Thursday, April 16, 2009


All of our kids have special animals or blankets that they like to sleep with.

Daniel has Woof, a stuffed golden retriever and Tee, an old, grey rowing T-shirt of mine.

Michael, our most tactile child, sleeps with Doggie (a black lab stuffed animal), Snuggle Blankie (a small blanket with several fuzzy pieces of yarn and string attached to it), and Quiltie (a quilt with little ties of yarn all over it). Quiltie was recently adopted as a night time friend. Michael likes him folded over the top of his pillow.

Mercy's most special item is Not Fuzzy Tigger but she really likes it when Not Fuzzy Tigger is wearing his jammies and is wrapped in Pinkie (a pink crocheted baby blanket). Really, I should write Not Fuzzy Tigger and Fuzzy Tigger (yes, he lives here too) their own post just so we can remember all the silly particularities Mercy has for them.

Now, on to Elephant. This is a picture of Josiah and Elephant on Easter. We can see that Josiah is now standing up quite a bit. He has one hand firmly planted on the kitchen stool and the other clenched on Elephant's ear. Josiah's transitional object is Elephant.

A closer look at Elephant reveals that one should be especially thoughtful about where she touches Elephant. I would recomend one of his feet. They never make it into Josiah's mouth. And they certainly aren't as discolored as the ears or as wet as Elephant's trunk.

At our house, and with each child so far, we've found that a "transitional object" can help in the night time sleep department. We've been thankful not to have too many night time issues (well, actually, ask me about Daniel sleeping as a baby and you'll get a different story) and I attribute that mainly to God's generous provision for our sleep needs. This provision has come in the form of sleep training, a good bed time routine and training of the kids in general but I think it's always helped to have that snuggly item nearby. It helps me anyway.

So when Josiah was about 6 months old, I began hunting for a stuffed animal. The items our other kids have loved as their own night time snuggly were given to them by family. I was excited to do the picking on my own this time around.

My criteria:

-small enough for a baby to hug
-no removable parts, ribbons, clothes
-silent (no jingle ball or music inside and no batteries)

I started putting Elephant in the crib with Josiah at around 7 months. He was with us during pre bed nursing times, too. And after a couple of months, it stuck! Josiah clearly prefered to sleep snuggled up with Elephant in his arms.

But now look at what has happened...

See what's going on here? It would probably have been better if Elephant had a pacifier for a trunk. So much for my criteria.

I'm just not sure if sucking on Elephant's trunk all naptime and much of the night is going to be good for Josiah's mouth. Or his teeth.

I mean, I think I've heard of kids who liked to stick the corner of their blankie up their nose. Maybe they twirl their hair and suck on the ends of it or even...

Suck Their Thumbs.

All those habits are kind of gross, right?

Mercy used to carry Not Fuzzy Tigger around in her mouth by his nose and I let that pass. Even when we spent a weekend camping during which she would stick Tigg back in her mouth after dropping him on the dirty ground.

I think Josiah would prefer to spend his time like this, with Elephant dangling from his mouth. But I'm a little more comfortable just saving Elephant for naps and night time at this point.

You can't learn to talk with a trunk in your mouth.

And, yes, we wash Elephant. And he still looks like that.

Did you have a "transitional object" as a child? (Maybe you still have it...)
Do your kids?

Sleep tight!


Jodi said...

"Not Fuzzy Tiger"...I love it! My kids each have sleeping buddies too. Jack has a monkey named Bo, Delaney has a lion named Pie-Pie, and Maizie has a puppy named Jonesy. Cute post, Rebecca!

Stacy said...

I love the name "Not Fuzzy Tigger"!

Yep- all of our children have special nighttime blankets and usually a stuffed animal. Ella has her blanket (which used to be mine) and Flopsy, a stuffed pink bunny. But then some nights its a lamb or another stuffed bunny or her baby doll. Isaias has his train blanket and his stuffed lion. Isaac has his blanket (MUCH, MUCH loved- he's *our* tactile child) and about 47 other animals with him in his bed, all very special to him for one reason or another.

As for Josiah's elephant? Adelia has a similar thing going on with her baby doll. (And, my requirements are the same as your requirements for such items.) Adelia puts herself to sleep by sucking (and now, with teeth- CHEWING) on her baby dolls hands. So- not only are baby's hands always filthy, but they are also wet and STINKY. I try to wash that baby as often as I can (which doesn't amount to much washing, when it comes right down to it).

Rebecca M said...

Bob mentioned that Tigger's name is also "Other Tigger" so I thought I should mention that.

I like the name "Pie-Pie" for a lion, Jody!

And, Stacy, that's Elephant's biggest problem- he is SO stinky. Glad to know there is another one year old out there with the same funny habits!

Carla Burlando said...

You should invent an elephant with a pacifier on the trunk! That is so cute. Roman (my extremely tactile child) had a little lamb and a small satin "blankie". He was hooked to his lovey's until he was about 4 and he decided the new baby needed them. He didn't take a pacifier so I was intentional about having the blankie around when I nursed and it worked great as a comfort object for him later. I stuck his blankie away in his keepsake box. He and Aili both seem to be having a resurgence of favorite loveys now..we have a whole entourage of unwashable, cheaply stitched animals that they've recently collected. Silas didn't take to a "lovey" until he was almost two then he got a soft squishy washible bear as a gift when he was in the hospital ..and it stuck.
Big thumbs up in the sleep sucess and sleep training. Its so important for everyones health and happiness...doesn't always work as planned but when it does its wonderful.

megan said...

My transitional object (a stuffed puppy that you may remember) was a part of a very LONG transition - I am surprised I wasn't mortified! I will think long and hard about the washability of these objects when it is my turn to pick them out!

Rebecca M said...

Even I have fond memories of Mr Puppy, Megan! Tigger is really starting to take on some of his very floppy characteristics!

Carla, I detest the large collections of cheapo stuffed animals to the point that I am overly generous in giving them away, often. Unless they are a real favorite. But I try to find them a new home before they have a chance to become one!