One might wonder why I am writing on this subject when my kids are 7, 8 and 12… but I had a conversation recently with a friend about the matter, so I decided to share with you, my lovely readers, on the chance that it might help someone out there…
This post is not about whether or not you should use a pacifier. I know people feel strongly one way or another, and I’m not here to step on any toes. For the record, I nursed all my babies, and gave all my babies a pacifier. To my dismay, the last one would not take it, which answers to the 7 year old who I still occasionally find with a thumb in her mouth.
There. I’ve said it. Yet, the sight of a four year old walking around with a paci in his or her mouth, taking it out of the mouth only to say something and promptly putting it back… well, that disturbs me. So, at some point it’s time to take that thing away.
For us, we chose two years old as the “mark” of when it was time to give it up. Other parents may choose younger or older, and to each his own. This is not a post on paci regulations… it’s to share with you how we dealt with the unpleasant task of getting rid of the child’s beloved attachment.
So, as I said, we chose 2. When our babies were between 18-20 months, we started talking it up: “When you turn two, pacis go in the trash.” We brought this up frequently, and before long, turned it into a question:
Me: “What happens when you turn two?”
Her: “Pacis go in the trash.”
Yep. That’s what we did. When they turned two, we made a HUGE deal about how she was a “Big Girl”, went through the house collecting pacis in a bag, and let HER throw them in the trash. We then took the trash to the curb together.
The night of the deed, she, of course, wanted the paci at bedtime.
Me: “Where is your paci?”
She (crying): “In… da… trash.” Sniff, sniff.
Me: “That’s right. You’re a big girl now. No more paci.”
See – I didn’t take it away from her… she put it into the trash can herself, big girl that she was. She knew that I could not just go get it from the other room. It was GONE. After a couple of days, it wasn’t even an issue anymore.
I do believe it helped that both my daughters who we dealt with in this fashion also had another “lovey” that they used at bedtime. We made sure that they had that, even though they didn’t have the pacifier. With my oldest, it was a piece of satin she called “silky” and a stuffed piggy. With #2, it was a purple blanket my mother had crocheted for her.
So, that’s what worked for us with much success.
What about you? How did you break your child off the paci?