Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Pacifier Plan

Over the past year plus we have made major modifications to when Cameron can have her pacifier. First it was not during the day except car rides or naps/bedtime. Then it was not in the car (except for long road trips that incorporated nap time). Then at age 2 she moved into the 2s room at school and she was not allowed to have her pacifier at school. But we did still let her have it for naps and bedtime at home.

Now that Cameron is over 2.5 years old it is time to start weaning her completely. If we let her keep having the pacifier then she is more apt to sooth herself back to sleep when she needs to get up and go to the bathroom, thus halting our potty training efforts (which are not going well, which is a whole other post). So the pacifier must go.

It's a rite of passage for many toddlers, I know, and it's something that has to happen sooner rather than later. But a part of me is sad. Not so much that it reflects on my baby becoming a big girl, but more about how we are removing a comfort from her and telling her that she can't have something precious to her because it's somehow "wrong." Intellectually I know as she gets older it is bad for her teeth (although given our family histories Cameron will not be able to avoid braces), and I'm sure there are other psychological impacts that I'm not willing to troll the Internet to look up and depress myself with.

So here's our game plan. For the next 6 weeks we will be prepping Cameron for the final removal of pacifiers. Friends of our recently had a second baby and we are leveraging him like crazy to bring Cameron into compliance. We are doing this gradually with a lot of talking and prepping because that's how Cameron rolls. She is not a "rip the Band Aid" kind of kid. She needs to know exactly what is happening and why or she goes ballistic.

We are telling Cameron that she is a big girl now (she agrees) and that Gabe is a baby (she agrees). Only babies need pacifiers (no real agreement yet). And Cameron has to give her pacifiers to Gabe because he is a baby and needs them (sometimes agreement, sometimes wailing "NOOOOOO"). We have 6 weeks to prepare her and the pacifiers will be officially given to Gabe after our trip to Florida in early December.

So, what do you all think? Do we have a chance of success or is dragging it out that long too painful for all of us? What did you do to remove the pacifier from your kid(s)?


Drew said...

Is my story of how we got rid of the bink. As with many things, the whole anticipation leading up to it was worse than the actual thing. I am not sure if it is different for you guys though since Joel was about 20 months then. I feel like things were easily forgotten with him back then, and now he lingers and knows to ask for things so I don't think it would be so easy anymore.

If you truly feel like it is a nice comforting thing for her, then why take it away? It is just at night, in the bed, right? Why bother and disrupt if you think it is a good thing for her to have. Just because someone else says it is bad... She is your kiddo! People suck their thumb for way longer than that! That being said, the older she gets, the harder it might be to stop it, and then you will have a little Suri Cruise on your hand...

Good luck! I don't know Cameron too well, but maybe band-aid is the best approach. Cold Turkey man, like quitting smoking or drinking... Also, some of my friends gave presents. - Now that you are a big girl, here you go, a bubble machine (I just made that up).

Elizabeth said...

Ainsley just stopped using one, right about the time we got rid of her bottles (about 12 months). She just transitioned away from each to sippy cups without any issue. No advice for you, but I know this means that I'm in for it the next time around.