We did it. The paci is finally gone. I have waited to write about it so that it didn’t blow up in my face by speaking too soon. Hi; My eldest daughter’s name is EB and she has gone 2-1/2 weeks without a pacifier.
I was afraid of actually getting rid of the dang thing knowing full well we’d be giving one to baby A2. I figured Eebs would take it from her sister or find the stash and take one (or three) out when she felt like it. These things did happen, and more often once A2 came than when it was only EB up in here. And she wanted them more when she saw that the baby got one during the day and she was regulated to having one in bed only.
Then she started saying she was “tired” just to justify swiping one out of the stash. Or laying in bed for no reason so she could pretend she was going to sleep two hours before nap time. When it was time to nap, I felt like she wouldn’t sleep if she didn’t have one. Like how at school she’s the only one awake on the palette while everyone else snoozes, even though she takes great naps at home. It was frustrating and it seemed like this would go one forever. My child would have buck teeth and be sucking on a paci when she was 12, my irrational fears said to me.
I knew I had a deadline from the dentist to kick her habit by age 3. She had 4-1/2 months till that birthday around Christmas, so I decided we were just going to do it. I said, “EB, by New Year’s Eve, no more pacifier.” She said, “OK.”
Every day I reminded her. We had countdowns by weeks, then days. ”One more week till New Year’s Eve, then no more pacifier, right?” I repeated this several times a day and even asked her what her resolution was. She knew. She volunteered the info to anyone talking about NYE. Would it work, I wondered?
Silly me, I forgot that my mom offered to take Eebs so Hubs and I could have a night out (With the baby) on NYE so we called off the imminent resolution. I didn’t want the grandmas to be stuck with the hardest days, especially since she breaks bedtime rules left and right out in the hill country (she refuses to sleep anywhere but in Granny’s bed, even though she has a toddler bed right in the room). It’s not like EB had a calendar, so come Jan. 3 when she came back home, I just said again, “OK, it’s time. No more pacifier.” She agreed…in theory. It took two or three days before she stopped asking for it, knowing full well what I would say. I was firm, but understanding. I never got upset with her asking. I just said again, “Remember? No more pacifier.” ”Yeah mom,” she would say, “No more pacy-fier.” Bedtime routines were longer, but not exceptionally so. We still leave sippy cups of water, but she has learned to fall asleep on her own, finally. We weaned from night nursing, then bottles, then moving from milk to water, and now the dang paci. And no more crazy dreads from her twirling her curly hair while sucking on it. Bonus.
Now every morning we have three potential hi-fives she can have: no pacifier / dry diaper / making it through the night in HER room (not ours or the couch with Daddy, a fun new routine we’re trying to break). EB is even fine with giving A2 the one attached to her footie PJs while in the car when I can’t reach back there very well. It’s actually worth it to have the car seats next to each other for this reason – having a back-seat helper. Of course, sometimes I have to threaten moving them apart when EB hasn’t napped at school and feels like smacking her sister upside the head. Repeatedly. But more often than not, she help to make her stop crying, instead of giving her a reason to cry.
So here’s the breakdown of tips:
- Reduce pacifier time from anytime to just naps and night (or)
- Decide on a date to cut pacifiers out cold turkey.
- Give them time to understand it’s happening, like two weeks, instead of tomorrow.
- Have them to repeat it back to you daily until D-Day.
- Praise them to other people; give positive reinforcement.
- Hide the extra ones for a while, keeping only the baby’s out and attached to her for safe keeping.
What did you do to kick the habit for your kiddos? Wait it out and the kid just lost interest? Conveniently lose them all? I’m interested. Holla at me if on the Ask Mama Jells tab above if you have any questions or need parenting tips on what worked for us. Sharing is caring.