Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting rid of paci

We knew we needed to retire the pacifier when our two-year-old son, Bennett, started biting his pacifier during the day and puncturing holes in it.  The holes alone weren’t a problem, but at night, when the pacifier no longer sucked, he would get upset with the hole-ridden pacifier and have a meltdown. When faced with that meltdown, his poor sleep-deprived parents would give him a brand-new pacifier. 

Enough was enough, and I was determined to no longer buy pacifiers.  Let's face it—I was a little embarrassed, and we had a newborn. So I started asking friends and family how to take a pacifier away. When is the right time?  With much advice, we started the process about four months ago. 

We started slowly. First we placed a cup on the dresser by his crib.  The idea was that Bennett could have his pacifier at night but had to put it in the “special cup” before getting up for the day. It would be his choice to put the pacifier in the cup, and I never forced him, although we did strongly encourage it. As he got used to the idea, we even began to play games with it. Some mornings he would throw the pacifier, and I would try to catch it with the cup.  Anything fun to get rid of it for the day! 

As I basked in the success of getting rid of the daytime pacifier, I began thinking about how to get rid of the pacifier completely.  Ugh.  I didn’t really want to rock the boat. 

Again, we started slowly, and every now and then, my husband and I would just mention to Bennett that he was too big for a pacifier and maybe he should give it away.

One day I told Bennett that since he was a big boy, he could give his pacifier to the Disney Store, and they could give it to another baby who needed it.  Bennett somewhat liked that idea, and he liked the idea even more when I told him that he could get a toy in return for giving it away. 

After some consideration, Bennett decided that he was ready and that he wanted to take it to the Disney Store.  I think my husband and I were more apprehensive.  We repeatedly asked if he was sure he was ready.  But he insisted he was! The nerves were kicking in for us, but off to the Disney Store we went!

When we got there, we picked out some toys and we went to the checkout counter.  I told the lady that he was going to be a big boy and give his pacifier to them to give to another child.  He handed it over like it was nothing!  To my surprise, the Disney Store has Certificates of Accomplishment for just such occasions, and the clerk filled it out and gave it to Bennett.  He was so proud of himself! 

The nice lady then wrapped up the pacifier and covertly put it in our bag ... just in case. I just knew that otherwise my husband was going to have to make a fake trip to the store to get it back in the middle of a meltdown.

That night we did everything like normal and laid him down in bed.  He asked where 'PAC' was, and we reminded him that it was at the Disney Store waiting for another child. He acknowledged this and went to sleep.

It worked.  It really worked! 

Every once in a while he will ask about his old buddy, PAC, but that’s about it.  Let's just cross our fingers that he doesn't get sick and I cave in!

Lynda is a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit and her husband, John, is a HROB and NICU Outreach and Transport Services Specialist, both at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. They are parents to two and a half year old Bennett and 8 month-old Reese.

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