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My son always keeps something besides him while sleeping. It can be anything, not necessarily a toy.

Does that mean he fears something?

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I sleep with my iPhone. Constant fear of missing a pointless Facebook update... – DA01 Oct 28 '14 at 3:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've known quite a few kids that just wanted to hold on to something while they fell asleep. Having a cozy, or something to regularly cuddle with is also completely normal and acceptable at this age as well. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion it means he is fearful, its just a part of how he sleeps. Do you have a favorite pillow you always sleep better with? Think of it as being similar. It is just part of how he falls asleep best right now - and it is fairly common for his age.

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Thank you for your answer. What could be the reason for them to hold on to things. Is he feeling insecure or something? – meetpd Nov 18 '13 at 10:39

My son (2.5) sleeps with approximately 12 trucks, four bears, a caterpillar, three pillows and Iron Man. (I sometimes wonder how on earth he can fit in there with all those toys.) He will get quite upset if he wakes up and a toy isn't there and should be. It's not for protection, or fear; he does it because these toys are his lovies. My daughter, 5.5, does the same thing (except for the quantity). We always verify that each one is there at bedtime for her peace of mind.

Research indicates that lovies are there to help kids transition from the parent to the rest of the world.

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Comfort objects are completely normal for small children.

Does that mean he fears something?

Is he feeling insecure or something?

Yes, probably - but that's ok. If he had no fears - of anything at all - then that would be distinctly abnormal.

Growing up in the big world is scary for children, and security blankets, known in child development jargon as "transitional objects," help them transition from the familiar to the unfamiliar with more ease.

It's a well-studied field:

Linus (Peanuts) - comfort blanket

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I guess its normal. Even.when i was a teen, I used to keep my pillow next to me and used to sleep by hugging it. But mostly it was to reduce my anxiety and provide comfort. Yeah.. So its normal ( hopefully, oe else I am not normal lol)

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I am a 49 year-old male and prefer to sleep with another person (was married 21 years), but when no one is there, I often hold a pillow or blanket, or place one behind my back. I had two stated reasons for getting married and one of them was to be allowed to sleep with someone. (You can guess at the other.) I feel that sleeping alone is not normal, and putting children alone in a room is to do violence to them, but I cannot make this case to the current culture. Humans did not evolve living alone. To be alone can constitute a survival emergency in many circumstances. I got divorced partly because former wife expressed a strong preference to sleep alone, preferably in another room. (You can guess at the other reason.) Sometimes, hugging yourself or an object is the best you can do.

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I feel like this would be a better answer without some of the personal information and rather extreme reference to violence. It's entirely reasonable and a good answer at its heart, but you just don't need the context to convey what you mean here. – Joe Oct 30 '14 at 14:37

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