A little surprise just snuck up on us. This morning Jenny put Elena down for a nap, but she wouldn’t go to sleep. She just cried and cried in her crib, which is unusual for her. Jenny picked her up and brought her to the front room for a little while, but Elena was obviously very tired. So it was back into the crib, and when Jenny put her down again she just laid there and cried.
Then Jenny had an inspiration. That morning, she had taken away Elena’s pink fuzzy blanket because it needed to be washed. In the past, we have treated her blankets as interchangeable without any problems. Jenny picked Elena up and together they pulled the pink blanket out of the dryer while it was still warm. Elena took it, cuddled it and started sucking her thumb, and Jenny knew that she could put her down for a nap. She fell asleep instantaneously and slept for three hours, right through her lunch.
This turn of events got Jenny thinking, and she remembered two other recent events when Elena had a hard time sleeping. Both coincided with times when she was without her blanket. The last time Jenny had to wash the pink blanket, because it was covered in birthday cake frosting, Elena wouldn’t take a nap, but Jenny attributed Elena’s hardship to overtiredness from their busy schedule. Additionally, when we went out for our Valentine’s date, Elena didn’t fall asleep when the sitter tried to put her down. At the time, we thought it was a result of her no longer fitting comfortably in a Pack-N-Play, but now we suspect the lack of her pink blanket also played a factor.
I had a security blanket when I was a little boy, and I think that my baby box still contains its tattered fragments. I literally loved it to pieces, which is probably why I always identified with the Peanuts character Linus. It’s also why my mom sang a lot of this song to try to lighten the mood on laundry day. So far Elena isn’t like that–she doesn’t need her blanket all the time, just when she goes to sleep. Now that we’re aware of it, we’re monitoring the situation to see how it develops, and hoping that Target still has this style of blanket in stock.