Monday, September 11, 2017

Scarlett is Pacifier Free!

Before Scarlett was born, I bought plenty of newborn supplies to have on hand for her arrival. Beyond the diapers and wipes and burp cloths, I purchased a few packs of pacifiers for her.  Once it was time to go to the hospital, I had the pacifiers in my bag ready for her to use.  My thought process was that babies love pacifiers and I was sure my child would too.

Scarlett loved the pacifier from day one, day two, and all the way up to 2 weeks ago.  Her love affair with the paci was a strong one.  You could even call it an addiction.  She wasn't the kind of child who was content to have it on a limited basis but she would want it 24/7.  My tiny tot needed it in her mouth at home to play, to watch TV, and even read books.  Of course she couldn't sleep without it either.  My husband and I knew it was a problem, but didn't know exactly how to solve the issue at the time.  She was a perfect sleeper and we knew if we took away the pacifier her sleep would be disrupted.  I enforced the no paci rule at school and at public outings, but she had it the majority of the time at home.  

The biggest challenge about Scarlett's pacifiers is that we could never find them when we needed to.  She would hide them all over the house and it would be very annoying to have to find them.  Scarlett would cry in her crib during nap time because she couldn't go to sleep without it.  I would be scrambling to find one at the last minute and it was just not ideal.  We tried twice before to get rid of the pacifier and the attempts failed.  

Fast forward to two weeks ago and I couldn't find a pacifier during nap time.  I was searching for half an hour and told myself this was ridiculous.  Scarlett was crying and crying and I had had enough.  I finally thought to myself let me use this opportunity to get rid of the paci and have her cry it out.  She cried for a while and I kept going in there periodically and telling her that we're no longer using the pacifier and the babies need it. I told her you're a big girl and you don't need it anymore, but the babies are tiny and they need your pacifiers.  I really did wing it since I had no intention of doing this beforehand.  I didn't prepare her at all for this which probably wasn't smart, but I just went with it.

Scarlett was upset and didn't take a nap that day.  I mentioned to her that since she was a big girl and got rid of her paci that she could get ice cream.  I told her that big girls get ice cream and she could have it for getting rid of her beloved paci.  She was excited at the thought.  Once we got to the ice cream shop, I kept asking her if she knew why she was here and what the reasoning was. She told me because the babies have my paci.  I knew on some level she got it.  

Since she didn't take a nap that day and was so upset, I wasn't sure what the night had in store for us for bedtime.  My husband and I were slightly concerned and didn't know what to expect.  Once bedtime rolled around, she cried a lot.  We reassured her and told her similar things to what I had said at nap time.  Eventually she cried herself to sleep.  I felt bad but I knew that I was doing the right thing and there was no turning back now.  She woke up 2 hours later hysterically screaming and it took a while for her to settle down.  

Each night from there on out got progressively better.  I'm happy to report that I stood strong and did not cave and give her the pacifier back.  It's been 15 days since she has last used a pacifier and is not asking for them at all anymore.  It's very nice to not have to be searching for one to soothe and calm a crying child.  One thing that I did notice is that it sometimes takes her a bit to fall asleep at nap and bed time because the pacifier used to help her instantly sleep.  She is still sleeping through the night which is great! I was shocked that it was as easy as it was, I was honestly picturing the worst.  

Parenting is not easy but I knew I had to step in to do what was best for her.  Scarlett was over 2 1/2 and it was beyond time.  I know I won't be making the same mistake with my next child and will either ban pacifiers completely or take it away well before one year.  

If you're currently trying to wean your child off of your pacifier and feel like it's hopeless, it will happen trust me.

Now if we could just knock out potty training, life would become even more easy! 

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