It’s not fair, I know, but the truth is pacifier weaning was easy for us. Maybe it’s all the horror stories people tell or the fact that doctors warn you a pacifier can affect your child’s teeth placement, but whatever the reason, we were dreading it and ended up happily surprised.
After The Wee One was born we waited 4 weeks to start using pacifiers (or dummies for our UK crowd) to avoid nipple confusion (although I bet we could have started earlier and I’m sure it would have been fine). We found out early on that The Wee One favored the MAM pacifier brand.
Aww, I miss his “model pose.” 🙂
We had a few newborn pacifiers and then later switched to the 0-6 month size and never moved to the next size up. In fact, we used the same two pacifiers in rotation from 3 months to 12.5 months with a few random ones as back-ups. (Don’t worry, they were cleaned daily!)
At first we let The Wee One have his pacifier anytime, anywhere when he was fussy and then as he got older we limited it to the car and sleeping. Around 9 or 10 months we limited it to nap times and bed time. At our 9 month appointment and our 12 month appointment two different pediatricians told us it was time to start thinking about getting rid of the pacifier. EEK, so soon?? They said the earlier you start the easier it is to transition them to another way to be comforted.
Their theory made sense and we set a goal for the end of summer, after he turned a year, and after all of our travel and wedding season was complete.
I read somewhere that it is best to start weaning with the time of day they are most tired aka bed time. The original plan was to go without pacifiers for bed and get used to that first before eliminating them at nap time. But when he did so well the first night, I made the executive decision to go cold turkey the following day.
We decided to go with a method that one of our pediatricians suggested; cutting the pacifier and hoping they get so annoyed with it they decide to get rid of it on their own. The only other option seemed to be stop giving him them altogether.
One more thought, around 6 months we began giving The Wee One a small, muslin blanket to sleep with at night in hopes he might turn it into a lovey. It took him FOREVER to get attached to it and while he in no way needs a blankie to sleep at night, he really enjoys having the blanket in his hand or nearby as he falls asleep. If you’re in the market, THESE are the ones we went with.
Night #1: The Scottish cut the tip off of one of The Wee One’s favorite two pacifiers while I nursed him. We hid the other one in the kitchen where it still sits. After a quick tooth brushing and diaper change we gave The Wee One the broken paci and he sucked on it for a few seconds before taking it out to look at it. I panicked (of course I did) and took it from him saying, “Oh, it’s broken. It’s broken, we should throw it away.” Then I threw it in with the dirty diapers. “Bye bye paci.” I left the room, The Scottish put him to bed, and he cried for about 30 seconds and then went silent. Meanwhile we sat in shock on the couch, waiting for more tears that never came.
Naps #1 and #2:
He did great, crying for his usual one minute or so after I left the room but sleeping about an hour each nap.
More of the same awesomeness.
“Did The Wee One even LIKE his paci?” We’re wondering now. Why was he always trying to reach for it when he saw it on his bookshelf during the day? It used to be our go-to for getting him back to sleep in the middle of the night, but in the past week he has been sleeping well despite its absence. Even when he wakes up in the middle of the night, we just let him cry and he goes back to sleep by himself.
We were so nervous about this transition. Neither of us were looking forward to more sleep training if he cried and cried without his paci all night. I worried about weaning on and off all summer and looking back I’m mad at myself for all the energy I spent thinking about it when it turned out to be so simple.
This post is for those parents out there who are just as nervous as we were. While we must acknowledge that all kids are different, it’s nice to know that sometimes imagining something in your mind is worse than actually doing the thing.