Getting Rid of the Pacifier

April 9, 2012

I hated that paci.

HATED IT.

Around a year old. She loved it upside down against her face.

Every night, without fail, we’d suddenly realize it was lost. Somewhere in our home, the green paci attached to a stuffed kitty (or monkey) was gone and no one knew where it was.

Asking Bella resulted in her throwing herself on the floor in despair and bawling for it. Instead of helping us look. Which was helpful.

We even had a place for it in her room but somehow it always ended up gone.

Laundry baskets, Noah’s Ark, a truck, Daddy’s boots, our bed; it was a toss up where we’d find it. I’d march around the house saying awful words about it as I pulled everything apart.

One by one, they went by the wayside. Our former pedi scolded us for having one when she was 2, but I knew it wasn’t time. I had to be able to reason with her – we waited too long to get rid of it without her noticing. We were down to one kitty paci when the other day Bella brought it to me before nap announcing it was, “Blah.” Which  meant it needed to be washed.

Only, it wasn’t blah. It was destroyed. The tip of it was annihilated, bite marks and tears all over. I realized she could never use it again for fear of it coming off completely. So I showed her, we cut off the paci from the cat, and I had her kiss it and throw it away. Then I explained she could have, “Just kitty” (which became it’s name) and praying for sweet mercy, took her to nap.

2 1/2 years she’s had a paci for nap and night. I expected some rough times. And the first day actually wasn’t bad.

But the two following ones? Have been awful.

She has a hard time falling asleep without it, and cries. Sad cries, when I go in her room she has tears rolling down her cheeks as she clutches the kitty and sobs, “Papi all gone. Papi boken (broken).” So I sit and talk with her about how much Just Kitty loves her, and how they can snuggle. But it’s hard on us both. I hate to see her sad about it.

I’ve had some people say, “I’m glad my kid never wanted one!” I hear you. But in all honesty, as much as I didn’t like it and as big of a pain as it was, for the most part it was ok to have. It was her soother when nothing else would do. In those first 6 months of reflux and nursing round the clock it was a lifesaver for me. I don’t regret giving her one. I wish we had taken it away sooner in some regards, but it’s ok. We did the best we could with it and it’s gone now.

As much as I really wanted it to be gone, there is a sadness knowing Bella just left that part of babyhood behind, along with so many others.

19 Comments

  • Kelly

    April 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    My almost 3 year old still has a paci (which she also calls her Papi) and we’ve been telling her that after she turns three we’re throwing all her papis in the garbage, but I know that it’s not going to be easy and reading this post just made me cry because I don’t want to make her sad! 🙁 (But I know it needs to go!)

    1. Diana

      April 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      It’s so hard! Like I said, I hated it but when it was really gone – I felt as sad as Bella did. However, her having a transition object (in our case the animal attached to it) was really helpful. She’s doing much better and only once in a great while mentions missing it. <3 Good luck!!

  • Misty @ The Family Math

    April 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Noah LOVED those type of pacis …but not so much for the pacifier part as the little tag that sticks out of the animal’s butt. So one day we just started giving him a stuffed animal instead, and he took it with no problems. We are probably going to have a much harder time getting him to stop sucking his thumb!

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      I’ve had my mom tell me time and time again, “Be glad she doesn’t suck her thumb like you did, we couldn’t take that away.” Well, they tried.

      Bella loves the tags too. Obsessed. Funnily enough, I bought her one of those Taggies things thinking she’d go insane and she never even played with it. She went back to the old nasty random tags on toys.

  • Stephanie

    April 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Three of my girls took pacifiers and all three gave them up on their own at 10 months, one sucked her thumb and at 10 years still does, baby #5 just would not have anything to do with either! I love em’ all 🙂
    xoxo
    s

  • Misty Pratt

    April 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Aylen STILL has hers…I have no plan to get rid of it. I’m so weak 🙂 She doesn’t have it at nap anymore, but has become more obsessed with it at night (she waits by the counter where she’ll know I’ll get it for her and clean it) I know I’m just prolonging the problem, and I’m hoping a magic fairy will some day come along and just deal with the problem. Avoidance…that’s my strategy!

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Ours too for a long time, I just avoided the topic. I had no idea where to begin besides cutting use time down to nap and night.

      And then it was thrust on us, but she was ready. More ready than 5 months ago for sure.

