I constantly read about parents taking the paci away. Parents decide it's time at all different ages. I really don't think there's a perfect age but my goal was to have Amelia's paci gone by the time she turned 18 months old.
This is the month I've been dreading.
She loves her paci. We had gotten to where she only had it in her crib while sleeping - but fell off the wagon when she was getting sick a lot. We started letting her have it whenever she asked for it. We have never let Amelia cry it out in her crib. We've never really needed to do that. She put herself to sleep until she was about 6-7 months old and then wanted to be rocked, so we currently rock her to sleep every night. Her Daddy really enjoys that time with her and the girl sleeps from 8pm-10:00am every morning. It works for her. It makes her happy and in turn - we're happy parents. :) The paci is a huge part of the bedtime routine though. Daddy sits in the chair waiting for me to finish dressing her and then she goes to Daddy to rock her and she gets her paci. It's the first thing she asks for after I finish dressing her for bed, when she gets hurt or upset, when I'm changing her diaper. The paci = comfort to her.
There is a huge part of me that feels like she's still a baby if she still has a paci. I know that's crazy but it's true. As much as I like seeing her grow up and develop this cute personality...I miss her being a tiny baby. I miss it a lot. I actually cry while typing this. How can you love each and every stage yet burst into tears at the thought of them growing up?
Yesterday was the first day without a pacifier. I'm not going to lie...it's the hardest thing I've done so far as her mother. I just thought her getting tubes was hard...nope. I've never seen her like that. She cried so hard and was asking for her paci the entire time...just staring at the dresser where we usually keep it. I sat outside of her room and watched through a crack in the door while she cried off & on in her crib. She cried for 14 minutes.
The longest 14 minutes of my life.
Then there was quiet. She went to sleep.
When she woke up from her nap I picked her up and immediately introduced her to "lovie." My friend Faith sent it to her when she was really little and it has been in her dresser for a while. I decided that could possibly be her new "paci." I went on and on about "lovie"...how soft she is...how sweet she is. I asked her if she wanted to give it loves? She of course wanted to love on it. She kissed it and petted it (it's a little silky with a bear on the end of it). She continued to take lovie on our walk and sat it beside her while having a snack. Speaking of snacks. I bragged on her for being a big girl and told her we were going to watch a movie on the couch and that we could even eat our snack on the couch (this is not a normal occurrence in our home - food/drink are always eaten in the high chair). She was really excited and ran to the couch with her lovie.
I brought snacks and we watched a movie. She was thrilled. And yes, those are marshmallows AND graham crackers. The girl had her paci taken away from her - she deserved every junk item in the pantry in my book.
Throughout the day if she fell down or got upset about something...I would bring lovie to her. It worked.
Then came bath time. I had a little talk with her about how paci went bye-bye. She knows what bye-bye means so that's the only way I knew to tell her. She seemed to take it okay and off we went for a bath.
I dressed her after her bath and she never asked for her paci. I began to rock her and just prayed the entire time. She sat there rubbing her lovie between her fingers - biting it periodically. She never would go to sleep though, so I decided I would have to put her back in her crib to cry it out like at nap time. My heart started hurting as I put her in her crib. I did not want to hear her scream like that again. I kissed her, told her I loved her, laid her down, gave her lovie, and walked out of the room. She immediately started crying and I immediately started timing it because I was not going to let her cry for 14 minutes again.
She cried 1 minute.
Just 1 minute and then complete silence. I couldn't believe it.
I was concerned that she would wake up in the night and look for her paci (she does this often but always goes right back to sleep once she finds it) but she didn't...she slept all night and woke up at 8:30 this morning!
My S-I-L has been a great help. I talked to her all day asking questions. I've also been on the phone with my Mom and Joy...needing moral support. I was seriously crying like a baby on the phone. I don't like to hear her cry and she has always been such a good baby...she never really cried a lot. I felt like a heel taking something away that I gave her in the first place.
So there's no going back now...the paci is gone. I know it has been a soother/security thing for her and I don't want her to be anxious or anything because she no longer has it. Do 17 month olds get anxious? If you could have seen her at nap time yesterday...I think your answer would be yes. Bless her paci-lovin' heart. She'll be going down for her nap soon...wish us luck on day #2 with no paci. :)
Love to all,