Thursday, June 7, 2012

3 Main Emotional Components of Transitional Objects

In our last three posts, we explored the psychology behind transitional or comfort objects and learned quite a bit about Dr. Winnicott, a pretty cool (and sassy!) pediatrician and psychotherapist who researched this topic in the 1950s. In our last posting in this series, we’ll explore the three main emotional components to this amazing phenomenon. This is only a summary; and a very general overview of what is actually truly fascinating and deep psychological aspects of development—we learned a lot in reading these materials and plan to include what we’ve learned here in the Sassy Baby toy development stages. Let's explore why babies use transitional comfort objects:

  1. Child's normal emotional development: This means babies use the object to explore the world and test new sensations. We call that exploring the senses here at Sassy!
  2. Defense against separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is common in babies & toddlers and something that is also very challenging for parents. The transitional object may serve as a connection between the transition from caretaker to caretaker (for example - mom dropping off baby at day care). That’s why parents are often so reluctant to wash the special toy or blankie—what if it’s still wet when baby leaves the next day for child care! Ahhh!
  3. A "means to explore play and illusion”. Similar to testing and exploring the new world around baby, the use of transitional objects to actually play, imagine and explore is a critical part of child development.

Wow, One Sassy Doctor really enjoyed learning all about this. If you have ideas for future series or learning more about the research and history of aspects of child development, let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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