We never, ever introduced a "lovey" or anything like that. I didn't want to rely on always having something and GOD FORBID, losing said thing that your kid is attached to.
My kids ditched their pacifiers on their own before 4 months. Benjamin chose a thumb in favor and so far Claire has been fairly content with neither.
When Benjamin was over a year old, I was finally letting down my guard a bit and put one of those Aden & Anais breathable muslin swaddling blankets in his crib with him. While he slept just fine without it, I felt like I was depriving him of comfort. We all have blankets and sheets, even if we're not cold. They're comfortable. Even when it's really warm, I still like a thin sheet in bed. Eventually we'd graduate him to a real bed with real blankets, and I didn't want the additional stuff to be foreign to him. With that logic, I wanted to get him used to having blankets and sheets in bed and gradually threw one in to his crib. At first he ignored it. Then he began using it. He'd grab it and sort of snuggle it.
Now he has a duvet and pillow and still insists on "Benjin blankies" when he sleeps and often around the house. He even has one in the car (for use when he's epically melting down or sleeping in the car).
He's sort of grown attached to these things and we didn't mean for that to happen. I never thought I'd have a "blanket kid", yet we have our very own Linus on our hands. He used to call them blankets and somewhere around Claire's birth, he switched over to "blankies"-- which we dislike. We corrected him for ages and now we just roll with it. I don't know if someone called them that and he latched onto the word, but no matter how many times we correct him, it makes no difference. It's like he is using the word as a term of endearment. While we never use the word he does, we also stopped correcting him.
I sneak them away quickly to wash them and he's a little bothered when they are wet and drying. He often repeats "blankies dirty" while they are agitating in the washer and makes it known he hasn't forgotten about them. It appears he understands they are in safe hands and truly enjoys a clean blankie, but he doesn't forget. But when they come out of the washer, I always hang them to dry because they are thin and well-used and I don't want the dryer to take the life out of them any quicker. He can't help it. must. get. blankets. and. drag. wet. blankets. all. over. the. floor. (thus turning a clean blanket into a dirty one again because who has time to mop floors?)
And that's the other thing. Thumb sucking is almost non-existent unless Benjin blankies are in hand. As soon as a blanket is clutched, the right thumb is inserted into his mouth. We're not terribly concerned at this point, but it might be a full on war when he turns three. For dental and sanitary reasons, I'd prefer he ditch the thumb (and blankets, really). I might even transition by tying them to the bed, allowing him to only have them while sleeping. But would that work? Or will I just find him laying in his bed all day long?
But what's a parent to do? He sleeps better with them. He calms himself almost instantly with just clutching them. He's fine to go places without them and is never allowed to remove them from the car or house.
Not just any Aden & Anais blanket will do. He has a particular blanket that of course is muslin but not part of that brand. And it was a gift. I can't come to the point of replacing these things. It's just... when they "die", I think we'll just let them. The giraffe blanket is referred to as "Mommy blankie", yet he also likes having that around. But it's really the plain white (ehm, as white as I can keep it) blanket that's made from some fancy organic fabric with a preferred corner (where the tag is) that he would consider donating an organ to keep.
There are worse things and really... I have two living children, so this is one of those things. I'm just thankful they're alive and we have to "worry" about stupid things like silly pet names our kid uses for his blankets he has an unhealthy obsession with-- and I also need to remember he's TWO. He's still very much our baby.
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