Pacifier = Life Saver
A pacifier can be a lifesaver for parents and the child using it. Let me tell you, we LOVED Piper’s pacifier. If we go back to when I was pregnant, you would see that I didn’t register for any pacifiers and we didn’t buy any pacifiers. I didn’t want to use one if we didn’t have to. My plan was to nurse and I had heard about nipple confusion, so I didn’t want to risk it. I also had this fear of her becoming so attached to it that she’d be five years old with a paci in her mouth.
Then, Piper is born. She was doing fabulous with nursing but around the time she was 5-6 weeks old, she would just cry and be fussy. I did everything to try to soothe her. I ended up with her attached to me all day or listening to my sweet baby girl cry. We made a visit to our pediatrician around that time for a physical for daycare. I was sharing my concerns with her and she said the word. Colic. I didn’t want to hear that she had colic and there was really nothing I could do for her, so she would just be a fussy baby. I called my mom after the appointment and she suggested just trying a pacifier.
It wasn’t colic.
My sweet tiny baby just needed to be soothed and calmed by sucking, which she had been doing at the breast when I could sit down. That wasn’t always an option though. I gave her a pacifier and within a couple days, she was in love with her pacifier (Mom and Dad were, too) and she was back to her calm and satisfied self.
Around 8 months old, the paci became a naptime or bedtime only thing. She wasn’t using it at all during the day at daycare, so really she was just getting it at bedtime. When she woke up in the morning, the paci stayed in bed. It didn’t travel with her.
Not Sure What Changed
Looking back, I don’t even know when it happened, but the pacifier started leaving the bed. It started to travel to the breakfast table where we would remove it. Then, at some point, it went with us after breakfast to our play area and then it was just always with us. I think this change happened when she started walking. She would walk to her crib and fish it out. We became those parents who would rather let her have it than deal with her throwing a fit about it. I’m not sure if it was lazy parenting or just parenting to survive the stress of life at the time. We’d even seek it out if she was extra whiny or crabby.
Fast forward to the day after she turned 17 months old. It was about 9:00am. She’d been up for about two hours. We were playing and having fun. I was trying to get her to repeat some words with me or help me sing some songs. She couldn’t do that, however, because she refused to give up her paci. She was trying to talk around it. I took it away and she threw a monster fit. She was trying to hit me and just was not having it. I put the paci on the counter and distracted her with some other toys. That’s when I did it.
I Cut the Tip of the Paci Off
I didn’t show her or have her watch me cut it. After it was cut, I set it back on the table and waited. She eventually went searching for it, but when she saw it, she froze. Then she looked at me, like “what the heck is this?” She immediately burst into tears and was hysterical for about three minutes. I picked her up, hugged her, and told her that the paci was broken. She wouldn’t touch it and if I picked it up, she leaned away and fussed. She wanted nothing to do with it. The paci sat in the same spot on the table the rest of the day. A little while later, I asked her if she wanted to put the broken pacifier in the garbage, but she still wouldn’t touch it. She still hasn’t a week later.
But What About Bedtimes?
Naptime and bedtime the first couple days were a little tough. I showed her the “broken” paci and told her everything would be okay. I offered her a new snuggly toy to sleep with and gave her a book to look at. She cried for about 20 minutes the first day and cried less each day. Eventually, she soothed herself and went to sleep. Her naptime during the day has been a little strange since ditching the pacifier. The first two days, she cried but fell asleep. On the third and fourth day, she talked to herself the entire hour and a half to two hour nap time and never slept. Both of those nights she slept straight through the night! She has only done that twice since she was born so I definitely welcomed that change! By day five, she was napping again, and back to her normal wake ups during the night. Here we are on day seven and everything is very much back to normal.
Changes We’ve Noticed
The first day or so she was a whinier child. I was a bit concerned that life was going to be listening to a frequent whine from her. The whining had subsided substantially by day three or four and now we only hear it once in a while.
She talks SO much more! She was a chatty Cathy when she was allowed to have the pacifier, but since getting rid of it, she is a constant stream of communication. I love it! She is repeating everything (better watch those words) and is saying three-word phrases all of the sudden. Her favorite right now is, “see you later.” It’s so stinking adorable!
She sleeps better some nights. This is a huge plus for Mama. I think before, she would lose her pacifier and then be searching for it in bed. When she couldn’t find it, which seemed like every night, she would cry until I went to help her and put it back in her mouth. Random full nights of sleep are a wonderful thing!
She will play independently in her crib for almost two hours before getting frustrated and crying out to me. She NEVER would do that before. I was feeling guilty for leaving her in her crib for so long, but I really need those two “nap” hours for work and keeping up with my house. Since she isn’t fussing or throwing a fit about being in their, I’ve decided she also needs the alone time.
I was afraid to take her pacifier away. I was worried about her becoming a grumpy, fussy toddler. We were concerned about her sleep and in all honesty, didn’t want to have to listen to the whining and crying that is associated with weaning from a pacifier. Luckily, within a couple days, everything was back to normal.
The best method for getting rid of the pacifier is to take it away and never look back. Don’t give it back. Just don’t. You’ll start the process all over again. Is it going to be difficult? Probably. Will life go back to normal soon? Yes.
Pin for Later!