Some of you remember Owl’s sleep.
Or lack thereof.
You may also remember my frenzied research into classically conditioning sleep using sleep aids and my selection of a toy to help with this project.
That didn’t go so well.
At the time, I was really thinking of Pavlov’s dog and researching toys that made noise to help Owl sleep. I thought that if he could mash a button and turn on a conditioned sleep response, that would be wonderful.
Unfortunately, the toy I chose was large, firm, and not very cuddly.
Then, one night, he developed an irrational fear of it, and that was that.
It might amuse you to know that he found it recently and had no memory of it. I showed him how you could press the button to make music. He listened to the music for a few seconds and then quickly demanded to know how to turn it off.
“I’ll save that for the baby,” he said firmly.
He never did develop a true attachment to the seahorse or any other object. My sister in law made and sent a cute blankie for him when he was a baby and while he still likes to lie on it occasionally, he never developed the kind of fixation on it that I had for my own “blankie”.
Anyway, lately I’ve been wanting to try again with Fritter.
Fritter is actually a pretty good sleeper. At night she’ll sleep three to six hour stretches and naps frequently during the day, although they’re generally cat naps.
That being said, sleep experts all recommend a “lovey”, and as someone who had one herself, I know the comfort it can bring. I want her to experience that.
This time, instead of thinking Pavlov, I just started researching popular lovies. What do kids fixate on?
Well, it seems like every site I find on the topic votes for a blanket with a head.
I’ve seen these around. My neighbour’s oldest son had a blanket with a dog head called Puppy that he lugged around everywhere. I think they’re weird looking, personally. What do they represent? Is the dog’s head severed and tied onto the blanket? Is it a skinned dead dog?
But you can’t argue with results, and according to the internet, kids love it. A blanket with a head combines the physical comfort of a blankie with the friendship of a teddy bear.
The most commonly recommended lovey is a product called Angel Dear. They have dozens of animal-headed blankets all under $20 in price. Price is important because parents warn you to buy multiples for when the original inevitably gets lost or destroyed (I never lost my blankie, but I do remember my mother doing major repairs on it at regular intervals). Parents also claim that they wash really well and hold up to heavy loving.
Except I don’t like their lamb version, and I have it in my head that Fritter needs a lamb, because she’s an Aries who was born in the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram.
Besides, the Angel Dear blanket really is a head on the corner of a blanket. You can’t even pretend that it’s a whole animal.
Then I found the Gund Huggybuddies. The lamb version is darn cute, and it looks like an actual lamb, albeit either a skinned one or perhaps just an anorexic. Out of 49 reviews on Amazon, not one is below 3 stars. Parents claim that they wash well, too, and kids love them. The only complaint is that the head is pretty big – much bigger than the Angel Dear version.
So I ordered it in.
We’ll see how this goes.
Dear Fritter – if you have a horror of sheep as an adult, it’s probably my fault.