For whatever reason we just knew there was no way Julia was ready to get rid of her pacifier at 1 year old.
When she started daycare at 14 months we decided to start the weaning process by not sending any pacis to school with her for naptime. She took it like a champ (after about 3 months). At about 18 months old we planned to make her go cold turkey, but somehow the little stinker caught wind of what we were up to and developed a pretty high fever. I think she knew we wouldn’t make her give it up if she wasn’t feeling well. The same thing happened at 21 months old when we were planning to try again. I’m not saying that she got sick on purpose, but I wouldn’t put it past her. Sneaky girl.
Getting rid of the paci became number one on my list of summer to-dos. She’d already let go of it quite a bit – she only used it to sleep in the crib, and voluntarily took it out of her mouth every morning. I knew that going cold turkey would NEVER work for Julia – getting rid of it would have to be her idea. But how to approach it? I’d heard of some different methods that other moms successfully used: giving it to the “Pacifier Fairy” so that she could give it to a new little baby who needs it, trading it for a toy, convincing the child to throw it in the trash, and my favorite – tell them the dog/cat pooped on it. Too bad we don’t have a cat anymore…. But I decided to try another method that hadn’t worked for Emily, cutting the tip. Looking back I think that the reason it didn’t work for her was because it was too sudden – one night her paci worked and the next night it didn’t. So I decided to go a bit slower with Julia. Here’s how things went down:
Day 1 – I used a pin to poke a gajillion holes in the tip & sides. She put it in her mouth, took it out & looked at it, then put it back in again & went to sleep. At bedtime I used a clean Xacto knife to cut 3-4 slits in the sides of the paci. She fussed for a few minutes, then went to sleep.
Day 2 – I used the Xacto knife to cut a small hole in the side of the paci, completely breaking the suction. She woke up about every 15-20 minutes crying, but eventually fell asleep without it in her mouth.
Day 3 – Day 7 – When I asked if she wanted the paci she said no, but took it. Fussed & cried (not screamed) for about 5 minutes every 15-20 minutes, then fell asleep. At first this went on until about 10p, but each night the last cry ended earlier. By Day 7 she stopped at about 8p.
Day 8 – Told me that paci was “broken,” but wanted to hold it to fall asleep. Didn’t even put it in her mouth.
Day 9 – Handed me the paci first thing in the morning and told me that paci was broken. I asked if she wanted to put it in the garbage and she said yes. She threw it away herself, and for the rest of the day sporadically mentioned that, “Paci is broken. In the garbage.”
Tomorrow is Julieboo’s 2nd birthday. I love this. I love knowing that Emily gave up her paci at about a year old at our direction, and Julia gave up hers the day before turning 2 under her own direction (with a little encouragement from me). These are the little differences that I never want to forget. I’m so proud of my beauties for all of their accomplishments, no matter how silly.
Congratulations, Julia, on letting go of a huge part of your babyhood. Your timing is amazing.