The first time the nurse rolled Leah back from the nursery into our postpartum room at the hospital and I saw that green Soothie Pacifier sticking out of her mouth I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. About 3 hours later when I had nursed, swaddled, sang and shushed I finally popped that baby back in her mouth and she stopped fussing. I became the pacifier’s biggest fan. Not much changed as Wubbanub and paci’s helped us get every minute of sleep we’ve gotten since September 15, 2014.
Yes, that’s right. My 28 month old still uses her paci for bedtime. And as we have a plethora of dentists in the family I’ve felt pretty comfortable doing that, but recently one of these dentists (my husband) said that it’s time to get rid of the paci. Leah LOVES her paci and actually sleeps with 3 of them, needing both “pink ones” and the “purple one” before she can fall asleep. So I had a panic attack, but then calmed down and negotiated to get rid of the pacifier AFTER the holidays (several extended stays at houses other than our own), and AFTER I fly with Leah by myself to California.
Well it’s now after. So here goes nothing.
I’m taking a 3 strategy approach to this, like most other things I do, based on very little research.
Strategy 1: The Babies. 2 days ago I told Leah that now she’s a big girl, there are lots of other babies that need pacifiers, and she no longer does. So we ceremoniously took the pink ones, and the purple one and put them in a box in my office where they will be safely kept for the little babies who need them
Result: This went really well, she was happy to be giving something to “the babies” and I’ve reminded her a couple times that she gave her pacifiers to other babies when she wonders where they are and she’s pretty accepting of it.
Strategy 2: The Lily Method. This is actually what I’m counting on the most because it was developed by someone who knows what she’s doing. Here’s the gist of it: there are 5 steps, each step has a corresponding pacifier with gradually smaller nipples. You give your child step one pacifier, with the largest nipple (most like a normal paci) first, and work your way down to step 5 where there’s not much to suck on at all. Buy it here.
Result: I’ve only given the step 1 pacifier so far, but that went really well. Leah gratefully accepted the peace offering after she went to bed and I reminded her that her purple and pink pacifiers had been given to the babies (the babies is starting to sound like some scary baby gang…I’ll have to work on that…). We decided to do two nights of each stage in an effort to make things as easy as possible. But like I said, so far so good.
Strategy 3: Bedtime Rules. When I was about Leah’s age my parents had to implement a three step rule to keep me from getting out of bed countless times (my new brother had gotten my crib, leaving me in a big girl bed). My rules were: the first time I get out of bed my parents turn my closet light off. The second time they shut my bedroom door, and the third time (which I NEVER got to) I would get a spanking. So I thought we’d try something similar for Leah. Since she’s still in the crib the rules are different but with the same thought. The first time we have to go back into her room to tell her to go to sleep we turn the fan off. The second time we take down one of the nightlights, and the third time we turn off her “noise” (white noise machine).
Result: So far, after 2 nights and 3 naps, she’s only needed a reminder over the monitor that the fan is getting turned off if I have to come up there. She has then settled down to sleep. KNOCK ON WOOD.
I know I am FAR from through this battle, but now that you know the strategy and how the first 2 nights have gone, I’ll report back every couple of days to update how it’s going. FINGERS CROSSED!!!!