Saturday, January 29, 2011

An addiction that really sucks

My son has almost fully transitioned from "baby" into "toddler". He sleeps through the night. He eats regular meals with the adults. He uses and understands speech. He knows rules, and how to follow them. He even finally got his first haircut. None of his outfits include onesies anymore.

But, though he's 18-months, he still uses a pacifier. And I hate it.

I hate to see my walking, talking, exploring little boy marching around with a little baby binkie in his mouth. He doesn't really need it, and it looks ridiculous. They're easy to lose and hard to clean. I'm so ready for this paci-habit to be over.

We've got the pacifier-use limited to sleepy times, but he still wants it when he gets upset or tantrumy. If he digs it out of his diaper bag when we're not looking, he'll pop it in his mouth and go about with it while he plays, trying to talk around it. And, while I'm not generally a very strict or structured mom, something about seeing the pacifier in his mouth drives me crazy.

So I'm ready to ditch the pacifier. And, like any new mom with an internet connection, I've been researching online for the best methods by which to do so.

Here's the methods I've found, and why I'm almost 90% sure they're not going to work:

Cold turkey. Will never happen. My husband's too much of a wuss when the baby starts crying. When he starts screaming for his pacifier at night, his daddy will cave and bring it to him.

Trade it for a toy. This is not a lesson I want to teach my child. "Here, I'm going to bribe you to get you to give up something that isn't good for you." If I get desperate enough I may try this, but I'd rather get him to give it up on his own and then go get him as toy as an unexpected reward for being such a good big boy.

Round up all the pacifies for donation to the "Pacifier Fairy". This is where parents tell their kids that a fairy comes to take all their pacifiers and gives them to new babies. All the sites recommend gathering up the pacifiers together and wrapping them up all nice and pretty to leave for the fairy. While it's kind of a cool idea, I think I'd rather save it for something more important, like rounding up donations for the "Annoying Musical Toy Fairy".

Gradually cut the ends of the pacifier until it's unuseable. This is probably what I'm going to try. The innate deception involved ensure that this will be the least conflictory of all the methods. Of course, I also worry that my son's too smart for this to work. I can just see him taking the paci, putting it in his mouth, spitting it out, looking at it, and handing it to us while he demands another paci.

Are there any parents out there who can recommend pacifier-weaning methods to me? I'll make you a deal. If anyone recommends something new and it works (with minimal tantruming and sleepless nights), I'll provide a prize from the 8PP store (my choice). Savvy?

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