Removing the pacifier can be a huge transition. Pacifiers are mostly used for sleeping and you never want to do anything that could mess up your child’s sleep! Even though it can be difficult its a transition that has to happen, either now or later. For us, getting rid of the pacifier went better then I could have ever imagined.
Why We Gave Baby T a Pacifier
When I was pregnant I thought I wouldn’t give my daughter a pacifier. I was thinking “I’ll be breastfeeding and home so she won’t need one”. My daughter practically came out sucking her thumb. She put her thumb in her mouth just a few minutes after birth, I hadn’t even gotten a chance to breastfeed her. During her first week of life I noticed when I finished breastfeeding her she would try to get her thumb in her mouth. Because of that we decided a pacifier was the way to go. I was thinking I could eventually take away the pacifier, but I could never take away her thumb.
The Transition Begins
Baby T never had her pacifier much to begin with. She used it for sleeping and for rides in the car. Those where still two huge parts of her life. I didn’t want her screaming in the car or crying herself to sleep. At about 13 months we upgraded her car seat and switched her to a forward facing position. I thought this was the perfect time to eliminate the pacifier in the car and it was! Now that she could see what was going on in front of her and had other distractions, the pacifier wasn’t missed. The first couple of car rides she wined/cried more then normal, but before long she didn’t even care that the pacifier was gone.
Reading Up on Different Methods
Now I had to eliminate it from her sleep time and I wasn’t quite sure how to do this. I read articles from moms who used the cutting method and others who used a weaning system. The cutting method seemed to be the most successful method, so I started there. I poked a hole in her pacifier when she was 16 months. This is supposed to make it not have the same suctioning sensation and help transition them off of the pacifier. I’ve heard that some kids will give it up right away. Baby T didn’t seem to care about the change.
Removing the Pacifier from Bedtime
At 17 months, I knew that it was time for her to be done. I was transitioning to working less, so I was going to be home again for nap and bed time. I set a goal on a Thursday that Monday we would throw away the pacifier.
Of course being a mom means nothing goes as planned. Friday night Baby T threw her pacifier out of her bed and I could tell by her cry that she had thrown it. Usually I would go back in and give it to her but I thought if she wanted it then she wouldn’t have thrown it out. To my surprise, she didn’t cry very long at all and slept all night without it. The next morning when I got her out of bed we went to pick up her pacifier and I explained that she slept without it and the pacifier can go in the trash now. Baby T didn’t even hesitate. She picked up the pacifier, walked over to the trash can and put it inside. We said “bye bye paci!” and waved.
This was the moment I had dreaded. The moment where we had thrown it away and I would have to stick to my guns even if things didn’t go well. Once again Baby T surprised me! That day she took a great nap without the pacifier and didn’t even ask about it. At bed time, she looked around her bed for the pacifier and I reminded her that we threw it in the trash can. She seemed okay with that and went to sleep with only a little bit of fussing. Honestly I was baffled. I had underestimated my daughters ability to transition. She took it like a champ! Over the course of the next week she only asked for her pacifier one time. It didn’t even bother her when she saw another baby have one.
Transitions are difficult for mama and baby. Going cold turkey from the pacifier is what worked best for us. I think as a mom you know your child best, but don’t underestimate them. They are stronger, smarter, and brighter then we sometimes realize. Now on to the next transition, maybe potty training?