transition object

A transition object is something in the environment that helps cue the nervous system to "turn out the lights" and go to sleep. For grownups, it is perhaps that person that sleeps over on the other side of the bed. This fact accounts for the unease in falling asleep for Mom when Dad is off on a business trip. For kids, especially the younger ones, transition objects tend to be more important and more obvious. Think of teddy bears, pacifiers, blankets, favorite pillows and so forth.

It is advisable to try to steer young infants under a year or so to "loveys" that do not have the potential for smothering. So for example, soft blankets or pieces of cloth are probably not advisable for the very young child. The baby could pull a blanket up over the face or become entangled in sleep and obstruct airflow around the nostrils and mouth enough to rebreathe excessive CO2 and shut off the normal respiratory drive of the brain. The result could be a tragic case of SIDS. Later on, when the child is over a year, I would think such objects would be OK.

See also silking.

Night, Night! Dr. Hull's Common Sense Sleep Solutions© Copyright© Site Information/Disclaimer