      Bella also used to hover around it. Drove me crazy!

  • M @ Perfectly Imperfect

    April 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    So I’m new to your blog and could not have come at a better time. We also have one of those pacis (ours is Wubbie) and my little one just turned two. I just know I’m going to get an ear chewing at her appt this week, but I just know she’s not ready for it go yet. I keep hearing horror stories about how that Soothie paci is going to destroy her teeth so I want it gone, but at the same time, even thinking about taking Wubbie away from her makes my heart cry. I can’t do it! We’re currently working on keeping him in the bed and using him just for night and nap. Once we clear that hurdle, maybe we’ll go further. My thinking is, she can’t take it to kindergarten right?! Please say she won’t!

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      I hope she can’t! I was always a bit fearful Bella might be that kid!

      Our Dr reamed us for it, so we switched. I couldn’t handle someone who point blank told me I was ridiculous (but she also jumped on me for not having her potty trained before 2 so there were other issues). Do what works for you. We have a Wubbanub and it did make it easier to have the animal stick around. As creepy as it looks now…

  • Brooke

    April 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    That’s our next milestone to achieve (hurdle to jump?) That and potty training. I can’t decide which to tackle first. 🙁 But the paci, it needs to GO. sheesh. Good for you and brava Bella! That’s a big adjustment!

  • Julia

    April 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Hey there – delurking to say HI and to tell you that this made me so, so sad to read. That picture of Bella reminds me so much of my own little girl, who loves her pacis and will hold one in one hand while happily sucking on the other. Sigh – there will come a day when we’ll go through the same drill you’ve just done. I only hope it isn’t too soon, the girl canNOT sleep without it. Good luck!

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Yay for delurking!!!

      Yeah, we knew the day would come (and in all honesty I was like, “Please do NOT let my kid be the freak kindergartener who needs a paci…” lol) and it was sudden. Which maybe was best. But I know of parents who gradually did it too – you’ll know when the time is right.

  • MomEinstein

    April 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Why does this post make me cry? I dread the day we give up the binky, but I thought it was because of how difficult it will be. Now, on top of that, it will be my baby girl giving up the last baby part. And that makes me very sad.

    I think we’ll be keeping the binky for a little longer.

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      And don’t let anyone pressure you to do it sooner! You’ll know, I knew in December it wasn’t and was glad I waited. For both of us.

  • Diana

    April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Matteo never took a pacifier but he was very attached to nursing, my only thought when I sat with him to nurse at night before going to bed (that was how he”ll fall asleep, nursing) was: ” how in hell Am I gonna break this habit ” I cried several times thinking that he was gonna suffer and that i was a horrible mom for taking away his comfort, but the day got here and we started to read to him and also started to bring a zippy cup with milk and tell him “here is your milk” and he will listen to the stories holding his milk and after story time was nite-nite time, lights off and I was next to him (we still co-sleeping, that’s another one we can see to break) and all of it sudden Matteo was sleeping all by himself. It felt weird in the beginning and I felt horrible but it was necessary, so congrats on the big step of getting rid of the paci… or no congrats!!! I don’t know… I always enjoy reading ur blog…

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks lady 🙂 It’s gotten easier, I think these things (nursing, paci, thumb sucking) are always a bit sad at the end. In the middle of it it’s kind of a pain, but then it’s over so fast.

  • Caitlin MidAtlantic

    April 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I was a major finger sucker for… way too long. Into elementary school. I knew enough that it was only at night to fall asleep, but I can SO empathize with Bella’s tears! That said, I was incredibly frustrated at the time but also so happy when Laura refused a paci. There were times in infancy when I wished she would just soothe herself with something – anything! – but I also knew I wouldn’t have to worry about breaking any habits.

    Every kid is different. I’m preparing myself now for Gavin to be a sucker.

    1. Diana

      April 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      I sucked my thumb for years. My poor parents did everything they could to get me to stop. No luck. I’m debating whether or not to give the next two a paci, but I think if it’s anything like how Bella was, I’ll totally cave.

  • Stacy

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I can imagine how sad it is. It’s a major part of her growing up and it makes you sad to think you’ll never have this time with her again. But there’s so much more awesome stuff to come in her little life. This is a big milestone and being sad makes sense. Hugs.

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