Thursday, September 22, 2011

Luvie

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I was searching through archives the other day and stumbled on this photo of Mia when she was only 14 months old. What you can't really tell in the first photo is that she is holding her pink "blankie" that is dragging on the bridge behind her. Both my children had a little silk blanket that was their luvie; their little security item they held at night and cuddled for comfort.

You can see if more clearly in the photo below.
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I have mentioned that, no matter how hard we try, Mia keeps coming into our bed in the middle of the night. I feel more and more tired as this trend continues. Anyway, for both children, we took away their security blankets around the age of 2. Robert and I didn't want them to be too attached to it... or if it was ever lost, we would be beside ourselves and find fits of tears and a guaranteed sleepless night. So, at around 2 years old, we took them away. Neither one put up too much of a fuss about it nor seemed to miss it. We stored both of their luvie blankets as keepsakes.

Anyway, night after night for at least a half a year now, I have been getting up at 2 am to comfort Mia crying at the top of the stairs saying she is scared or lonely. It's that or she climbs into bed with us, and I end up moving to the couch because of her tossing. After 6 months of broken sleep, I am wondering if we should bring a security item back! Isn't that crazy! I would try anything to get my girl to stop waking me up every single night at 2 am!

So, I am curious, did your child have a blanket or security item? At what age did you take it away? Did you feel this helped and comforted your child, or over time did they develop too heavy of a reliance on it?

17 comments:

Hana said...

Jessica, both of my girls still have lovies and they are 3 & 5. They aren't dependent on them but they sit on their beds ready for each evening when they crawl into bed. Sometimes they want them, sometimes they don't. At this point the lovies never really leave their bedrooms. They don't leave the house. I never felt the need to take them away like I did with their pacis. With both girls they really wanted to have their lovies by their side until around the age of 3 when they became less important to them. Now they just like the way they feel against their faces when they curl up in their beds at night. If you think it would help then I'd let Mia have hers again...especially if it might allow you some uninterrupted sleep. I see no harm in it :)

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks, Hana! It was nice to see you the other night. Maybe I will show her the pink blankie and see if it resonates with her. I feel perpetual exhausted--like you said--what can it hurt!

Actually, I spoke to her a few nights ago. She is so talkative and understands so much, that I just explained that it's really important that she gets a good night sleep so she can grow. Also, I told her it hurts mommy's back when she comes in bed with us because I move to the couch. That worked for a few nights, but then the past two--back in bed!

Julie said...

I think you should just give it back to her... My son had a favorite blankie as well and as he got older he has just lost interest, he is now 8. I don't think there is anything damaging about having a security item, especially if it means more sleep for her. And to be on her level, night can be a scary thing, something that makes her feel safe can't be bad :)

Dee said...

I definitely think you can bring back a security item without being at all worried! My son is 6 and still has his birth blankie that he came home from the hospital wrapped up in) and he LOVES the comfort it gives. It's not an unhealthy attachment in any way. Same with my daughter who is almost three and her torn and shredded pink blankie. Even adults have security items such as a favourite pillowcase or the smell of a particular pyjama (maybe one that your significant other wears if not your own) that brings peace or comfort in the night.
I think so long as you set boundaries and wash the blankie every now and then and/or have a rule that it is not to leave the house (ie. bed time only comfort) that there is absolutely no worry over having an object for them to hold onto. In fact, having an item of such value and comfort, in my opinion, only serves to foster attachment between a child and that item and it is that attachment bond that can help a child cope as they go through rough patches as they grow!
Good luck...and I hope you get your full nights sleep soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Paris will be 3 in Dec and she still sleeps with her "flower blankie" I must ALWAYS remember it when we go out of town and lord forbid it's still in the wash at bedtime, she WILL stay awake waiting for it until it dries. Whatever it takes Jessica, sleep is the utmost important thing we as moms need!! Good luck! <3 Prencie

Anonymous said...

Both my kids (son 5 yrs old and daughter 18 months) have special stuffed animals that they ALWAYS sleep with. Its great and it totally calms them down and lets them feel good about going to bed in their own room. They are well loved and survived many washes, despite being "spot clean only!" My son says that his duck stays awake all night to protect him...and sleeps all day when he is at school. :) Maybe she could get a special package with a new lovie animal to sleep with. Good luck. There is nothing harder than this...but its worth it, being a good sleeper (in your own room) has a life long reward and your help will ensure that eventually she is willing to do it. :)

Marina said...

We actually got this small pink stuffed doll to bring to the hospital when my little sister was born, once she came home, my mom put it in her crib. As she got older, Evelina cuddled with the doll and called it her Bebka! Once she stated talking, she would not go to bed unless she had her bebka with her. Sometimes the whole house would be in panic looking for her bebka so she can fall asleep. As she started running and climbing, her crib changed so she can get in and out, not needing to climb over the bars and so her bebka would come out of the crib wandering to the adventures she faced that day and being left behind. The crib change seemed easy. But every night we'd send her out looking for it before bed. We would have a hard time- having to wash it that same day. We once got her a new similar one because her original one ripped but she didn't accept it so grandma had to sew it up. She is now 5 years and started to kindergarden. Her bebka is now in its original spot.. at the corner of her bed. Slowly without noticing it she let it go and now seeing bebka in her bed it enough. We hope that in a year or so it wont matter at all and she'll outgrow it without us needing to take it away.

Jessica Haley said...

