Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Success: Weaning from the Pacifier

If you were here during the earlier days of my blog, you'll remember my post about pacifiers. Or you won't. In that case, here's the link for it. :)

Wubbanub Infant Pacifier - Pink Horse
As much as we didn't want to use one in the beginning of Little Olive's life, we eventually did. I didn't mind using it as much as I thought I would. It helped her sleep, it helped me leave the room once she fell asleep, it helped keep her happy in the car, it helped her when I was occupied - like in the shower. As she grew into a toddler and weaned from breastfeeding, the "bink" became a huge part of that transition. We had used a WubbaNub pacifier for many months, but we were worried it was messing with her teeth as she got older. The round shape is definitely only meant for newborns.

We switched to a more ergonomic pacifier and attached a Squirt (from Finding Nemo) keychain on the end. This helped us find it in the middle of the night and when she'd toss it aside in the car. The princess only needs the bink when the princess says so.

We talked occasionally about weaning her from it, but there was no need at that time. We figured we'd just wait it out.

I've seen kids dependent on their pacifiers well into childhood. I've seen four year olds talk perfectly well with the nipple inbetween their teeth. I've seen toddlers so attached on their bink that their teeth began forming around its shape.

I didn't want either of these things happening. So several weeks ago, my husband and I decided to cut back. She didn't need it every time she cried - she needed a distraction to get her mind off it. She didn't need it when we'd go for little walks down the street - she talked so much more when we'd pop it out of her mouth.

I was against weaning her completely because being around the new baby in October (I'm sure) will cause a little stress in her little kingdom. I wanted her to be able to be comforted if she needed.

Then I realized...October was still five months away. Hmm...

Well, about two weeks ago, Little Olive was so congested one night from a cold that she couldn't breathe out of her nose. Just as she was starting to quiet down, she would remove her bink and start to cry. My husband (who was putting her down to bed that night) saw that she wasn't going to fall asleep if she couldn't breathe. He took away her bink and decided right then she was going to wean.

Little Olive didn't take it well at all. The poor thing screamed for a couple hours while he calmly sat by her bed until she fell asleep. I was surprised, impressed, and proud that he stuck it out. Of course it was really hard hearing L.O. cry like that, but I knew she had her daddy right there, and he wasn't going to just leave the room. That night after falling asleep, she didn't wake up till the morning.

The following day for a nap, it was my turn. She cried for about 5 minutes, then fell asleep.

That afternoon, when we went in the car for some errands, she asked for it. I said, "No no, honey. It went bye-bye." She started to cry until I turned on the radio. She was fine after that.

Since then, she hasn't asked for it once!

She stumbled upon one in my purse a week later. She was so excited and happy, she just held it preciously in her little hands as if she found a chunk of gold.

I've been so impressed with her weaning from the bink. She falls asleep like a little doll, with her hands folded across her belly. She's happy in the car without it. She snuggles with her blanket and talks so much.

This is not to say she's completely advanced and over it. She definitely bulldozed her little cousin yesterday at the sight of one. Before I even knew what was happening, she had charged, grabbed it/pushed the baby down, popped it in her mouth, and ran away!

I was like, "What!??! I don't even know what to say while putting you in time-out! Don' you just did."

My sister-in-law and I were cracking up despite ourselves.

So we know Little Olive still has a ways to go until she doesn't want one anymore. And if the new baby uses one, we might have a struggle. We'll deal with that when the time comes. I'm not worried about it at all. As my husband says, "The new kid will be lucky if they ever know what a pacifier is."

I just smile and think, Been there, done that.

But you never know, right?


Susan Kane said...

Oh, the evil Binky. We have had the Binky struggle ourselves. It got so bad that we had about 20 of them all over the house. We eventually realized what we were doing. But, there were moments...Good luck with the 2nd child. Great post.

Jenn said...

This was an excellent post, I loved reading about Little Olive, and I can tell you I'll be back to read more. SUCCESS!! NO more Binky!! I have 5 kids, we tried the binky on all 5 and all 5 hated the darn thing. One less thing to break them from I guess, but there were times, I wish they had one to help them get to sleep or with that car ride.

Great Post!! Cheers, Jenn

Diana said...

My son had a hard time with the bottle and the toilet. He was four by the time he quit using the bottle and by the time he started using the toilet. Yet, when he was 2 he learned how to ride a two wheeler. I guess he had a different agenda.

Good blog

i.ikeda said...

Horray and congratulations! I'm glad I didn't have to wean N. from the pacifier since she never took to the thing. When she was a baby we tried so hard for her to take it, using every brand and shape we could find. It would have helped tremendously during all her MRIs and car rides. But she refused it as well as the bottle. Now I'm kind of glad, since the only hard weaning we had to do was from breastfeeding. Good for Ian for sticking with it and staying by her that night. That's what we ended up doing for about one to two weeks when I weaned N. from her night feedings and it's the toughest thing I ever had to do.

