Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodbye Lovies

When I took the babies pacifiers away at 6 months, I gave them each a little blankie to sleep with -- We call them their lovies. In the beginning, they didn't really care about them, but soon they became addicted to them. They went everywhere with us... It amazed me how much my little guys loved them!! It was like they were best friends, wanting them when they were sad, talking to them before they went to sleep and just being happy when they were around.

Yes, it would be annoying every time one was missing at nap/bedtime or getting dragged through the mud right before we had to get in the car, but I had a blankie as a child (ok, so maybe I kept it until I was an adult!) and remember how wonderful it felt, so was thrilled that mine had the same thing.

Of course, some babies became more attached than others... Specifically, Luke and Sidney... They started sucking on their lovies... Luke would suck on the little "feet" (3 small tabs of fabric on his lovie) while Sidney would stuff as much fabric as she could as far as she could in her mouth. This made for some funky stin-kay lovies, but it was how they fell asleep best. (I had to order a second set of lovies, so I could wash a set at night.)

Luke @ 21 Months
Sleeping with Lovie in his Mouth

Sidney @ 21 Months
Sleeping with Lovie in her Mouth

Like many mothers think of their own children, I thought that this was endearing and cute... My family lovingly told me it was gross and my friends diplomatically stayed silent, but our dentist told me, after seeing their teeth starting to buck, that the lovies had to go! I didn't have the heart to take them away, so I negotiated with her the latest possible date to get rid of them.... She said 3 years was the absolute latest.

Our developmental specialist told me a horror story at one point about a family who took their child's pacifier away too early and the child grieved the loss of the pacifier and started to lose developmental milestones... So, of course, I was terrified, but knew I had to do it.

I decided that I would replace their lovie with a small stuffed animal, so they would still have a companion and hopefully the fur would be a deterrent for sucking. I had every intention of taking each child to the store by themselves to pick out the stuffed animal, but it didn't happen. (I ran out of time before our potty training weekend and really needed the lovies gone before that weekend.... Potty training, next post.) SO, I brought the store to us... I went to a million different stores and bought a million different animal for them to choose from.

That night before bed, I set up all of the animals in the girls bedroom and had a box for their old lovies. I took each child in the room by themselves and let them choose a new lovie and say goodbye to their old lovie and put it in the box.

Hooray! New Lovies!!

New Lovies & Old Lovies in Box
Briellen, Luke, Mitchell, Ivy, Sidney

As expected, Luke & Sidney had the toughest time sleeping that night, but after a couple nights they were able to go to sleep without asking for the lovie. For a couple of days, all of the babies would ask for their lovie at one point or another, mostly after getting in trouble. I would say 5 days and we were home free!!

I had the babies name their new lovies and some the names are hilarious...


New Lovie -- Horse Named Cookie


New Lovie -- Cat Named Coco


New Lovie #1 -- No Name

After being put to bed and she would cry for her lovie, I would go in and get her and rock her and explain why we had to get rid of lovie. After a couple of times of doing this she asked for another animal, so I let her pick a new one. Of course, she tried to work me and get a new one every time after, but she finally grew to love the new (and only) one she picked.

New Lovie #2 -- Giraffe Named Can-Can


New Lovie -- Horse Named Boom-ba

Luke -- Last Chew on Lovie

New Lovie -- Weiner Dog Named Space Balls

All in all, it definitely was a lot easier that I was expecting...

The thing I wasn't expecting was for me to be so emotional about it... After all of the lovies were in the box, I cried and cried! I don't know if it was because I knew how hard it was for them or if I was just sad about them growing up and not being "babies" anymore. Silly.


  1. Oh, my goodness....that is a step of maturity! What a story. You are such a good mommy to take all the special care in the transition time and to make it so special. Kudos to you!

  2. aw! what a sweet post!! one day, your kids are going to look back on it and smile :) wish you still had your green blankie to post a picture of!!!

  3. Hey Howell Family!
    Just doing my annual check-in to see how you and the little ones are doing! They're so big!!! Isnt it amazing how much they've changed just in the last year?! My guys surprise me everyday with things they've learned.
    Kevin and I are doing really good... busy busy of course.
    We had a new little addition to our clan in December. Actually he was a total shock to all of us! It was crazy to have a "normal" pregnancy this time. NO MAG!!!!! Yea!! :) As if life wasn't complicated enough... we go ahead and add one more to the mix! Craziness! lol...
    Anyway, hope you all are doing well and we're still thinking about you guys :)
    Your NICU Neighbors...
    Keri Rash

  4. I miss you, Stephen and YOUR KIDDOS! I can't wait to hear how potty training is going... You are such an amazing mom... I can't wait to see you again... what happened to our vacation plans? We need to resurrect those! Soon! Summer is a fun time to be here!

  5. I realized I didn't leave any way for you to contact us! If you wanted to of course ;)
    Blessings, Keri

  6. I am proud. Like Brie, I spend most of my days at work in front of the computer with my shirt off.

  7. Elle, why have you stopped blogging? I am an old grandmother, and my little ones live in a different state. I've LOVED watching your little ones grow. I sure do miss seeing and hearing about them.