The teddy bear

What does the teddy bear represent?

In the first months of life, the newborn believes he is one with his mother. At about 8 months he begins to realize that you and he are two distinct people and that there is a distance between you: the teddy bear therefore becomes an object of transition in the construction of his identity. This concept was developed by the pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, according to whom the transitional object is not indispensable, but is often chosen as a palliative to the absence of the mother.

Even if your baby's teddy bear is ugly and shapeless, for him it is a reassuring object that creates a link between the places (home, kindergarten, school ...) and the people (parents, siblings, babysitters ...) that surround him.

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How is the teddy bear chosen?

Does your child's bed collapse under the weight of dozens of brand new soft toys, and he insists on bringing along a now shapeless doll? Don't be surprised! Your child does not give any importance to the appearance of the teddy bear, what matters to him are the sensations: through that object he finds a smell or a texture that reminds him of your scent or your skin.

The transitional object does not have to be a teddy bear, it can also be a rag or a t-shirt. Do not try to guide his choice, your child will choose his favorite object himself according to the feeling of security it gives him.

Lost or forgotten teddy bear? How to avoid the drama

You are about to take your baby out or put your baby to bed and the teddy bear is gone, even worse, maybe he forgot it in the park or kindergarten ... drama! Depending on his age, always try to calm him down by explaining things to him. If he is already 5 or 6 years old, why don't you propose to give up the teddy bear, just for that night? Talk to him like an adult and remain calm: he must feel understood and encouraged. If giving up his favorite teddy bear is really too painful, offer him a replacement item (a scarf or t-shirt on which you have sprinkled some of your perfume).

At what age to give up the teddy bear?

The opinion of the pediatrician Aldo Naouri, according to which "The teddy bear should be removed after 2 years" caused quite a stir. Often, in fact, the teddy bear is an indispensable object at least up to the age of 6. After this age, it is the child himself who gradually separates himself from his favorite object, which is always a comfort in case of need, but which no longer has the basic functions it had in childhood. In general, the teddy bear is kept in the bedroom but no longer follows the child everywhere: your child is still fond of it, but can now give it up. Attention, it must be your child who decides when to give up the teddy bear! Sure, you can encourage him to take this step but don't take the initiative to throw the teddy bear away.

If, on the other hand, your child is over 8 years old but still cannot separate from his doudou, it is better to resort to a pediatric psychiatrist who will be able to tell you if it is a worrying situation or not.

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