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ME ON MONDAY (THIS SUCKS!) 9 Sep 2013

Mars & his paci

I think that I'm just about ready to take away Mars's beloved paci and I'm Scared. To. Death.  I'm terrified of a few sleepless nights; hearing him cry out for it like a lost, first love.  As I write this, I'm reflecting back on how this two year love affair began... 

He initially refused the pacifier as an infant, but my incredible night nurse advised me to introduce it as a way to self-soothe my colicky little man who couldn't sleep due to a bad case of acid reflux. 

I've been reading all about surviving the pacifier weaning stage, but would love to hear any tips or tricks from all of you experienced moms out there! How do you feel about taking a child's comfort object away just because experts say that it's time? 

Image of Mars and his paci via Lauren

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My little one had his binky until he was two and a half. Actually, I did not want to say bye to his beloved bff pacifier, since it gave me good amount of time to rest. Anyway, I looked up on internet and found www.bye-bye-binky.com! It was quite simple. You just have to punch a tiny little hole on it and make it bigger little by little everyday. My son just threw it away on the third day, and he never wanted it again. (Btw, your class was awesome! Thanks!!)

I like the hole in the paci idea, I've also used the "Paci Fairy". She comes and takes the paci for newborn babies to use and leaves a new toy/book/other item in exchange. You definitely have to work up to this, make it a huge deal - get him super excited, talk about how much the new babies are going to love having a paci, etc. Then let him "decide" when he's ready for the exchange. I feel your pain; it's so hard to take away something that gives them such comfort and you a moment of silence!

A lot of moms I know have had success with timing the good-bye with a birthday. It is something big you are already celebrating, and then you say good-bye as part of getting bigger. I've also heard that Build a Bear will throw the paci inside a teddy bear for you. That way he still "has" it (and has a new comfort object) but he can't suck on it. Good luck!

If you don't want to you don't have to. I will tell you that when Lila started going to the dentist at around 2, he told me it was okay to let her keep it until she was 3 which is when their mouth starts taking more permanent shape and the pacifier would affect the shape. Regardless of the reason, make a big deal of it, and we slowly started by saying she could only have it while sleeping (naps and nighttime), and then only nighttime. And then we just started throwing them away, one by one using the pacifier fairy idea, until she gave up her last one by herself.
It definitely is a weaning process! Good luck!

I did what Marianna did. When my girls were 2 and 3 we took a trip to Florida, and I explained that we were going to leave our pacifiers there for some little babies who really needed them. We talked about it a lot in advance, about how happy they would be making these babies, about what big girls they were, etc. I too had lots of anxiety about the transition, but it went surprisingly smoothly--a few questions now and then, but no sleepless nights. Good luck!

I agree, ladies! Reposted from FB:
Replace it with another object ["transitional object"] such as a blankie or a stuffed animal; explain to him that it's a big-boy version of a paci, but you get to hug it/ pet it (whatever) instead of suck on it. Communicate to him AND show him that it serves the same function as the paci (coping, soothing) but its bigger, brighter, and just plain better It might be a good idea to involve him in the process... Maybe you could take him to the toy store and pick out this new "object" together, so he feels like he has some control in the matter. Worth a shot...

I went the Build-A-Bear route and it worked! Just after Ari turned 3 we took him to the mall. The staff at BAB was awesome! He picked his favorite binky and they put it in the bear along with a red heart. He picked out an awesome Philadelphia Eagles outfit and the rest is history! I would be lying if I told you that the first night was easy. He literally cried for 30 minutes....almost as if he was in withdrawal. But, the next night, his bear was in bed with him and he never looked back.

I'm a pediatric dentist in Philadelphia and New Jersey and one of my favorite tools is bye-bye-binky.com. It's a great way to have the child decide that he or she no longer needs the pacifier which is always great relief to parents. So many parents and friends have had success with this method!

Oh the plug! We were at the duck pond at the zoo. Liam leaned over and started to talk with the nook still in his mouth. It fell in the pond and one of the ducks grabbed it in his beak and disappeared. I told him that the baby duck must have needed it more than he did. For some reason he accepted that. I think it was just good timing.

"Back in the day" (15 years ago) my pediatrician said it was time for my then 2 year old's paci to go. There was no amazing Build a bear option, etc. I got rid of ALL the pacis in the house on trash day and told Noah the trash man took his paci. He didn't ask why but we did have to follow all the trash trucks around for a few days. He moved on. It was a lot easier than getting my daughter to stop sucking her thumb! I promise you it will be fine. My now 17 year old is an amazing kid!

Thanks, everyone! I love all your stories and I feel much less anxiety about it now. xo

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