Kristen said...

I think it is better for speech development not to have pacifiers after the kids are talking. Otherwise, I think it is totally up to what works best for the child. Great insights, and thanks for sharing!

Christina said...

Mine never wanted the bink either even as a newborn. I can't imagine how difficult it is to see your baby crying and not give in (I probably would), but before long she won't even remember a bink.

Kimi said...

your hubby sounds like a keeper! great job, congrats & nice post!

Mojo Writin' said...

I always thought 'You don't see secondary school kids going to school with dummies (pacifiers). They'll give it up soon enough.' And they did, so my one piece of advice about them, if your little one doesn't want to give it up, is 'Don't Panic! They'll get rid of it in time, so be patient.' :)

Brenda Stevens said...

we called them NUKS in my LOVED let me go read your other post on Pacifiers!

Word Nerd said...

Wonderful post on success! You and your hubby sound like great parents...Little Olive is a lucky girl and her sibling will be fortunate to be born into such a terrific family! :O)

Dances With Vodka said...

Aw! Quitting the bink for kids, is like quitting smokes for adults. It's not easy but after a while, it's just a distant memory. I still remember how difficult it was getting my youngest sister off the bottle. Your due in October? My birthday is October 12. I can tell you first hand that October babies are awesome. lol

Jo said...

I am remembering my bink user and my non-user! The non-user sucked the attached thumb and we never had to look for it, but also couldn't take it away. The user gave it up without us asking before giving up the bottle! They all have their own thing and as stated before, most don't go into high school with whatever 'thing' they use for comfort.
Great blog and I love hearing your wonderful parenting stories. You will raise decent people and you will learn so much along the way.

Kathy29156 said...

Both of my kids used pacifiers. When they got about 1 1/2, I took them away. There was crying, but then they got over it and went on forgetting about their pacifiers. It doesn't kill them to cry it out, although it is awful hard for a parent to hear. My doctor told me when my son was born, he had colic, to let him cry it out. Then he would learn to fall asleep on his own. I thought it was cruel at the time, but I did it. The doctor was right, my baby didn't die because of it. If anything, he slept better. It is hard to do, but cold turkey is best. It might take a couple days, but eventually they forget about the pacifier and life goes on. Lovely post!! So happy to hear your little one has reached this great milestone.


Natalie said...

Way to go, brother-in-law! :)

In many ways, I would imagine that weaning from the "bink" is very similar to weaning (whether partially or totally) a child from the breast during the mom's next pregnancy. It's there for comfort, but doesn't provide any nutritional value... but boy, that comfort is important to the toddler! It's been there for their whole lives and is a big emotional attachment for them. I've never had to wean a baby from a pacifier, but I know that the transition from night nursing to "morning babas," as we call them, is a bit stressful but quickly understood and accepted by my 2-year-olds. Once we told Ryan that he could only have "babas" when the sun came up, and only for 2 minutes, he had a few nights of cranky whining, but cuddling with Daddy quickly put an end to the whining. Within a week, he had begun to look forward to the "sun up!" and knew that his need for comfort would still be met, though only for a minute. (Last week he decided that the new baby must be drinking all the milk in there, and told me that I should go "buy some more at the store and put it in the babas." ;) )

Whether weaning from the breast, bottle, or pacifier, the most important thing a child needs is to know that mom and dad are still there, still supportive of him or her, and will always be there to comfort them during all of life's little (but often traumatic ;) ) ups-and-downs. :) Cuddles and snuggles do a world of good for baby - and parent! :)

Langley said...

We all used pacifiers and my mom called them uh-ohs because every time we'd drop it we'd say uh-oh. This was a fun post.

justonevoice said...

Success is weaning from the binky. My son had a blancket, and then the frayed ribbon from the edge of the blanket that he had to carry everywhere. And there's no great success than potty training! Congratulations, and a great job!

Kiera said...

that's awesome, maggie. that's how we always end up getting our babies to sleep when I wean them from nursing. Technically they cry it out, but I'm right there holding them! Go LO! Go Mags! Go Ian~

Zunair zain said...

When a baby starts to grow up, the pacifier doesn’t remain enough to chew on especially when they arrive at the stage of growing teeth. This is one of the most painful processes for the baby and may make the mother worried too. The babies will cry out pain, their gums will become hard and they may want to chew on anything they get in their hands. For this purpose, the baby teethers are designed which are hard rubber plastic and the baby can chew on them. A mother can easily sterilize and re-use this teether without any problems.born free