Well you guys, we finally did it!
Leopold gave up his pacifier.
When I got pregnant early this year, I made a list of three things I wanted to accomplish with Leopold before baby #2 came along.
2. Big boy bed
3. Get rid of the pacifier
We were starting to cut it close with the pacis, and I think I was a big part of the problem! Steps one and two were kind of a breeze to get through, thankfully! I was worried the pacis wouldn’t come as easily. My boy loved his pacis!
I’m about 90% sure I was making this more difficult than it had to be in my own head. What if he is heartbroken?! What if he feels like I have betrayed him?! What if he NEVER SLEEPS AGAIN!?
Obviously my anxious and hormonal brain wasn’t doing me any favors. Luckily over the past few weeks we kept finding pacis that had little holes in them. He had started to chew through the plastic and after two years of nights, naps, and some days, it was time to make a decision. To buy new ones, or ditch them altogether?
He really only used them for sleeping but lately he has been fighting with me in the mornings when I tell him to leave the pacifier in the bed. It’s really no fun at all starting your morning out with a tantrum over a pacifier. He claimed “but I’m a baby, mom!” and begged to keep it in his mouth. For a while I let him be a baby because he won’t be my only baby much longer!
Over the last couple of weeks however, I knew I needed to get my courage up and start encouraging ‘big boy’ behavior and more independence.
I hinted to him that we were going to get rid of his pacis soon every day or so for a couple of weeks. We only had one left that wasn’t broken and he knew he couldn’t use the broken ones. I kept telling him that we could go to Build A Bear and put his pacis in a bear. After a while the idea became a little more exciting to him. A couple days before we went, he decided that his pacis would make the bear very happy!
I actually got the idea to do this from a family I used to babysit for a few years ago. They took their son to build a bear and successfully ditched the pacis around the same age! I wasn’t even pregnant yet and I decided that’s the method I would use if I ever had a toddler that used pacifiers.
Friday night I went out with some friends and his only good paci was in the kitchen, where he had left it that morning at breakfast (after winning that tantrum and getting to take it out of his bed). His dad had no clue and gave him a broken one, which caused some sleep trouble, apparently. It did get him thinking that his last good paci was broken, though!
The next day, my sister came for a visit. We grabbed a small bag and went around the house collecting old broken pacifiers.
I took the ‘good’ one and one more ‘good’ one I found in my purse and snipped a hole in them with scissors when Leopold was distracted. He was insisting that we were only going to put the broken ones in a bear when we took him to build a bear. So I made sure they were all broken, even if I felt a little guilty doing so.
Part of me really wanted to wait and let him give them up on his own, but the other part of me refused to buy new pacifiers. I also know that the longer I waited the harder it would likely become.
Saturday afternoon, my sister, Leopold and myself headed over to our local Build A Bear and looked through all of the choices. He eventually chose a Charmander Pokemon (it was a close call between that and a Jurassic Park dinosaur). The stuffing machine was down so it took a little longer since Charmander had to be stuffed by hand.
While he was getting stuffed, we made his birth certificate and picked out an outfit for him.
Finally he was stuffed and it was time to put the pacis in.
Leopold was excited for this part and got right to it! He did carefully check each pacifier to be sure it was actually broken before he put them in. He gave Charmander a heart and a big ole squeeze and we were ready to sew him up!
Charmander went all over with us that day…to Petsmart to look at fish, to Lowes to get nursery supplies, and even to Zesto’s for dinner that night. He told everyone about the brave thing he did and how happy Charmander was to have his pacis!
The night before, as well as during his nap that day, he slept without pacifiers just fine…I knew he (we) could do this!
That night he did have some trouble sleeping. Certainly from eating ice cream not long before bed! After trying to fall asleep for a while I heard him call me and ask for his pacis. I said “remember we gave them all to Charmander because you’re a big boy now!” and he said “You go buy some new pacis mama!” But after that he finally went to sleep, and we haven’t had any trouble sleeping since.