Posted in Pacifier

A Tale of Two Kitties

As we prepared to take away Katie’s beloved pacifier when she was 21 months old, we did extensive reading about how to help her with the transition.  We were worried that it would be a traumatic experience for her because, since she had only ever been allowed to have her pacifier in bed, bedtime had always been such a happy time. (I wish that we had captured on video the way she would just lunge out of our arms for her crib.)

One of the things that we learned about easing the transition is that it was important to introduce a lovey to help her feel secure in her bed each night.

Provided with a several choices of lovies, she quickly and happily chose a little white cat. The kitty isn’t allowed out of her room, as we thought keeping it there would make it special and would give her something to look forward to each night as we put her to bed. (Honestly, we were hoping for her to lunge for it as she had for her pacifier!)

When your child adopts a lovey, you are advised to buy two, just in case you ever lose one.

So, good little parents that we are, we did exactly that.  Here is Katie’s lovey, who she creatively named “White Kitty,” as it looked when we first bought it…

Super cute, right?

Katie loves this kitty … she has loved it so much, in fact, that this is what it looks like today…

And side by side, White Kitty with Replacement Kitty, you can’t help but notice that we’re in really big trouble.

What are the odds we’d be able to replace the kitty without Katie noticing?

So, my advice? When you buy a lovey, definitely buy two, but be sure to rotate them out!

Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with one pristine lovey and one that looks like it’s been run over a bus.  Many times over.

A Repeat Performance and Separation Anxiety

We have always gloated about loved the fact that Katie is a champion sleeper.  If there was an Olympic event for sleeping, she would take the gold.  She goes to bed at 7:30pm and doesn’t wake until 7am.  She also still naps from 1pm-3:30/4:00pm.  We are blessed.  {Please don’t hate us–Matthew is another story entirely.}

She used to lunge for her crib at bedtime and has always put herself to sleep.  For the first couple of years of her life, we lured her into her bed by making it the only place where she could have her pacifier.  When we took her pacifier away at 21 months, we replaced it with a little pillow, her first blanket, and some stuffed kitties, all of which we allow her to have only while in bed.  Things have been smooth sailing until about a month ago.

Now there is major drama every time we put her down to sleep.  She’s doing this new thing where, when I leave the room and I am closing the door, she says, “Goodnight, Mommy.  I love you.”  I then tell her goodnight and that I love her too.  I close the door and she repeats the process.  At first I indulged her, thinking that she would tire of this routine once she knew I was on the other side of the door.  But it has completely gotten out of hand.  One night I did it nine times.  NINE!  We now tell her that we’ll say it once and then we’re going downstairs to “pick up” (code for relaxing.)

When we don’t follow the script the second, third, and fourth times, she flips out, and goes from choked up to bawling in 3.2 seconds.  While she typically only cries for five to ten minutes and then falls asleep,  nothing makes me feel worse as a parent than having her cry herself to sleep.  We’ve always tried to ensure that her bed is a safe, secure, and happy place.

She’s also showing some distress if she thinks that one of us may be leaving to run an errand or something.  She  quickly escalates from nervous to panicky.

We’ve had an emotional, chaotic past couple of weeks, with uncharacteristic breaks in our routine, but these insecurities were present prior to that.

{We have chosen not to speak with her about Craig’s mother’s death, as we don’t believe that she is emotionally mature enough to process that yet.  Since she is incredibly attentive and observant, we have been careful to shield her from our discussions.}

I distinctly remember when I was a child, I was fearful to be the last one awake.  I would call to my mother repeatedly to ensure that she hadn’t fallen asleep.  I’m still this way.  When Craig shows signs of being tired, I stop whatever I’m doing and hurry to bed.  I’ve not really analyzed why I am this way, I’ve just accepted it.

But this thing with Katie is sudden and intense.

Has anyone else gone through this?  We never saw any anxiety in her when she was younger and we thought that we might be out of the woods now that she’s three.

Help? Reassurance? Tips?

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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