It's been a rough 29 hours in this house. Yesterday, we laid the pacifiers to rest. I had no problem with the girls having them until they were around 4 (when they start preschool), however, as of late they have NOT been using them the way they have been intended. I have done a lot of research on the usage of pacifiers and it's main goal is to soothe. They do their job - believe me. I would not have had a moment of sleep (not that I get a lot) in the last 3 years without them.
However, my girls have started chewing on them and ripping them apart. This is one way you can tell that your child physically is ready to give up the pacifier. This has been going on for a couple of months and I started having to replace them. It's not that they break the bank - but really? Chewing on it? You have all your FREAKING teeth. Why are you chewing on them?
What really made up the decision was when Lilli (3 years old) started trying to talk with it in her mouth. Now, she already has a speech issues. She doesn't place her tongue correctly on a lot of words and she has a little lisp. (I know that this will change over time.) Add having her tongue shaped into a "U" to hold on to her pacifier to that lisp/wrong tongue placement. It's a recipe for disaster. For real - it's hard enough sometimes to translate her foreign language!
So yesterday, when Lucy in the Womb woke me up for the day, I decided that we would lay the pacifiers to rest and hope for the best. Man - I did not know what I was in for!
Isabella (2 years old) was okay without it until nap time. When nap time came. She cried like someone was cutting off her fingers one at a time for 8 minutes. ONLY 8 minutes. I was expecting at least 30 minutes. That got my hopes up. At bedtime she only cried for 5 minutes! Such success in only 2 sleeps. She did ask for it twice during the day - but I was able to side track her with food. (She could use gaining a couple of pounds.) *She did wake up at 1:30 and cry but she fell back asleep after a minute or two. (I got to stay up for about 45 minutes listening to the Hubbs snore.) Day 2 nap time was HORRIBLE! She cried for 4 minutes then was quiet. I was silently cheering. Then 3 minutes later she started back up. It took her 25 minutes of crying on and off to finally pass out!
Lilli is a completely different story. This girl LOVES her pacifier. I knew it was going to be a struggle. She asked for it about 4 times throughout the day. Each time I told her that she was a big girl and didn't need it anymore. Then I started bribing her. "You want a new toy? You don't need the paci then!" Nap time was easier then I thought. it took her about 15 minutes of whimpering for her to pass out. Bedtime like living in HELL! She cried hard - snotty nose running down lip, tears down the cheeks, red scrunched up face, gonna make you throw up kind of crying hard. After 40 minutes - yes I let her go that long - I went in her room and laid down with her. She wanted to go and sit in the living room, but I just rubbed her back. She was out in less then 5 minutes. So far, she hasn't asked for it today. I am hoping that nap time goes just like yesterday and that bedtime will be at least half the time it took last night.
Now, let me tell you the things that could have screwed with my success rate here….
1) I didn't read them any kind of story about why we were giving it up - we just quit cold turkey. I don't think Isabella would have understood and I think that Lilli just thinks I am a bitch, but it might have helped.
2) They both went to bed LATE. Lilli went to bed extremely late. Over an hour late, because I wanted to let her see her dad. I should know better! Over tired children = Hot ass messes!
3) Day 2 issues - they both went to the doctor for checkups and each got one shot. What the hell was I thinking?!
Now - this evening we will be over to see my mom so Isabella might be a little late for bedtime. I try to keep her up until 9 but she's in bed by 8:30 most of the time. Some people may think this is late, but the chick only needs 8 hours of sleep. Her peepers open up at 6:20 every morning. Totally crazy! At 9:15 Lilli will be laying in bed relaxing with her choice of book, iPad, or toy. Last night we just threw her in bed at 10:30 and hoped for the best. I think that nap time was successful with her yesterday because she laid in bed for a little while before she was told she had to take a nap. Who knows if any of this will help. I will might be rubbing her back at 9:45 until she falls asleep. But those pacifiers will not be making a reappearance until April when Lucy gets here!
I was able to go to Meijer yesterday without frantically looking for 2 pacifiers and making sure everyone had their blanket. It's funny because they don't seem so attached to their blankets now. We have made 2 trips out of the house without either item. It has been fun and carefree and I don't miss swearing over losing a pacifier! You know those times. When you are looking frantically under couches, beds, and in the bottom of toy boxes. When they wake up during the night that first year and you blindly search for it in the crib to it in their mouths so that you might be able to get 2 more hours of sleep. Remember that first child? The one that would lay the paci down and you would run and wash it then sterilize it? Yeah that one - that one was a bitch! Now it's a rinse and dip. You rinse it off and then dip into their mouths. Yes, I just admitted that and you might think that's unsanitary but bite me. Just bite me. Unless you are living my crazy life - you have NO freaking idea what it's like.
So, to all you parents who have loved, hated, and wanted to kill the makers of the pacifier. I salute you! It's a hard habit to break. For your kids and you!