I feel funny blogging about things like this as if I have loads of wisdom to share with other parents. I don’t, in case you were wondering. I just know that whenever I am trying to make a decision on how to go about doing something that involves my babies, I find reading others experiences so helpful. So here is our experience in hopes that it will encourage someone.
Emerald took a paci immediately, we’re talking hours after birth. I had a love/hate relationship with the thing until she was able to find and reinsert it in her own mouth in the middle of the night. This happened around 7-8 months. After that I loved it as much as she did. It looked cute and always calmed her down, helped her sleep though the night, helped her sleep in the car…etc. In my head I thought I would take it away around the 1 year mark, well that time came and went. I didn’t feel good about it in my mommy heart and it wasn’t causing any problems so it stayed. As she neared her second birthday I felt like it was time. I let her keep it during the transition of gaining a baby sister and moving to a new house. I wanted her to have that comfort and mostly I just wanted her to keep sleeping like an angel. Which she did.
1 month before she turned 2 years old I decided it was time. Day #1 I got them from her crib in the morning after she woke up and put them away (didn’t throw away yet). Nap time came and she asked for her paci. I told her “No more paci, they’re broken”. I didn’t feel like she would understand much more than that explanation. That first day was rough. She cried her whole nap and couldn’t settle herself. That night she fell asleep without trouble because she was so tired from having not napped. She woke at 11pm crying( which she never does) and we had already decided we would go to her if she cried. Her dad rocked her and put her back in the crib awake. She slept the rest of the night fine.
Day #2 She took about 20 minutes to fall asleep at nap with some minimal crying. Her nap was about 30 minutes shorter than normal as well. That night she had no trouble falling asleep and slept through the night fine.
After that we had 2 days of smooth sailing .She only asked for them occasionally and seemed to understand that they were gone. I thought to myself ,”that was way too easy”. I was right. For about 4 more days she had rough naps, short naps, temper tantrums, meltdowns and night wakings. It really freaked me out because this is not how my child acts. She is normally very sweet and happy and an excellent and dependable sleeper. I thought I had ruined her good sleep habits.
Week #2. Things settled down, she became more attached to her stuffed animals and no longer cried at naptime or bedtime. She occasionally asked for them and we talked about how they were gone.
Present Day: Emma sleeps just fine if not better without her pacis. She doesn’t ask for them anymore and doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that her little sister has one. The rash is gone from around her mouth that was always there when she used pacis. I get to see her beautiful smile and cute teeth. She even has taken a few car naps.
She has become a little attached to having a ball with her when she sleeps. Yes, a ball…not a doll. She doesn’t play with it, just cuddles it so we’re letting her have them. It’s kind of funny actually. She has a crib full of stuffed animals that she loves and still she chooses a ball to take everywhere.
It’s a personal choice deciding how to go about this transition. Every child is different so what works for one may not work for another. I decided to go about it the way we did based on her personality. I knew cold turkey was the way to go, and also not making a grand affair of it (i.e the paci fairy, sending them to babies who need them, santa taking them, cutting the tips off..etc)
Overall, I’m glad we did it when we did. I’m happy we didn’t force it sooner.