Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bye Bye Blankie?

Blankie has been in our lives since Arielle was born but we never really knew how important it would be until Arielle was about four months old, if my memory serves me correctly. The way that Blankie came to be such a huge necessity in our lives is simple. Arielle hated being in the car from the time she was born. She almost always cried and even if she did fall asleep she would usually wake up every time we stopped {I swear this kid has never wanted to miss a thing that was going on around her}. This was so frustrating for me and I would usually end up being more upset than she was by the end of the car ride. As the weather starting to turn colder, one day I decided to bring a blanket with us to keep Arielle warm in the car. To my surprise and enjoyment, Arielle did not cry once on that entire ride. From then on I decided that Blankie was going with us every time we left the house. I even started putting it in her crib with her when she went to sleep. Little did I know how attached she would become to it and how it would change her life for good.
Not only did my new-found lifesaver keep Arielle quiet in the car but it also gave her the determination to suck on her thumb whenever she was holding it. If it weren't for Blankie I don't think Arielle would have ever been a thumb sucker. I have seen her just think about blankie and automatically her thumb goes in her mouth. There was one day a few weeks before Arielle turned two, that we lost Blankie #1 at the mall. I don't know who was more panicked over it...me or her. After an hour of going back through stores and the lost and found we left empty handed. Thank God I had my mom make a backup Blankie just in case anything every happened because we surely needed it! Arielle knew that it was a different Blankie but since she had no other choice except to live without a Blankie so it was good enough for her. In retrospect, having a backup Blankie was probably the worst thing for all of us because now that Arielle is almost four the Blankie is becoming more of a nuisance than a lifesaver.
All of this is leading up to the fact that Arielle had her first dentist appointment today and we found out that her teeth have already become bowed out from all the thumb-sucking. I asked if this would only affect her baby teeth and when the answer was no, I became determined more than ever to wean her off the Blankie. I'm pretty sure that if we can get Blankie out of the picture that Arielle will stop sucking her thumb and we'll have a better chance of her not needing braces. So we had a long talk with Arielle about not sucking her thumb anymore and she agreed to try to stop doing it. We decided to make a "No-thumb-sucking Chart" {similar to a potty chart which was very successful for her with potty training}. For the past almost 24 hours she has been more than cooperative in defeating the thumb sucking urge. She even tried to take a nap yesterday without Blankie {it was entirely her idea} and went a whole car ride to school this morning without it! I think with a lot of encouragement, several stickers and probably a few tears that she is going to be successful. Wish us luck!!!


Deb said...

Okay, I can totally sympathize with the thumb sucking. We kept trying to get our little one to stop sucking before she started school, and it just wasn't going good. I found this nail polish at Amazon called Mavala. It is totally safe, but tastes horrible. I put it on her finger nail while she was asleep so she wouldn't know what was happening. Well, we didn't sleep much that night, but it got to the point that she asked me to put her gloves on her so she wouldn't accidently put her thumb in her mouth. The next day she said she didn't like the taste, and she was done with her thumb. She hasn't sucked it since. This might work for you. Good luck!

Chris Kauffman said...

Your a brave soul , I had a little thumb sucker but just when she was months old , I wondered if it would stick , can't hide those thumbs , good idea to use stickers.