Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goodbye Pacifier!

You know how most babies sleep the first day or so?  Not Buddy.  He wanted to nurse every 45 minutes.  And, by nurse, I mean use-me-as-a-human-pacifier-because-there-wasn't-any-milk-yet.  After 12 hours of this, a nurse heard me casually mention to my husband that we should get him a pacifier. "No," she yelled.  "Babies shouldn't have pacifiers--it will ruin him for nursing."  Luckily, my pediatrician had more sense.  One look at the 10lb baby chomping down on my nipple and she said, "give that kid a damn pacifier".  Bless her.   Of course, thanks to that first nurse (aka mommy paranoia) I resisted until my milk came in but I swear angels started singing hallelujah when I gave him his first pacifier.  Buddy's whole body relaxed in an exclamation of contentment. 

Flash forward 2 1/2 years and he is a pacifier junkie.  Technically the rule is he can't take his pacifier out of his room but he is no dummy.  Every time I'm on the phone, he tries to sneak the paci by me.  If I call him on it, he says sweetly, "go away, please Mama.  I want to be alone."  He also has taken to dragging toys into his room so that he can play and suck his paci at the same time.   And heaven knows how many he has stashed around the house. 

My husband and I keep telling each other we need to be more strict but the lack of whining and crying is just so dang pleasant when his mouth is otherwise occupied that we never stick to our guns.

Then one day, I've had it.  I had planned to wean him slowly.  To slowly deny access until he was only using it at night and naps but that plan just wasn't working.  I always give in because I am always tired, or he is sick, or hurt, or sad, or I am sick or hurt or sad.  There is always an excuse.  So I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. 

To prepare him, I wrote a quick story and we read it several times. 

Then it was off to build-a-bear.  He picked out a hideous blue bear, vest, hockey stick and cowboy boots (don't ask, I don't get it either).  And we put his pacifier inside and they sewed up the bear.  Goodbye Pacifier, Hello Paci-Bear. 

The crazy thing is he loves this bear and understands that his pacifier is inside where he can't use it but that he can still use "Paci-Bear" to comfort himself.  He gets hurt and instead of asking for a pacifier, he buries his face in Paci-bear.  I am in awe. and Buddy? He is proud.  "I a big kid, Mama!" 

It has now been 3 days and he has asked for his pacifier once.  There have been no tears.   I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far so good.