A complete user’s manual for transitional objects: attachment animals, loveys, and security blankets.
Hi. My name is Doudou.
Doudou is Cami’s favorite thing on earth and thus her favorite gift to offer babies. It’s more than a plush toy; it’s an extension of Mommy and a symbol of unconditional love, security and reassurance. Doudou kisses every boo-boo, wipes every tear, and celebrates every milestone together. Doudou is your baby’s twin in every way; they will learn together and grow up hand-in-hand inseparable friends.
It’s heavenly to know that Doudou will give your child courage and confidence when you have to be out of the room whether you have a doctor’s appointment or are just taking a shower. To create this strong bond, here are some principals that bestow the magic.
HOW IT WORKS
- Doudou is a “transitional object,” as the psychologists say. You’ll begin reaping the benefits of its bond when your baby is 8 months old, the age that babies first experience separation anxiety: this period of distress when mommy is absent or when a stranger approaches. It helps the child brave life’s transitions with courage all the way to adulthood.
- Doudou goes everywhere baby goes and traps all of the imperceptible scents of every experience in his heart. The smell of the air after the rain, cut grass, mommy’s coffee brewing, the smoke from the grill. Doudou remembers it all. So when baby goes someplace new, all they have to do is hold Doudou close and they instantly remember all their favorite reassuring memories triggered by their smells. For this reason do not wash Doudou too often or he will loose his familiar odor.
- Doudou is an extension of mommy and a symbol of your unconditional love. Depriving your child of Doudou is as inconceivable as asking them to leave part of their own body behind. You can never threaten to deprive them of Doudou as a punishment as you would never threaten your child that you will deprive them of your love.
BONDING — from 0-8 months old
- Mommy can begin sleeping with the Doudou while waiting for the baby to arrive. This way the Doudou smells just like Mommy, a scent they are familiar with in the womb.
- Doudou wants to cuddle with the baby while they take a bottle or nurse as this is one of the most soothing and reassuring moments of the day. This will associate him with peace and happiness.
- Doudou wants to wipe every tear when baby gets mad and kiss every boo-boo. This will prove him a faithful companion through thick and thin.
- Doudou wants to give kisses during playtime and sleep alongside them.
- Doudou is a safe chew toy and has a variety of shapes to chew on while cutting teeth or to suck on as they learn to soothe themselves. Doudou is a great replacement for a pacifier as baby grows and needs to mouth something and your dentist will be pleased that with Doudou your baby is not getting suction as with a pacifier that can cause misaligned teeth.
- Doudou will require no washing during this phase.
ATTACHMENT — from 8 months to 2 years old
- Doudou is a reference for stability he will continue to fulfill his functions as above, while your baby will begin to experience new emotions.
- Baby will benefit from prolonged exposure to Doudou. Tie a ribbon around his neck and clip it to the baby’s clothes so they can take him everywhere with them.
- Every time baby is crying offer Doudou as the first solution.
- Doudou wants to hear all of your baby’s secrets, he promises not to say a word.
- Doudou is a good listener. Talk to him about your most emotional events of the day. He’ll help you identify if what you are feeling is happy, sad, mad, or scared. Make sure you take him everywhere so you can learn to sneak up on your emotions before they sneak up on you. Doudou is good at listening because he is really quiet.
- Your child will project his undesirable emotions on Doudou, so don’t be surprised if Doudou is scolded once in a while.
- Doudou still wants to enjoy a cuddle when baby gets a bottle, but Doudou needs his own chair at dinner so that he doesn’t get food on him.
- Doudou may need to be spot cleaned with a baby wipe from time to time. The goal is to wash him as little as possible so here’s the principle: clean only as deep as the dirt. If the stain is on the surface scrub that spot with a baby wipe or damp cloth. If his head is saturated through and through (ex: he fell in a muddy lake) or if the grime is toxic (ex: dog poo, or gasoline) then you will need to put him in the washing machine for a short cycle, on warm, and tumble dry.
- Many people buy two identical Doudous so that when one is in the wash they have a back up.
DETACHMENT — from early childhood to adulthood
- Once the bond is formed, only your child can decide when the time is right to outgrow their Doudou.
- If your child’s attachment to their Doudou causes problems when they are entering school you can introduce new rules, for example maybe Doudou is only for bedtime and stays in bed all day waiting for your child to come cuddle in bed when they feel the need. One sure-fire way to loosen the grip and the need for Doudou is to send it to the wash.
- Doudou is unconditionally faithful for big life events like a hospitalization, or moving to a new house.
- If you notice your child has phases when they need Doudou less and then more, do not assume it is a regression. Doudou has always accompanied your child through life’s milestones and to the child Doudou represents progress, courage and success.
- Doudou will be faithful for a lifetime as a favorite childhood memento.