Oh, just thinking about writing this post leaves me feeling a little sad! I’m afraid I will have more questions than answers. How do I know when it is time to finally say goodbye to the most loved, cherished, comforting item my sweet Little A owns: the pacifier?
Our pediatrician would say it’s far past the time to say goodbye. At A’s 12 month check-up and again at her 18 month check-up, we were urged to take the pacifier away, once and for all. We seriously considered it at 18 months. But, we simply didn’t feel ready to take away something A loves so, so much.
I’ve done many Google searches on the topic. Dr. Google has mixed results. Some sources say once the baby turns 1, take away the pacifier. Some say by the age of 2 is just fine. Other sources say certainly before age 4. And there are various methods to wean a child off of a pacifier too. You can go cold turkey, just throw them away and that’s it! Or you can go with the gradual weaning method. Only allow your child to use the pacifier at nap and bedtimes and go from there. What is the right age to get rid of the pacifier? How should it be done? Will it really be bad for her teeth? How much harm has already been done? I can’t be the only one who ends up feeling more overwhelmed, with even more questions, than when I started the Google search, right?
Sooner rather than later is probably best when it comes to taking away the pacifier. I have clear memories of when my parents took away my own beloved binky, which means, I must have been old enough to remember! (4 years old, I think!) I even had a stash of hidden pacifiers that I would occasionally take out, when the adults weren’t nearby, to soothe myself with. If we take A’s pacifier away soon, I’m sure she won’t remember using it when she’s older.
But it’s the transition from pacifier to no pacifier, especially while sleeping, that terrifies me the most! A has never, ever been a good sleeper. It feels like we only just recently started sleeping through the night. And she still occasionally wakes up once or twice in the night. Taking away the pacifier will, without a doubt, cause many sleepless nights. But, after all, she’s not going to be 20 years old and still sleep with a pacifier! (I hope!)
Taking away A’s pacifier must be done eventually.
Right now, my goal is to take it away by the time A turns 2. That gives me 4 months to finally work up the courage to get the job done! (The countdown is on…)We’ll most likely go with the cold turkey method, because anything else might be too confusing for her.
I am surprised at how sad I feel thinking about this big transition. It truly means the end of my baby being a baby. She’s a big girl now, and big girls don’t need their “baba.” (A’s name for her pacifier.) We’ve been through a lot of transitions already in A’s young life: breast milk to formula to all solid foods, sitting to crawling to walking, sleeping all day to 2 naps a day to one. This transition won’t be easy, but, I think we’ll survive!
Do you have any tips about pacifier weaning? When or how did you do it? I’d love to hear some pacifier stories!
I’ll let you know how it goes…