Happy Sunday Morning! Coconut hasn’t had her paci for over a week now. I am still stunned at how easy the transition was. I had been stressing over how and when to rip off the bandaid and take her paci away. This sounds harsh, I know! My purpose wasn’t to take away her security or to make her grow up faster, I was merely motivated by her teeth and her jaw and the affects that the pacifier were having on both.
This time around, I created so many excuses and found so many reasons to delay and not rush into weaning Coconut from her pacifier. In contrast, With the boys I was strict, created a plan, stuck to a timeline and took their pacifiers away when they turned 2! I did this for no other reason than the dentist told me to. She said that the affects on their teeth and jaws could still be naturally corrected with the removal of the pacifier.
The boys didn’t really know what they were agreeing to, but below was my long and elaborate plan. Note- we had gradually made the pacifiers available only at sleep times, the pacis never left their cribs.
Step1: Create a 20 day countdown. We taped up red construction paper counting from 1-20 on the wall right outside the boys’ bedroom. They didn’t know all of their numbers at this point but it was a good introduction to them as we pointed and counted each morning with the numbers remaining. Everything is a learning experience right (I guess that is the tutor in me)?
Step 2: Rip off a number each morning until there are no more numbers. As soon as the boys woke up, before we did anything else, they would take turns ripping off the next number from the wall (whose ever “first day” it was got to do the ripping that morning-details on first days coming!)
Step 3: Talk incessantly about the plan. Every chance I got, the boys and I would talk about the plan, what was happening when they 20 days were up. It was excessive. I just wanted them to be prepared. Mostly this step probably annoyed them and everyone around me!
Step 4: Mail pacifiers to Santa Claus and their brand new baby cousin. At the end of the 20 days, the boys decorated manilla mailing envelopes, put their pacifiers inside, helped seal the envelopes, put on stamps, and dropped the envelopes in the mailbox.
I was convinced that being apart of the plan and super involved would empower them, would help them to really comprehend what was coming. It didn’t, not really! They were so excited to be a part of the plan, to decorate and mail the envelopes but when their first nap came that 21st day, they were pissed! They wanted their pacifiers!
It took three long and torturous days! G cried for 10 minutes that first nap (turns out he had found one long lost pacifier in his crib), B cried for an hour and then crashed from exhaustion. Eventually they each realized their pacifiers weren’t making a grand return and gave in and gave up the fight. It was torturous, something I didn’t want to experience with Coconut. Something I am not sure I could have endured, again!
Saying good-bye to Coconut’s pacifier was so anti-climactic. There was no build up. There was no elaborate plan. It all happened by chance, frankly by mistake, my mistake, because I lost the only pacifier we had left. Yes, we were down to one, with no back-ups! I had been at my friend’s house that afternoon napping Coconut because the construction zone at our house was just way too loud. Everything made it back to my house, the sleep sack, her lovies, and her gorillas, but not the pacifier. It got lost in transport!
When Matt was putting her to bed that night, he asked where her pacifier was. I searched, tore her room apart but couldn’t find it anywhere! She wasn’t crying, so we made the executive decision to put her in her crib and see how she would react. She rolled over and fell asleep. Easy-peasy. No more pacifier from that night forward. She asked about it maybe one or two more nights, but that was it!
Every child is different. Every child reacts differently and has different attachments; we as parents can only prepare and plan so much. There is just no guarantee what our kids will do. Maybe if I hadn’t made such a big deal about it with the boys, they wouldn’t have been so devastated or maybe the result would have been the same. I will never know. But as it is with everything with parenting, one transition/milestone is over and done with and it is time to focus on the next one.
I would love to hear your experiences!