...that's how long I'm giving me and Ethan to give up the pacifier. I started this process accidentally the week before our vacation. I forgot to give him his paci at nap time and guess what....he didn't care. SWEET! So the next nap time we also went paci-less with a little crying. That's okay, this is new. I still let him have it in the car, while we were out, and for night time sleep. I decided that I'd get rid of it in phases. Before vacation we were napping paci free. I thought I was golden.
Then we went on vacation.
Of course he had it all the way down there. I gave it to him at nap time because he was in a new location, off schedule, and in a new crib. The paci free nap times were forgotten...until this weekend and I decided it was time to give it up again. It was so easy the last time right? It shouldn't be any different this time.
Wrong, wrong, wrong! I thought I'd start back with just going without it at nap times again. There was more crying this go around and every time he saw the paci he'd grab it like it was something he couldn't live without.
Somehow I made him MORE attached to the paci.
So, yesterday I made the decision that we were going to have to cut it out.....completely. Oh God, what have I done? That means no paci in the car, at the grocery store, in restaurants....
So I decided to try this out...see if I could handle it. We went on a paci free errand trip. To the drugstore, to the grocery store, to the bank. Easy peasy...I'd even accidentally pinched him with the shopping cart cover belt at the grocery store and we recovered with no problems. I had to fight my instinct to instantly shove that paci in his mouth (yeah I brought it just in case...I'm not totally crazy).
I had to hide it from myself. You see the thing about pacis is that it's not just the baby that gets attached to it. It's also the parents. It makes things easier. Less crying, more sleep, less public embarrassment. Good for everyone. So I've hidden them from myself. And yeah, I can do that because lets face it...the mommy brain allows me to forget everything like where my keys are, when the last time I showered was, and if I paid the bills...so hiding the paci...no problem.
So we get back to the house for the second nap time and we go through the crying routine again. I'm okay with "crying it out" for a few minutes. It pains me...it does, but I'm doing this for his own good. I go in there and rub his back, rock him, turn on his seahorse and start the crying process over a couple of times. Finally he settles down. I go in there to check on him just to make sure everything is okay and that he is finally sleeping and I find this...
He swiped a paci off the side table. Apparently that one did not make it into the hiding place. Here's where we encounter problem number two...
He learned to crawl between vacation and now which makes him 5 thousand times more curious, more mobile, and more challenging. We moved his crib down just in time for him to learn to pull up on the bars. Well guess what.....he doesn't know how to get down.
I tried to put lay him back down, paci and all. He was smart enough to retrieve it. I couldn't bring myself to take it away. I have to admit I was sort of impressed. He wouldn't sleep though and he was definitely tired. So I laid down with him in my bed with the tv on so maybe he would at least rest since my husband wasn't getting home until late and we all know what happens after 5......fussy baby chaos time. Rest was needed...for us both.
Now for night time sleep. My kid normally goes right to sleep..no problems for the most part. I broke it to my hubby that we were cutting the paci completely. We did the crying routine again. I was exhausted by this point but I know from previous experiences with Ethan that usually 3 days is all it takes to get him used to something and the first day is always the worst. He finally went to sleep...everything seemed good.
Around midnight he woke back up and he was NOT happy. I rocked him, turned his seahorse on...let him cry for a few minutes and went back in. He was STANDING in his crib. Again, he couldn't get back down. We had to start the process again....and again...and again.
All I could think was what a terrible mother I was. I'm a mean person. He's just a baby. I should just give it back to him. Enter overworked husband...."why are we doing this again?" "He's only 7 months old Laura" "I thought we were just doing nap times".
I left him with Ethan and I went downstairs to pout and take a breather. Michael came back down about 10 minutes later and Ethan was asleep. "You know you just ruined all the process I made today" I said. That's when he told me...he didn't even have a paci in. Miracle worker I tell you.
We are an hour into the first morning nap of today and I have a sleeping boy. The first 30 minutes...cry, rock, seahorse, repeat. It was easier though. So, maybe we are making progress.
Now, I know everyone has their different opinions on this pacifier topic so let me go ahead and get this out there...I'll respect your decision for your child, please respect my decision for mine.
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.