Marina, thanks for your description of phasing out Bebka. Just to clarify, our kids were not enamored with their little blankets and we abruptly took them away to cry themselves to sleep :)

Both of our kids, at various ages, seemed less interested in the blanket and more so with other loved toys and stuffed animals. So, we put the blankets away with other favorite items and clothing from their baby years. I don't think it was wrong nor hurt them. I think, ultimately, what kiddos need most is loving, available parents, regardless of how issues like binkies/pacifiers, security items and the like are handled relative to parenting styles :)

Jenni said...

both of my kiddos {age six and three} still sleep with their "luvies", as you say! for kyan, it is his bear and blanket, and they go with him if he spends the night somewhere besides our house {he hasn't had a sleep over at a friend's house yet, so not sure how that one will work?!} and lola has her piggy {blanket with a pig head attached to it, it is very small, similar to mia's}, although lately she doesn't lose her mind if she can't find it and sleeps with another animal!

i figure they will get rid of them when they are ready {that or they are going to be the crazy adults that sleep with stuffed animals}! ha!

good luck!

Cristine said...

My five year old has a certain pillow he has to sleep with. It's grimy and gross and he won't let me wash it. The only stipulation I give him is that he can't bring it to my bed. My nineteen year old still sleeps with her bear. Her bear hits the washer regularly though. ;)

Maydena said...

My daughter is only 10 months old, but I wanted her to get attached to something as a luvie. I pushed teddy bears, and other stuffies, but she ended up loving a blankie that we swaddled her in when she was new. Now, she carries it around and gives it hugs when it's on the floor...it's rather adorable. I say I "wanted" her to have a luvie because I think it's nice to have something comforting to snuggle with (I use my hubby). Also, she uses a pacifier, and I think a luvie will make that transition easier when I decide she is ready to give up the paci.

What if you wore a pair of pjs for a couple of nights, or slept with a blankie and then gave it to her? Then your smell would be on it, and maybe Mia would find that comforting? I know she's a little older, but I did this with my daughters blankie when she was a few months old. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I already mentioned this on FB, but my guy still has his favotire stuffed animal, "catepoo." He sleeps with and carries it around occassionally. And as you know, he's 8! ;) He is totally fine if he leaves at home when he travels and certainly doesn't need it go to sleep at night.
People tease me that I am more concerned about where catepoo is, more so than Ian. I don't think I am, I just would hate to lose such a treasured luvie until he is ready to put it up for good.

Crystal said...

I let all my kids have their silky blankets or stuffed animals to sleep with and carry around. It's never really concerned me, especially since none of them ever really wanted a pacifier or sucked thumbs, etc. My son who is 6 has moved on just fine without "needing" anything at night now. My three-year-old is still pretty attached. We've had small bits of time where it was misplaced, and she did fine but still wants it.

Anonymous said...

My mom took my security blanket away and I remember it as one of the most traumatic events of my childhood strangely enough. I cried and cried and she just said I was a big girl. My mom was very out of touch with my emotional need, but my parents were divorced and I had a lot of separation anxiety so it's different than your situation if Mia didnt mind losing it. And I will also say that to this day I cuddle with a stuffed animal or blanket so...(except when I was married cuz then I had my man). In my opinion, my mom was stupid to cause me unnecessary anxiety and stress over when SHE thought I was ready to be rid of it. I got along just fine through life even though I slept with a stuffed animal in college, and that I do now as a 41 year old adult! I can sleep anywhere, I have no sleep problems. I am well rounded and responsible. I can sleep without it but it comforts me. So what? :) But my mom was extremely out of touch with my reality... it sounds like a very different situation. But I would not think giving her a security blanket back would be detrimental to her ... just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Also my daughter came into my room until she was at least 6 or 7 EVERY night and then maybe 1/week until I got divorced. I would just let her fall asleep with us though. When she would stay with my ex, one time she went in there in the middle of the night and he screamed bloody murder cuz he had night terrors and nightmares of someone breaking into the house, so she freaked him out completely! She stopped going in there after that. LOL. -W

Anonymous said...

I think parents need to stop worrying so much! Give your child a lovie, I mean really why would someone worry that their child was going to be "too attached"--let the child decide when he/she is ready to move on. If you are raising your kids to be independent, self secure and confident the lovie will not be an issue. I think parents think far too much about "what if my kid" situations instead of just letting the child be the child. 9 times out of 10 the "fear" the parent has about what will happen "if" doesn't happen anyway. My three kids have all had one thing or another that they cherish and want to sleep with but I never made a huge issue about it so if they forgot to take it to bed one night it wasn't the biggest deal in the world, but if they were staying at say grandma's house I would make sure they had it for comfort. I let them decide for me how important that lovie was to them at one time or another, and it would change day to day, month to month. I am 34 years old and I still use a blanket that I had as a child in my bed as a pillow because I grew up with it as a pillow...I am 100% a secure normal person who is married to a very normal guy and I have three perfectly normal children who are all very confident and secure as well. People in general have to stop worrying so much about "if I do this my kid will be_____" Your child is your child, his/her own person. My parents never made a big deal about my sleeping with my "favorite blanky" (except to tease me as I headed off to college with it) and that was the RIGHT thing to do. If they had taken it away from me (because they were afraid I would be too attached) I would probably be totally screwed up today! Let your kid decide when they don't need that lovie anymore. PS...My kids ALL stay in bed all night long and always have, they never wake up in the middle of the night crying...probably because I didn't make a huge deal over bedtime and lovies.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a terrible thing to do to your child. Why would you ever take their luvie away? To make them more independent? So you don't have to worry about keeping up with it? Those are such silly reasons. I love your blog so much. You have such beautiful ideas. Your children's shoe line is on point. When I read this I was so let down. Please tell me you gave it back to her.

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