Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh, how she breaks us down...

A few weeks ago Dennis and I began having the conversation about when to nix the pacifier. The consensus was to try and do away with it when Kaylee turned 2 (which is just around the corner).

We also agreed that it may very well be harder on us than it is on her.

The pacifier (which she fondly refers to as her "night-night") is an instant silencer 97.6% of the time. It saves me from public embarrassment in restaurants, grocery stores, and the library. It helps her go to sleep. It seems to be the magic ingredient that gets her to take naps.

And it is also her own sad little version of crack cocaine.

Recently, we've noticed she's taken up quite the attachment to the dearly beloved night-night - moreso than usual. We suspected that maybe she senses the end is near, and she better take what she can get before it's taken from her.

So - today, as she asked for it for pretty much each and every waking moment, we realized we should probably nip this thing in the bud before the big birthday. It's really getting pretty pathetic. Our rule used to be "only when you're sleeping," but our little manipulator broke us down at some unidentifiable point (I'm guessing during an illness or a way-too-frigging-long car ride), and we bent the rules.

We decided, in a decision that was nothing short of impulsive, that tonight would be the night. I told Dennis she would break us.

And break us she did.

We had about a 20 minute car ride that consisted of complete and utter drawn out wailing and screaming and sobbing and the most pathetic, tearful scream of, "I. NEED. my. NIGHT-NIGHT!"

Over. And over. And over. Again.

Sometimes all Dennis and I could do was to simply look over at each other and burst into laughter. She sounded so very desperate and needy.

And her screams were beginning to break down our very cores.


We got in the house, Dennis tried to calm her down by cuddling with her on the couch, but nothing would do the trick. We decided to cave.

I dug a pacifier out from one of the multiple pockets of my newly purchased Destructed Khakis from Old Navy (so stinking comfy!) and tossed the pacifier to Dennis on the couch. He dropped it, and then pointed it out to Kaylee and told her to go get it.

She scurried over to it, squatted down on the floor, and just stared at it, probably thinking something along the lines of, "Where have you BEEN all my LIFE! I freaking LOVE you!" Then she promptly popped that sucker in her mouth and carried on as usual.

Instant transformation. Nothing but smiles and songs and cute little jibberish like, "Don't hit Mommy! Mommy loves you!" and "I need candy" and "Hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw" the rest of the night.

20 minutes. We didn't last more than 20 minutes.

We need serious help.

I am soliciting your advice. Tell me your tried and true methods of nixing the binkie. Sooner, rather than later - please???


Jenners said...

First of all, we all give in. We all do. It is impossible not to.

Second, I managed to get my son's pacifier away from him with no problem but he didn't have nearly as much of an addiction. I have heard that people suggest putting little holes in the sucking part or little rips so it isn't as satisfying to suck on? I guess the air goes out and it is broken and it won't give her the feel she is looking for. That might be worth trying.

I also read about a mom doing a Pacifier Fairy thing. You leave the pacifier for the "Pacifier Fairy" and the fairy brings a new toy or comfort object (stuffed animal/blanket?) to replace it. Does require her to understand what you're trying to do and get her buy in.

Other than that, I've got nothing.

Good luck!!!!!!

Sera said...

A friend just suggested the cutting a hole in it thing. I love the idea of the pacifier fairy! I'm not sure if, developmentally, she'd get it just yet, but we may be able to do some rendition of it if cutting the ends partially off doesn't work. The God I've got a good stockpile of Thin Mints at the moment!

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Oh, our daughter was SO addicted to that thing...so addicted, in fact, that her jaw started to form AROUND the pacifier until she grew a gap in her teeth. I didn't even notice it until the dentist pointed it out. Oh, my, I felt awful! Anyway, here's what worked for us (and we also had at least one failed attempt that ended in us giving in!). I read her a book about pacifiers (Pacifiers Are Not Forever might have been the title) about giving up the pacified for several days before we took it away for good. We limited it only to sleep time and then when the day came to say goodbye for good, I brought out a box and put it in the box and told her it was time to say goodbye. She waved goodbye and cried and I empathized and affirmed what she was feeling but also let her know she could do it. And then I immediately took her to the store and had her pick out two toys--one just to play with and one to snuggle in bed to comfort her when she didn't have the pacifier. We practiced cuddling the teddy bear/blanket thing that she picked out for when she was feeling sad. And we spent extra time soothing her those first couple of nights without it. Worked really well for us but the whole process definitely took a couple of weeks. Good luck!!!!!

And thanks so much for coming by my blog and for your sweet comments. Means so much!

Deb said...

oh dude. that's a tough one. i was pretty hard core with that stuff and did the whole crying it out thing. it was horrible for the first two nights. both of mine gave up pretty quickly after that. and moody was a serious addict. like, he would suck on one, and have another in his hand on standby. so it worked for me.

the other side of the coin is this: there once was a little boy who sucked a pacifier so long that he was old enough for him mom to drive him to the corner store, have him get out and go get his own (it was a small town and it was many years ago). i think he may have been almost 5 when he finally stopped. that same boy, today, is a successful doctor, wonderful husband and loving dad.

P said...

We started the weaning process when my son was 18 months old. We got rid of all pacifiers except 2. One we kept just for nap and bedtime the other we cut the end off. During the day, whenever he asked for it, we would give him the cut one. He would put it in his mouth and take it back out as if saying "Whoa what's up with my sucky??" lol but the only option for him was the cut one. Eventually he just didn't want it. Then the next week we told him he was a big boy, so there were no more sucky's at bedtime. He cried for a bit the first night then it was smooth sailing from there. The biggest thing is to be consistent, and once you have weaned get rid of ALL pacifiers so you can never go back :)

Anonymous said...

My tip won't help you. You should have taken it away before she could talk. Ha!

BreAnne said...

Poking a hole in it worked for us, but it was a small discreet hole. My son would have been to hip to what we were doing had we made it obvious. I sliced a little hole near the bottom so it was well hidden. He dropped it within a few days on his own. He said it was yucky. It worked for us when nothing else did.

Summer said...

Oh my, I remember those days and they were AWFUL!

My advice, just do it. Or don't. But don't go inbetween. =)

And definitely don't give it to the next one. lol

Summer said...

Oh ya, and we totally did the Pacifier Fairy thing. =)

Molly said...

Oh, crap. This is just around the corner for me. Coop only had it at bedtime until our 5 day road trip and that was the end of that. We are trying to just get him to sleep at this point, and then we have to take the passie. I have thought of just waiting until he is old enought to understand the fairy thing. Or maybe someone more boyish can take his. :)

Good luck!