Thursday, March 18, 2010

And the pacifier goes away (mostly)


I don't really like pacifiers (or chupetas, as they're known in our house). Never have. I've just seen one too many five years olds trying to talk to me through a hunk of plastic, I guess. So my intention was to not give Gabriela a pacifier. Like is often the case though, once I actually became a parent, I ate my words. A couple weeks into her life, it became obvious that the kid had a serious need for non-nutritive sucking. And since I was really getting tired of her constantly sucking on my pinkie finger, or my shoulder, or my shirt, or anything else she could get her mouth on, I gave in. I gave her a pacifier.

Once she was a few months old, I started making the pacifier live in her crib and only gave it to her at naps and bedtime. Although my sleep-time only rule hasn't applied in the car or when we're out in public, as sometimes just keeping her quiet is worth whatever attachment issues I might be creating.

My plan since it's introduction has been to take it away once she's a year old. But a few weeks ago my dear little Gaberdoodle decided throwing her pacifier out of her crib was a really fun game. Until she realized that it was then out of reach. And then she would stand in her crib, starring at her friend laying on the floor, and scream until someone came in and gave it back to her. It was a fabulous distraction and way to stay awake. Especially during naptime.

Well, mean ol' Mommy had enough. Last week we embarked on mission Sem Chupeta around here. I started by taking it away at bedtime, since that is when she usually goes down really easily. The first night she cried a couple minutes, but since then she's been fine. This week I decided to take it away during naptime. She's missed it a little, but overall naptime goes better without the distraction she created by throwing her pacifier. I still keep it with me in the car and when we're out, just in case, but I've been a little slower to give it to her. My goal is to have it gone completely by her first birthday.

In an effort to let us all sleep better, I did give it back to her on Saturday night when we were staying in a hotel. She never sleeps nearly as well when there is someone else in the room, so I figured I'd break my own rule while we were away from home. That might have backfired a little though as Sunday night at home she screamed her head off and refused to be comforted after we laid her down. Luckily it only took 20 minutes before she fell asleep. Which, to Mommy, isn't too bad. But for her big softy of a Papai, it was torture. He looked at me about 10 minutes into her fit and said, "Why don't you just give her the chupeta? She was such a good girl this weekend!" I gently reminded him that we weren't taking it away as punishment! And the longer we delay going pacifier-free, the more drama it will surely entail! And then I made some comment about him needing to toughen up.

Long before we ever had kids, Eric harassed me saying that he was going to be the fun Dad and that I'd have to be the mean Mom. That's yet to be determined exactly, but I do know that he's a total sucker for tears. He has little tolerance for whining, but let a tear fall down the little Princess' cheek! For his own sake, I hope he toughens up before she realizes that is all it takes! Meanwhile, maybe I should take a lesson. Wonder if a few tears would get me a new fridge and oven? Might be worth a shot . . .

4 comments:

Vivi DiLopes Adams said...

When Ian was 5 and half months, he caught a cold and couldn't breath through his nose ... and sucking the chupeta, wasn't an option. After that, he decided he didn't need pacifiers anymore.
He did the same thing with bottles when he was 6 and a half months .... I just hope one day, he'll wake up and decide his too old for nursing.

Gabriella said...

good for you!! I wish I had done the same for my daughter...she's now 4 1/2 and it is a battle now to get her to stop using it...I manage to get it away and my husband gives it back...

Katiebell said...

We're right behind you...a little later than Kara, but my goal is 1 year for Lane! I'm scared already... : )

Nicole, CJ, and Connor said...

My goal was by a year as well (I think most people say that), but every time we went to take it away Connor got sick and it was just easier to let him keep it. At 14 months, we decided to kick the habit. I started by cutting off the tip, little by little each day and by 15 months he was completely done with it. Now granted he hadn't been able to suck it for a about a week, but he liked to carry it around and then magically it "disappeared" and he never asked for it again. Good Luck!