Cold turkey pacifier elimination

Bye-bye binkie. Pack it up paci. Nice to have known you, Nukie!

A new year brings new changes. Especially for Nina.

The first of these things was a cold turkey pacifier elimination.

You heard it. Cold turkey.

Sound insensitive? Well, would you tell a smoker that they had to quit but could still light up only when you told them it was ok?

Little miss Nina at 15 (almost 16) months is a hard-core pacifier addict. I mean like crack cocaine. It is (was) constantly attached to her mouth.

Now, one could argue whether this was fueled by Mr. Evans and I using it as a crutch, sticking in her mouth to keep her quiet in public, to help her sleep at night, to help with her reflux issues. Ok, maybe. Maybe it's her little security object.

Whatever the cause, she loves her pacifier. I knew the weaning of the pacifier would be a challenge (errr - opportunity) for us as parents as well. So, I did lots of reading and decided on a method. Here's how we did it.

1. Pick a cold turkey elimination day.
2. Stick to it.
3. A few days leading up we reduced the amount she got the pacifier (as much as she would allow without serious protests... remember she's been in love with that thing since day 1). I also told her repeatedly that in a few days the pacifiers were "all done" and that she's a "big girl" - I know she probably doesn't understand this, but I felt better giving her a heads up.
4. On elimination day, I took one of her pacifiers and cut the tip off. We told her "it's broken" over and over and she learned that the sucking power of the pacifier was gone. She got angry and would chuck the "broken" pacifier across the room. In addition, I removed and hid all pacifiers from sight to ensure she wouldn't see and beg for one. Also, since all the pacifiers were now gone from the typical place I set her stash I gave her a "tour" and let her see that they were all gone and the only one left was broken.
5. The night of elimination day, we put her to bed without her beloved pacifier. She cried for about 30 minutes. Just like when we sleep trained, we used progressive waiting. In the middle of the night, she woke up at about 3:30 am and fussed for 15 minutes. Not too bad.
6. Day 1 of pacifier freedom went pretty well. The "broken" pacifier was now gone. I was told she did well at daycare, but had a total meltdown the minute I picked her up. She feel asleep without too much trouble at night, but woke up very early fussing for about 45 minutes.
7. Day 2 went pretty great.
8. Day 3 is now. We'll see... we hope yesterday wasn't a fluke!

UPDATE: Things went great. Actually by day 3, she had forgotten about her beloved pacifier and with that, we're not looking back!

Note 1: Nina is majorly teething. These past 7 days I think we have seen about 4 new teeth pop up. No joke. Nina is also getting over a cold. She will always get new teeth, always be "getting over" some illness, etc. I picked a day and stuck with it. No excuses.

Note 2: During this cold turkey pacifier elimination process, I've also tried to introduce a little comfort item (blanket, stuffed animal, etc). She hasn't quite taken to it yet, but we'll see. I read that some kids like having a "lovey" item.

Wish us luck!


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