From a special blanket to their favourite teddy, most tots would be lost without their bedtime comfort items.
But it isn’t just children who can’t live without their “security” or “transitional” objects as new research reveals that we grown-ups need our comfort objects too. A recent study found that a third of British adults still hold on to their cherished childhood comforter.
The research, which leading bed maker Silentnight commissioned with YourSayPays, discovered that of those adults who took part in the research, 13% per use their item regularly. More surprisingly, 6% had taken their childhood item round to a partner’s house.
The study of 1000 adults revealed that the most popular items UK residents had during their childhood were stuffed teddy bears (45%), toys (16%) and blankets (14%). Other popular objects included items of clothing, dummies, pillows and dolls.
Some gender differences were also revealed in the results – a large number of males (36%) stopped using their comfort items at 4-7 years; earlier then the majority of females who used their item until they were 8-10 years old (29%). In adulthood, 9% of females still use their comfort items, compared with 7% of males. Also, 17% of females said they would find it difficult to get rid of or destroy their childhood item compared with only 9% of males. Although it is hard to determine exactly why these differences occur, a suggestion is that it’s a result of different social pressures placed on genders during childhood. The type of item each gender seeks comfort in also varied, with 10% of females owning a doll as a comfort item in contrast to only 1% of males.
An interesting insight that came from the study is that 84% of participants would be happy for their child to form an attachment with a comfort item. These participants believe that forming such attachments is a natural part of development that children will grow out of. They also remember how a similar comfort item made them happy throughout their own childhood.
Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina commented on the use on baby comforters and other childhood comfort items, “Sleeping well and feeling safe are strongly connected and for many, especially children, having a security item can reinforce the feeling of being secure. My view is that, whether you’re an adult or a child, there is absolutely no harm in having a favourite blanket or cuddly toy that helps you to let go of the day and sleep.
We don’t know about the Mums and Dads, but babies seem to sleep much more peacefully when snuggled up to our award-winning Sleepytot baby comforters. You can see just what a difference they can make here.