Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Pacifier Saga

The days of the pacifier are over for Dashiell.  Last Saturday he put all of his pacifiers in a special bag that we decorated for the Pacifier Fairy, left it near his crib, and when we came back to his room the pacifiers were replaced by a new stuffed monkey and a book.  Very exciting!  He's adjusted okay to not having a pacifier.  The first night or two he was kind of upset, but after reminding him that he gave his binkies to the Pacifier Fairy he calmed down quickly.  It's been over a week now, and though he still asks about it from time to time, he hardly ever gets upset about it.

However, it now takes him SO much longer to fall asleep!  It used to be so easy--we'd put him in his crib, listen to him read to himself for about 20 minutes, then it would be blissfully quiet for the following 2 - 3 hours.  Now he's up for an hour minimum prior to falling asleep!  And his naps seem a lot shorter, too.  So of course I'm a bit worried that he's not getting enough sleep, but since he doesn't seem overly tired during the day I'm just going to roll with it. 

Had I been aware of the fact that he's currently teething like mad, I probably would have waited on the Pacifier Fairy plan.  But with the pacifier, his teeth didn't seem to bother him.  Without it, his teeth hurt.  The act of sucking on a paci must have relieved the pressure a bit, which I hadn't thought of before.  So we're relying on tylenol and motrin to help ease his pain, even though his pediatrician told us to use them only as a last resort.  I'm pretty sure if Dr. Dave was in as much pain as Dashiell is, he'd take some sort of pain reliever.  So there, Dr. Dave!

I have to say that I'm glad we did this no-pacifier thing in such a decisive, "all-gone" manner.  Had we tried to do it more gradually, I know I would have caved and let him use it again.  This was a tough step for me as well as for him.  He's had his pacifier since the day we took him home from the hospital, when he was just a little bitty baby.  We limited his paci use to sleeping-only long ago, but still it was his trusted comfort item, one that he'd know his whole life.  It's weird--none of the other "rites of passage" bothered me, but this one did.  When we stopped swaddling him, I was happy he was able to calm himself without it.  When we moved him into his own room, I was happy that we were confident he could survive without us by his side every minute of the day.  When he stopped nursing, I was happy he was getting enough nutrition from his other food to not need my milk anymore (and I was happy he jumped from being in the 20th percentile in weight to the 80th!).  When he stopped drinking out of a bottle, I was happy not to have to wash bottles anymore.  But the pacifier was one of the last "baby" items he'd been using (that and the crib, which we're so not ready to get rid of!).  As we've been telling him for a few weeks now, big guys don't use pacifiers, babies use pacifiers. While he'll always be my baby, he's no longer a baby.  He's a big guy now.

1 comment:

Smith said...

There are some really tough things for parents to let go of as our toddlers move into preschooler status. While I didn't have too much trouble moving Brynn out of her crib, I seem to be unable to donate that crib or get rid of it in any way that is worthy of such a special (to me) item.