Monday, July 28, 2014

Benjin Blankies

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?)

Sometimes I will wonder where he is because the downstairs is eerily quiet, only to find him snuggled up on the floor or in his bed upstairs with his beloved "blankies" and sucking his thumb.

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.


LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Hmm, we are big into the "lovies" around here. Avery got a beautiful blanket from my brother for her 1st birthday and has slept with it each night since. It was 'blankie' which was then shortened to "gi-gi" which we roll with. She also has "hoo-hoo" which is an owl blanket that the ER staff gave her when we had to go in for her allergic reaction. They stay in bed most days, but some days they come downstairs and she snuggles them on the couch or floor. I like that she has 2 items that are able to soothe her in the night when she is in her bed alone. They also help her sleep and remain calm on long car rides. Seems like Benjamin has the same idea as Avy. I'm sure if they could, the blankies would be at their side the majority of the day. I never thought about taking them away but I know we will BATTLE her paci addiction soon.

Just out of curiosity, may I ask why you dislike "blankie?" I think I am odd, but I love Avy's weird names for things. It's totally bad but I started calling oatmeal "momoki" because thats how she says it. :)

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

You and me both-it's blankets, not blankies! Lol. My kid calls for his "bwue bwankie" and I've given up on correction, although I still refer to it as his blue blanket. Don't know why that word drives me nuts. That and paci--don't know why, but it does. I wonder if our boys will take them off to college? Lol. They'll outgrow these little things before we know it.

Party of Three Heads said... [Reply to comment]

Colston was very much a Linus too. His was a Blue Silk blanket on one side, and this extremely soft material on the other side... I think the brand was called Baby Giraffe or something? Anyway.... Like Benjamin Colston's was so used and worn that it looked ridiculously dingy. But his? It went EVERYWHERE! It was his lifeline seriously for quite a while. But the point I'm trying to get to is Colston eventually outgrew his obsession. I can't tell you how long it's been since I've seen the said blanket, and while I'm thrilled that the days of me having to sneak and wash a disgusting blanket, and hearing his cries when he discovers that his "blue blanket" is gone, I'm also a bit sad that the stage is over with. I'm also sad because I don't know what happened to it. I'm a tad sentimental when it comes to stuff like that. Weird, I know.

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

During play time, Theo loves pillows and blankets. I've tried a light weight cotton blanket in his crib during naps, and ALL that it's done is give him something to throw overboard when he wakes up. Other than that, he has no interest in sleeping with one. He's 15 months old. Not sure if I'll continue to offer a blanket in the future. Maybe in the winter months when it's nice to snuggle something cottony and soft...

I too like a thin sheet all summer long. On the hottest of days, I still like it near or on my bare legs. A comfort thing.

He's so cute on the floor. And your feet in the shot...? Adorable life of a sahm in real time stuff <3

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

We aren't big on "blankies" here, but just the "nums nums" around here. Piper is a big fan of her thumb, but I hope she ditches that because I was a thumb-sucker forever.

I love your babies, so cute. <3

Mom in Limbo said... [Reply to comment]

My daughter did the same thing, and I stressed myself SO much. She was a ferocious beast if she didn't have her blankies (yes, plural) when she was upset. And the second she saw them, she'd suck her thumb. It did affect her teeth and caused untold tantrums.

BUT - When she turned 3, I decided to give Operation No Thumb a shot. I put this HORRENDOUS nail polish on her thumbs (both of them, so she couldn't switch, which she tried once). I explained about the polish, but I put two very secure bandaids on top so she wouldn't have to accidentally taste it and explained about not wanting to suck on a yucky bandaid. There were a couple tough nights, but she did GREAT! Within like three days, she no longer sucked her thumb - not even in the middle of the night. And she never looked back. She still loves her blankie, but it is a much healthier, relaxed bedtime relationship. :) And - her teeth went back to normal within 2 months. So - I'd say make an age-appropriate determination, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!

second floor dweller said... [Reply to comment]

With my first daughter my husband and I were really against the pacifier. We weaned her off of it around four months because it felt like she needed it to get to sleep and she was waking up for it when it fell out. Like most things with that kid, the weaning was easy. Daughter #2 is a different kid. (Shocker)

She was absolutely miserable until she mastered her thumb around 3 months. She's five and still sucks her thumb to fall asleep. She pops it in, turns her head and shuts her eyes, and it falls out a few minutes after she's asleep. Her teeth look fine to me and her dentist, and it really doesn't bother me. It might if she walked around with her thumb in her mouth in kindergarten, but she doesn't. I do catch her fussing around with her nails sometimes though. I was a terrible nail biter and still use that bitter polish on my own when I start gnawing and I'm almost 40. I guess I worry more about habits like that then a simple soothing routine.

We have "burpies" that are her loveys - the fabric burp clothes (fancy cloth diapers) that she loves against her cheek. A burpie and a thumb and about 90 seconds is all it takes for lights out.