So the other day I asked if any of my lovely readers had any tips or tricks for breaking their little ones of their beloved pacifier, and the advice came pouring in.
I was grateful to hear the various ways that other moms broke the habit; I have even dreading this day since Baby A first took his pacifier. I have told myself from day one that I would not let my child have a pacifier past two years old, and I was sticking to my guns.
Baby A will be two next month, on September 22nd, and I knew we'd have some work ahead if us if we were going to say bye-bye to the beloved paci. Baby A carried it everywhere, even though I asked him not to put it in his mouth unless it was nap time or bed time (and he usually obliged), he still wanted to have it within grasp, or at least know where it was at all times.
Like I said, this was going to be a challenge.
One readily agreed on, piece of advice, was to cut a little of the nipple of the pacifier until it got to the point where they wouldn't want to suck it anymore because it felt different. Well, with some children this may work, but with Baby A...yeah right. I actually tried that several months ago and he looked at me and threw the pacifier on the ground. He knew just by looking at it that something was off. Then he screamed for a new one. Yep, it happened.
It also doesn't help that I'm a giant push over. Oh you want a different paci, okay here's three. Yeah, I'm that mom.
Others suggested that I put something yucky on the pacifier like mustard or vinegar so that when they tasted it, they thought it was something wrong with the paci and wouldn't want it anymore.
Some said bribery. Offer a toy car or a lollipop in exchange for their paci.
Some suggested not picking them up anymore as the child dropped them while out and about.
Some suggested leaving them on a tree branch for the "Paci Fairy" to bring to other babies who needed them.
Some even said encourage the child to throw their paci's in the trash.
While all these are great, fun ideas, I know my son well enough to know that none of these would work. So I had to turn to a different method. A method I had been avoiding. A method that I really was hoping to not use..
Harsh right? But I knew it was the only thing that would work.
Baby A refused to go down for a nap and after 10 minutes of him crying for his paci, my heart couldn't take it any longer. I pulled him out of his crib and we watched Peter Pan and ate snacks. I figured it was fine if he skipped his nap, he'd be exhausted by bedtime and not even realize his paci was gone! Right? Wrong. So very very wrong.
Bed time came and a battle started. When I announced it was time to go to sleep Baby A started to cry, ran to our kitchen, and stood under 'his' cabinet; the cabinet that held his paci's. I knew that I had to be smarter than a 2 year old so I distracted him in the play room then ran back to the cabinet, threw all of the paci's into a container, put a lid on the container and threw the entire thing into the very back corner of the top shelf. By the time Baby A came toddling around the corner again the paci's had magically disappeared and I could finally SHOW him that the paci's were all gone. There were no more. They had gone to Paciland.
The look he gave me crushed my heart into a million pieces.
2 1/2 hours, a turkey sandwich, and half of Bambi later, Baby A was asleep with only 15 minutes of on and off whimpering.
Baby A never woke up through night one which I was delighted about! I figured he would have woken up a couple of times in search of his paci but he never did! When he woke up the next morning he never asked for his paci and he did perfect the entire day without so much as mentioning it.
I happily skipped nap time having accepted that until he truly 'forgets' about the paci, nap time probably wouldn't happen anyway. Hey, I have to pick my battles, right?
Instead of nap time we enjoyed playing cars together and snacking on some homemade nachos.
By bed time Baby A's eyes were red and he was yawning so big he could have been confused with a butterfly net, so I figured that I had bed time in the bag. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Ill spare you all of the "gory" details, but lets just say it wasn't pretty. Bedtime is typically 7-7:30 and Baby A didn't go down until after 10. Then he was up again at 11:30....
...and as I write this, I'm laying in bed next to my sweet, snoring little boy, who refused to go asleep alone.
Pacifier weaning sucks.
It's a battle.
It's a challenge.
But you will get through it. Just be strong, and don't give in.
And give your little one lots of kisses during the process! It'll make you AND them feel better!