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I saw this question posted in answer to one of the questions I posted, and suggested the poster pose it as her own question. Since she has not done that and I have been curious about what the answers would be, I thougth I'd just post it. My own little girl had multiple loveys and never got terribly attached to anny of them and refused pacifiers so I've never had to deal with this one.

The little girl in the original posting had a Baby Anabell from http://www.smythstoys.com, and had grown extremely attached to it. I've also had numerous two's kids that had to have a blanket, doll or other toy with them to feel secure all the time. These things are helpful at early ages in sleep training and while traveling, but what do you do when the child is just to old to need it, but still isn't ready to give it up?

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Basically, if the child still needs it, it is too soon to give it up. There is no medical or psychological evidence that there is an age too old for comfort objects, eg Lovey's. Many children keep them until they make friends at school. Comfort objects are very important for children.

Teaching children to cope with stress will help with transitions. Even toddlers can be taught self calming, deep breathing, and excercise as forms of stress reduction. Once children can comfort themselves, they will not need comfort objects. It is very important to encourage healthy and safe methods of stress reduction. While there are countless examples of adults who engage in unhealthy comfort measures, such as alcohol or cigarettes, there are reports of healthy and normal adults who use comfort objects. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_object

It is important for children to be able to express their worries to a confidant who does not judge them. For some children, comfort objects serve this purpose.

Comfort objects also help children cope with transitions and disappointments in life. Children used comfort objects for support and solace too.

It is important for parents to understand the role the comfort object plays in the child's life so that they can help the child make a smooth transition. If the child is comforted by the object, parents should provide the child with another source of comfort, such as a blanket, hugs, a shirt, or other object that the parents find suitable that the child finds comforting.

The best way to help a child leave the Lovey behind is to teach him or her to comfort herself or himself. Think about the healthy ways you calm yourself when you're stressed, and teach your child some of those ways. Some ideas: singing, yoga, deep breathing, talking to a trusted friend, running, dancing, stretching, a nap.

Threatening, bargaining, bribing, and shaming don't help children learn to sooth themselves. If the child doesn't say it's time, then it isn't time yet. There is so little in the world that children control, choose your battles. The comfort object means much more to the child than it does to the parent. Try giving comfort instead of taking it away.

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Sooner or later your child will be playing with one of their friends who will comment on their security blanket / lovey. Depending on the age of the children, this comment will either be empathetic or derisory. IE, they will either relate to it, or think that it is babyish. Once your child knows that it is not the done thing, in the eyes of their friends, they will be far more likely to abandon the item than if you try to convince them yourself.

So don't worry about it.

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