If you know my kids or have been reading this blog for a bit, you've heard about "the blankies". All three of my girls have security blankets. Not only do they have one, but they have a backup for that one, so we have SIX security blankets in our family. SIX! They're not all out at the same time. There's only three out at a time so that when one is being washed the other can be used. We also have two in case one ever gets lost. (I hope THAT day never comes!) I have no idea how I will ever stop them from being attached to their blankies or if I even want to. However, I have nobody to blame but myself for this particular issue.
When I was trying to sleep train Sonya as a baby, she had a cuddly pink blankie I used to cover her with. She would cry when I first put her down, but she eventually found her thumb to sooth herself. However, in order to get to her thumb she had to grab on to her cuddly blanket. Eventually, she associated the two together, and that is what helped her to sleep. Since it worked so well with her, I did it again with Lana. Only Lana missed the whole thumb thing, and decided to put the blankie directly in her mouth. That's what she does now, sucks on her blankie, making hers the grossest, and the one that needs to be washed the most. I know-yuck. Georgia went the same way as Sonya and found her thumb through her blankie. So now not only do I have three girls attached to blankies, I have two thumb suckers and a blankie chewer, but damn if they don't all put themselves to sleep every night!!
I've been trying to scale down Sonya's blankie usage. She doesn't take it in the car anymore, unless we're going on a long trip. She does have it around when she gets home, but I've told her that when she turns five, the blankie is going to have to stay in bed in the morning. It's not so much the blankie that concerns me, but the thumb that goes WITH the blankie. At some point she HAS to stop doing that. Keeping contact with the blanket to a minimum will help cut down on the thumb sucking. Besides when they're babies or even toddlers, walking around with a blanket is cute. When they're five, they start to look to old for it. It's not quite as bad as a pacifier in a 4 year old, but it's not good. Everyone in the Peanuts cartoons makes fun of Linus for carrying around his blanket everywhere. I don't want Sonya to be made fun of at sleepovers in a few years. The one good thing is Sonya doesn't eat her blanket like Lana, so I only have to wash hers about once a week.
Lana's I have to wash every other day and she knows when I've switched it. I have to wash hers that often, because have you ever smelled a blankie that a kid has been sucking on? TRUST me on this one. NOT good. I'm sure she'll get some horrible disease years from now from whatever leftover detergent is in her blanket that she's eating, but I can not take that thing away from her. Not if I value any kind of peace and quiet. She's probably the most attached to her blanket out of the three of them. I try to switch the blankie when she's not paying attention, usually when she's in the tub, and throw the new one on the couch where the old one was. The old one goes directly in the wash. Inevitably, she goes searching for it after her bath. Then she picks up the new clean one, puts it in her mouth takes it out looks at it, looks at me and says,
"Dis new bankie, mom?"
"Yes," I reply and hold my breath. Sometimes she's okay with having "new blankie", sometimes she throws a fit.
"Where old one?" she always asks.
"Where do you think, Lana?" I ask her.
"In wash," she tells me.
At this point she either says okay and walks away, or she starts whining that she wants the other one. I don't know how she knows that's it's a new blankie, but she does. Well, actually it's probably not that hard to tell since you can smell the dirty one from down the street. Ick. I'm pretty sure she's going to be chewing on that thing when she goes to college. If there's anything left by then.
Georgia wasn't as attached to her blankie until recently. Even now, I don't bring it with us all the time in the car and she'll be fine. She does need it to sleep, though. Also, when she's having a fit about something, if I want her to quiet down, all I have to do is pull her purple lovie out and she immediately lights up. She gets a huge smile and flaps her arms up and down, like she's trying to take flight. When I hand it to her, she throws herself into it snuggling and sucking on her thumb, immensely happy. She does love it, but I think she'll be the easiest to break of the two habits. Mostly because she doesn't need the blankie or her thumb all the time, like the other two do. She uses her vises most when she's tired or needs a bit of extra comfort. For Sonya and Lana they're completely part of their lives, almost like a best friend.
So. Yeah. I'm screwed as far as breaking them of these things. I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much though. My youngest sister Megan had/has a blankie when she was a kid/adult. Last I heard, even though she doesn't use it anymore (I think), she still has it. Not sure I'd want to see what kind of shape THAT thing is in, but she turned out okay. I guess since it won't stunt their growth or turn them into serial killers, I shouldn't worry too much about it. I know a lot of kids break themselves of these habits too, so I guess I'll do what I can, and let them decide for themselves. Either way, I'm going to have six blankies, or maybe just three, to keep me and my baby memories warm when I'm old and senile.