Saturday, November 07, 2009

we are the champions, part 1 - what didn't work

Good morning.

Let's talk about pacifiers.

Better yet, let's talk about breaking bad habits.

My pediatrician - whom I trust only slightly less than God and every bit as much as Georgia's Mom to tell me the truth - says there is a golden age for dropping bottles and pacifiers. She tells me that between 12-18 months, children begin to form emotional attachments to their comfort objects. So if you drop them before that age, it's not a big deal (my neighbor testifies to this, having dropped the paci at 14 months painlessly). But we waited, because at the time that Asher was 12-18 months old, he was also becoming a big brother. He just seemed too young, the transition too big, and the pay-off too small for us to tackle the it back then. Asher has always only had a pacifier when he's getting ready to sleep (or just waking up), so it wasn't impeding his language development. And just as she predicted, over time he became attached to his pacifier.

Last week he said, "But my paci is my BEST FRIEND." It was like THAT, friends.

We tried to drop the pacifier - using my neighbor's formula of weaning slowly and systematically over 3-4 weeks, until the habit is broken before the pacifier is completely taken away - right around this time last year. I don't know what to say, except that it just didn't work. He didn't cry for his pacifier, he just wouldn't sleep. Ever. Not one time. Ever. We had taken the pacifier away at naptime, so that he was using it only at bedtime, and he would lay in his bed - talking, screeching, throwing his blankets, whatever - two hours every day, for one solid month. But I was not backing down, because that's just the kind of girl I am. Eventually he HAD to nap without a pacifier. The law of large numbers had to work in my favor eventually, right? Then one day, just before Christmas, Asher went to sleep at naptime effortlessly. Success! I thought. The paci habit had finally been broken. I'm pretty sure I even called Georgia's Mom to sing We Are the Champions.

After a long, deserved nap, Asher woke up happy and chatty (let's be clear - if he's happy he's chatty. If he's sad he's chatty. If the boy is awake, he's talking. But I digress). I walked into his room, smiling, ready to celebrate our victory. "Look Mama!" he said. "Orange paci kept me company during naptime!" A pacifier had been lurking - the traitor - under his bedding, and Asher had found it.

So we gave up. Silas was increasingly refluxy, it was the holidays, we had gone a MONTH without naptimes, and my will had been broken. Paci: 1, Stephanie: 0.

(It's breakfast time now. Stay tuned for Part 2).


leslie said...

I gotta tell you.... I use to WORRY endlessly about the paci with Jace. She's 3 1/2 and just now have we broken the habit at night. But the truth is I DIDN'T CARE anymore. She dropped naps on her own so when she quit napping she quit getting it during the day. This lasted for a few months.... and finally I "forgot" them at my grandmother's when we visited. SHe cried one night and that was that. It was so much easier than I imagined it would be, but I think it was because she was finally old enough to really understand she didn't need them anymore. but of course now she wants a cup of water at night.... "just in case Momma" but I', cool with that too.

Good luck. I firmly believe that he WON'T be using a paci when he's 5! LOL

And this may sound silly but I felt like it was the last tangible evidence of infancy for Jace and I was kind of sad to see her outgrow it :( She was SO young when Rory was born that I didn't want to take it away from her---- PLUS SHE LOVED hers. She was VERY ATTACHED.... but now she's closer to 4 and no longer a technical "baby" *sigh* as you would say! :)

Lisa said...

I wish I had known about the 12-18 month thing. Now, I fear. we will never get rid of the thing!

carrie b. said...

desperate mommies everywhere (okay, maybe just one, in dothan) are waiting for part 2!!!!!! ;)