Weaning off the pacifier, the nuclear way

When we first gave Kaia a pacifier at around age 1 month, I was a little worried about how she’d be with eventually weaning off it. You always hear these horror stories in parent groups about kids who are 3, 4, even 5 years old who refuse to let go of their pacifier. Pacifier, paci, dummy, whatever you want to call it — it’s not just a toy or another object to a baby or toddler; the paci is a source of deep comfort and attachment. So, if you take away something that provides the child comfort, you are risking a lot. It also made me uncomfortable to know that Chris still had his dummy at age 3; I absolutely do NOT want Kaia with a paci by the age of 3 and really hoped that Kaia wouldn’t be as dead set on hers as her dad was when he was a similar age. If anything, I would have ideally wanted to cut it off by age 2, but given we were doing a lot of travel in that time, I didn’t want to take away a comfort source during a heavy travel/transition period. Last summer, we had mostly weaned her off the paci for daytime naps. So overnight sleep is what she wants her paci for.

Last week, Kaia was being really fussy at every bedtime. She was going through a little teething, as I saw one of her back molars was coming out. She also may be going through a 2.5-year sleep regression. But either way, Chris said that she could have one or the other: one of us on the bed with her, OR the paci. I wasn’t really thinking we’d start this early; I originally thought we’d start the weaning process after we got back from our summer trip. But oh well. In most cases, she chose us, and she’d fall asleep sans paci. At some point of the night, though, she’d come barging out of her room crying, in search of us. She’d come to our bed and indicate she wanted to sleep with us. I get it: it’s hard to let go of a comfort item like the paci, so instead, she wants us to be her new comfort item. I felt so sad for my baby, but I know weaning off the paci is something we want and need her to do. It just came about very quickly and suddenly since Chris just declared it out of nowhere last week. It’s been almost a week now of no paci overnight, except one night when she did choose the paci over us.

Chris has also been telling her things like, “Pacis are for babies. Kaia is not a baby. Kaia likes scooters. Scooters are for big kids.” So because of this, Kaia now says sometimes at bedtime, “Pacis are for babies. Kaia not a baby.” I think she’s trying to rationalize to herself that even though she has an urge for the paci that she should fight the urge and power through without it, and ultimately let it go.

My sweet baby is growing up. It’s trite, but it really does go too fast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.