After months of deliberating about whether to use or not, we decided to give the paci a go. At around two months old, our daughter, like most, needed that little extra comforting at night. As we discovered.. WOW! The pacifier did live up to its name! The results were unbelievable, daughter slept well and woke up happy. It wasn’t long before we were addicted to the paci, using it at every nap time.
I have read and re-read the pros and cons of using a paci and was aware of the possible consequences such as delayed speech, buck tooth, depends on who you consult really. But I figured if we controlled its use (for sleep times only), we should be okay. As a mother, we do anything in our power to comfort our baby. Some of us offer the breast, others rock and sway, some brave mums cuddle their little ones until they fall asleep. The paci was just another method of comfort.
Throughout the last few months the thought of weaning our toddler off the paci has crossed my mind several times. Not that her speech is delayed, or her teeth are getting ruined, it’s just the fact that she is growing up and we felt it was time to move on. The paci played a large part of her sleeping routine, and naturally I procrastinated whether or not this may affect that.
The light bulb moment was when I discovered her favorite dummy had cracked. At this stage, I said to myself “Well, I can either replace it and continue to encourage the paci, or I can wean her off now.” I decided to wean her off. I hid all the pacifiers in the house and opened the cupboard doors to show her that there are none left. I had expected her to give a little wail but.. nothing! So far so good.
Coincidentally, the day we started was right after a morning when little miss had gotten into trouble. She had not been listening and mom’s boundaries went up loud and clear. By nap time, she was tired and knew that another tantrum would put her back onto mommy’s stern side. So.. we continued our usual day nap routine – we read, we got her blankie (another comforter she can’t live without), tucked her in and I explained to her that there would be no more dummy. She looked at me and repeated “no dum dum”. And fell straight asleep!
That night was also a breeze, she went to sleep without protest AND without waking us up in the middle of the night to retrieve it when it fell out. WOW WOW! Husband and I just could not believe it.
On the second day, although she was just as compliant for the day nap, she protested for 20 minutes at bedtime. After we repeated in a soothing voice that there is no dummy, as we had given it to the baby next door, it did not seem to be working. So I told her in a slightly stern voice that meant ‘there is no point in arguing because there is no dummy”. We gave her a big hug and said “you can do it, big girl”.. Low and behold, she slept through the night again!
The third day nap was at grandma’s – probably not the best idea to do this so soon as she protested for 45 minutes. Well, I did not pack a paci so there was no way grandma would have one. She ended up sleeping her usual 2 hours and bedtime that night was smooth sailing.
I guess one of the biggest hurdles about change is action. It’s easy to say “just do it” but it’s often not that simple. If your toddler is happy, why change anything? Admittedly I felt a twinge of losing my baby to a big girl but it is our job as parents to decide what’s best for him/her and the results can astound even yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – our toddler is capable of so much more than we think.
Moving forward, there is no way we will give her the paci again. I am standing firm, so is hubby. Out of sight, out of mind. As the days and nights go by, the request will dwindle and she will continue to sleep like a big girl! Next challenge – moving to a new room and a new bed!