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Blanky Bliss

I’ve made plenty of mistakes when it comes to sleep training my children; especially in the days when I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, and newborn.  At one time, before I had children, I was rather opinionated about the way things should be done.

I secretly judged a friend for putting her infant in a moving baby swing all night to get her to sleep.  And then I had kids.   When I realized I was walking a thin line between caring mother and insane sleep-deprived lunatic, I became a bit more open to trying any possible idea that might score me an hour of sleep.

One thing I did that actually helped all my kids sleep better was I made sure they got attached to a “lovey.”  For our family, that meant blankies.  Those blankies signaled “time to sleep” and helped create a comfortable feeling for my kids whether we were at home, grandma’s, or on vacation in Montana.

My daughter was a thumb sucker.  When she reached a certain age we unanimously decided (yes, even she was ready) it was time to stop.  We had to put away her blanky then because it was so closely associated with thumb sucking.   In 30 days the habit was broken, and she was the proud owner of a new bicycle!  We’ve now paid the orthodontist, endured two years of headgear, and she has a lovely smile.  The end.

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Blanky THEN and NOW

The story of my boys’ blankies, however, is going strong.  Now age 8 and 6, they’ve never wanted to give up their blankies, and we’ve never seen a reason to force it.  Well-meaning people assure me they won’t be taking their blankies to college, but I’m not so certain.

I actually have visions of my youngest son using his blanky as a pocket handkerchief on his wedding day.  It will be about the right size by then.  His blanky is made of a lightweight, soft cotton fabric that wasn’t meant to endure 6 straight years of being wadded up and gnawed.  It becomes so shredded around the edges that annually I cut a few inches off and sew it all back together again.

That blanky endures a lot of tough love.  My son likes to put it in the fridge then pull it out later when it’s “nice and cold.”  He misplaces it all the time, and we find it in the most ridiculous places.  (We do always check the fridge first.)

I only wish I could cut my eldest son’s blanky down a bit.  We gave him a huge crocheted afghan eight years ago.  What were we thinking?  It takes up half his bed and doesn’t pack easily.  It’s impossible to hide on a sleepover.   I keep thinking he will lose interest in it one day, but just this morning as I woke him for school the first words from his mouth were, “Mom, can I lay here and enjoy a few more minutes of blanky?”

As I judged my friend for putting her infant in a swing all night, I’m sure some people might judge me for letting my sons stay so dependent on a piece of fabric.  But the truth is, sometimes when I’ve had a hard day or I am especially missing my boys, I stick my nose in a blanky and inhale deeply.  There is a comfort hidden within the soft folds that even I can sense.  Those blankies contain years of quiet nights, soft and even breaths, peaceful dreams, and security.  Even the sweet scent of my boys lingers in the fabric no matter how often or recently I’ve washed it.

I brought blankies in to help my kids sleep better many years ago, and they are still doing their job.  I’d call that a success.

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Blanky was good for crawling on and still works great as something soft to cuddle while reading.

Are your children (or were your children) attached to a special object for bedtime (or everytime)?

What age did they finally give theirs up?

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**Sound Sleepers has sponsored a portion of Dallas Moms Blog’s “Mamas, Rest Easy” Sleep Series; however, they have not sponsored the content. Becky has not used the services of Sound Sleepers.  All opinions and writing in this post are 100% original to the contributor. 

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3 Responses to Blanky Bliss

  1. Visa Shanmugam November 4, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Blankies/lovies are great when it comes to teaching your children independent sleep. It helps them form a healthy attachment to an object, that they associate with going to sleep. My own son had a lovie from a young age (we had about 12 of the same one)! which helped him soothe himself to sleep every night.

  2. Cassidy
    Cassidy November 4, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    While I don’t sleep with it every night, I still have my blanket and use it often during my nap time 🙂

  3. Michaela October 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    I also still have mine. I just can’t get my head at the right angle for sleep with pillows alone. Additionally, when pregnant, I’ve found that running it through my fingers helps keep morning sickness at bay, especially in the car (I get pretty car sick while pregnant). My older sister also still has her teddy. While she gave up sleeping with him when she got married, he lives on her nightstand.

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