parents are not.
  2. 2
    Create or designate a safe transitional object.
    • To ensure your child picks a safe toy as their transitional object, surround them with age-appropriate toys that do not represent choking hazards.
    • Choose toys that do not contain small removable parts and cords or choose blankets and stuffed animals without buttons, beads, foam, and other dangerous components.
  3. 3
    Accept your child's attachment to their transitional object.
    • Although your child seems unable to part with their transitional object, try to set limits on where they can take it, such as leaving it behind in the car when going shopping.
    • When your child becomes adamant and refuses to part with their transitional object, try not to deprive them of their comfort. After all, it does represent your child's security.
    • As your child becomes more exposed to social situations, they will eventually decide to overcome their constant need for their transitional object by the age of 5 years.
  4. 4
    Take steps to allow your child to become used to separation.
    • Practice being apart from your child to run quick, short errands such as stepping outside to check the mail or leaving the room.
    • Allow your babysitter to come over earlier and spend time together so your child can get used to being with another person they can learn to trust.
    • Be positive and happy to your child when you leave the room so your child understands it is normal.


  • Be aware that your child's transitional object may break or get lost at some point, so be open to allowing them to choose a new comfort item.
  • Keep 2 identical transitional objects on hand so you can wash 1 of the items on a regular basis, which helps keep your child clean and healthy.
  • Introducing a transitional object to your child may help them overcome and replace thumb-sucking with a comfort item.


  • If you try to force your child to give up their transitional object, you may be increasing their anxiety and prolonging their ability to develop independence.

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Categories: Parenting | Toddlers