Not long ago I was asked by a fellow mom, via e-mail, how I weaned my sons off of their beloved pacifiers. I figured we weren’t the only ones whose house and bed and car and purse and LIFE had been taken over by the pacifier – so I posted my response here:
This was a tough one for us too. We decided to rid both of our boys at the same time and it was a challenge. BUT…not nearly as challenging as I thought it would be. Depending on what your beliefs are there are, of course, many ways to go about the ridding of the paci. My thoughts on reward systems fluctuate, but for this particular case, here’s how we did it. We were completely done with the WITHDRAWAL symptoms in 3 nights. I have no regrets in this area. 🙂
- We made a big deal out the PACIFIER FAIRY for about 2 weeks ahead of time
- We explained that the Paci Fairy was a fairy who came to get pacis from boys and girls who were ready to pass their (coveted) pacis on to babies.
- We explained that the Paci Fairy, in exchange for the pacis, would leave a very special gift the night she came for the pacis and that if they slept without their pacis for 5 nights she would come back and leave another (grander :)) gift for each of them.
- We decorated a grocery bag and left a note for the Paci Fairy and for the little babies that would be getting them. We left a photo of the gift we wanted.
- We sealed it up and left it on the kitchen table (the bag contained about 40,000 pacis btw! 🙂
- That first night was VERY HARD! I do not want to play this down. No one slept, there was lots of crying and yelling. It was like a heavy drug withdrawal. I wanted to give in every single minute. I kept thinking “who cares if they have pacis” “They won’t go to Kindergarten with a paci” “their adult teeth will be fine” etc…
- But the real issue for us was the constant waking to find one of 6 pacis lost amidst the many converters in our giant family bed. So no one was sleeping well and it was time to rid ourselves of this nightly torture….this kept me going during the hardest moments.
- So…the first night was tough, tough, tough. My oldest would wake, cry, scream, thrash, you name it. He told me repeatedly that “he wanted to cut down the Paci Fairy’s Wings” etc…
- I would soothe him back to sleep, telling him how I knew how very hard this was etc… I held him and loved on him as much as he would let me. I reminded him of the BIG GIFT (which was a HUGE yellow crane) that the Paci Fairy was going to bring to him. I just kept reminding him that I understood and offered a half ass choice of going back – but my language was leaning WAY more towards the HUGE yellow crane. 🙂
- Once I got him settled, my little one would wake and go through the same thing. This back and forth was maddening.
- At some point the brothers tried to help each other through it. This was heart breaking and one of those Mom moments that you cherish forever. The oldest would say, “It’s OK, you can sleep next to Mommy. The Paci Fairy will give the pacis to the babies who need them. We are going to get CRANES!” etc… I think I cried. But maybe because I was so f’king tired@! I dunno…it was sweet nonetheless. Then he would lose his mind again and the little one would try to sooth him.
- This back and forth between the addict brothers went on ALL NIGHT.
- the next night was easier. Still not a lot of sleep. BUT…better than the night before. We just did the same thing. And by WE I mean ME because Dads apparently don’t hear as well as Moms. 🙂
- The 3rd night was not bad at all.
- By the 4th night – everyone slept sans pacis and no tears.
- After the 5th night – I was amazed.
- They got their CRANES in the morning and we had a huge party in the kitchen. And no one complained.
- They bragged about the Paci Fairy to friends.
- We’ve never used a Paci again.
- We have, on occasion, found stray pacies behind a couch or what not and the boys will pretend to be babies and suck on the dust balled paci. As quickly as possible without making a big deal about it I will jump in and say “OK, cool, let’s wrap that up for the Paci Fairy. She must have missed that one.” And they do.
My boys were 2.5 and 3.2 when we did this. I went from 40 – 87 years old the first night but then managed to get back down to 40 somehow.
Best of luck. If you have any other questions I am happy to talk you through it.
hope this was helpful.
(Booker and Riley’s Mom)