If your favorite blog posts of mine are about lipstick shades, this one may be a skipper. :)
Camille is officially done with her pacifier! Can I get a halleluyerrrr?!
Here's how it went down.
At her 2 year old doctor appointment in May, her pediatrician told me it was time to take it away. She said that in addition to some potential orthodontic issues, it could also make her more susceptible to ear infections. At this point, the pacifier was only for bedtimes -- nap, and sleeping at night. It "lived" in the crib -- when she was done sleeping, it stayed in her bed. I didn't just want to snatch it from her that very night of the doctor appointment, but we definitely began the talk about parting ways with "ni-night."
Me: "Hey Camille, what does Dr. C (pediatrician) say?"
C: "No mo' ni-nights."
Me: "That's right!"
We also began talks about how big girls didn't need them and that Baby Charlotte needed a ni-night. And I introduced her to the concept of the Night Night Fairy. We talked at length about how the Night Night Fairy would come during the time she was sleeping, take her pacifier (that she left outside of her door), and give it to a little baby in the hospital who needed it. In return, she would leave Camille a toy!
On July 15th, Camille was having lunch in her highchair and I was sitting on a barstool in front of her when she began talking without being prompted about the Night Night Fairy. I really built her up about it since I could tell she was adopting the whole concept of it, and I asked her if she was ready for the big visit that day during nap. She said yes, and we went for it!
So, lots of positive affirmations later, and we kept everything else about naptime the same -- a fairy tale, her blanket, sound machine on, and her cold teething rings from the freezer (that's another story), ni-night outside of the doorway, and she laid down and went to sleep with NO pacifier.
While she was asleep, I replaced the pacifier with a new toy and put streamers on her door.
Not only were the streamers fun, but they were also a visual reminder over the next few days that the fairy came and that we now did bedtimes with no pacifiers. It was like every time we went back to her room for naptime or bedtime, she had a little reminder of this fact.
For her toy, I'd ordered her this Doctor Set for $7.99 which was something she was really excited about. Ever since she started going to my pregnancy appointments with me, she has been really interested in playing doctor, listening to heartbeats, et cetera. So this kit (which, candidly, isn't the most stellar quality but it was so inexpensive and she LOVES it) really holds her attention with all of the parts and it was something she was thrilled to get.
Her nap that day was only 30 minutes. I think she probably woke up and realized she didn't have her paci to help her go back to sleep. I still let her stay in the room for 30 more minutes before getting her, which wasn't the easiest on me, but it was a one-time deal and her naps have easily returned to their normal 60-90 minute lengths.
She was REALLY excited when I opened the door and she saw the streamers and we got to go out to find the toy that was left. (Insert tons of talk about being a big girl, being so proud of her, and how exciting it would be to tell Dada when he was home from work.)
The main challenge for me has been that Charlotte takes the same type of paci that Camille did, so I really have to be diligent about keeping them out of her reach. About four times already I've looked over and Camille has had one of Charlotte's in her mouth and she has this look on her face like she knows she's getting away with something and that her time to enjoy it is limited. Ha!
Other than those times, she has not had ONE time that she has fought sleep over not having her pacifier. (praise hands!!!)
So ... am I the perfect mother who holds all the magical secrets to getting her to drop the paci? Hardly. I think a lot of it is luck -- and patience to let it be her decision. Some parents take more of the cold-turkey approach with a lot of success. I wanted this to be Camille's decision, though, even if it meant that it took a little more time to happen.
When did your little one drop his/her paci (if they took one at all), and how did you do it?