Parenting practices that limit transitional object use: An illustration

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Early Child Development and Care


This Study investigated the phenomenon of transitional object (TO) use by young children who have been parented within the framework of Attachment Parenting (AP). A sample of 275 mothers were recruited through an international magazine marketed towards AP mothers. Mothers who indicated they had children who were parented with such AP methods as breastfeeding, feeding on the infants' cue, cosleeping, and holding their child during the transition to sleep were placed into a high contact group and found to use traditional TOs significantly less than the children whose mothers did not practice these four behaviors. Only 18.2% of the sample was found to use TOs and those who did use them weaned at a significantly earlier age than children with no TO. The idea that the use of a TO may be hierarchical in nature is discussed, with the suggestion that an infant who is supported and comforted during stress by the mother does not tend to use a TO or they use the breast. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.

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