So…I finally bit the bullet.
We are saying “bye bye” to the baby girl’s pacifier.
I’m only 6 months behind schedule.
When we decided to let her have one, we said, we are taking it away at her first birthday, no exceptions. Well then, that came, and no one was ready for it. Then it was, okay, by 15 months it will be gone. Then we had some traveling and disruptions so we put it off. Then it was a transition to one nap, and I didn’t want to do too many things at once. Then it was vacation. Then it was a weekend at the grandparents. Then it was my birthday. (Okay, when I type that it sounds silly. But who wants to hear crying and have short naps on their birthday?!)
Okay, no more excuses. I finally decided to suck it up and do it. Our plan was to use CIO (cry it out). She only gets the pacifier in bed anyway, and I thought, 3-5 days of crying before sleep, I can handle it. Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve had to CIO for anything, and I’m a wimp!
Day 1 was not good. She played in her bed for 30 minutes, then finally fell asleep. Only to wake up at 45 minutes (who out there is familiar with the sleep transitions at 45 minutes?! yikes!) screaming her tiny little golden-haired head off. I let her cry until she’d been in bed 2 hours, checking on her every 15 minutes. She was VERRRRY unhappy, to say the least. Because I’m a wimp, I decided maybe I was the meanest mom on earth and followed an option a friend gave me. She had read that sometimes parents could wean from the pacifier first from naptime, then bedtime. That sounded like a friendlier option to me! So bedtime came, and she got the pacifier.
Day 2. Naptime came, and for the first time ever, when I told her it was time to go to bed, she started crying and ran out of the room. I’ve traumatized the child for sure. So I told her she wasn’t getting the pacifier because it was nap, and she watched me put it in the drawer. She cried for 17 minutes, and then slept for 2 hours. Definitely moving in the right direction!
Day 3. Cried at nap, but didn’t run out of the room. Fussed on and off for 10 minutes, then was asleep. Has been asleep, as I type this, for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
People – I think we’re moving in the right direction. Once she’s not crying before nap anymore, then we’ll attack bedtime!
P.S. My son never took a pacifier, so he already knows how to self-soothe! When he was like 3-5 months old, I wish he would. But now I’m so thankful we don’t have to break that habit for him!
What habits have you had to “wean” your children from that’s been tough? Pacifiers? Bottles? Swaddles? What strategies do you use?