Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Rid of the Pacifier!

If you ask experienced Moms, you will get various opinions on how to get rid of your child's pacifier.  Here are some of the ideas I have heard over the years.

  • Hope that one day they will just get tired of their pacifier and give it up on their own.
  • Take the pacifier away, and just let them cry.
  • Begin weaning them off the pacifier by limiting when and where they can use it (in the carseat, at naptime, during church services, etc.)
  • Wrap the pacifiers up in a pretty box, and give them to a new baby (a sibling or a friend's or relative's new baby).  Tell them that they are a "big boy or girl" now, and the new baby needs the pacifiers.
  • Wrap the pacifiers up and put them on the front porch, in the mailbox, etc, and let the Pacifier Fairy pick them up at night.  The Fairy will leave them a gift!
  • Take them to the store to buy a special toy, and let them "pay" for the toy with their pacifiers.
Sam is now 5 1/2, and I have not tried any of the above ways to convince him to stop using his pacifiers.  Well, I have hoped that one day he would just tire of using them, but until a few days ago, I doubted that he ever would.

Have you ever read the book, Owen by Kevin Henkes?

This is a most delightful book about a little boy and his beloved yellow blanket.  His nosy neighbor offers advice about how Owen's parents can get rid of Owen's blanket.  The parents try her advice, but nothing works.  Owen loves that blanket!  (And I may add, why does he have to give it up???).  Owen's kind mother devises a kind plan....you will just have to read the book to find out what she does!

I love reading that book to Sam.  If I could do to Sam's pacifiers what Owen's mother did to his blanket, I would!

Anyway.....for the last few months, Sam has announced that when he is 6, he will throw away his pacifiers.  His siblings ask him about his ba bas from time to time, asking him how long he going to be a baby, or is he sure he will give them up when he is 6?  I sometimes say things like, "Since you are riding a big boy bike, do you want to stop taking your ba bas?"  No pressure, I just ask him periodically.  I don't want him to take them to college!

A while back, Sam began asking for a pocket knife.  I always remind him that when he is 10, he can get a pocket knife. (Clay was 10 when he got his first pocket knife).  Sam actually got a small pocket knife a couple of months ago---and Jimmy promptly dulled the blade and rounded off the point so that now it won't even cut butter!  Last week, Sam asked over and over for a new pocket knife, this time one that would actually cut a stick!  He sees Clay whittling and doing wood work in all his spare time, and he wanted a working knife as well.

So, three days ago, when Sam asked again, for a sharp pocket knife, I said, "If you will throw away your pacifiers, I will get you a knife."

You might be a redneck if you bribe your son to give up his pacifiers for a pocket knife!

He totally shocked me and said, "Well, throw them away!"  I hid them (not in the trash can), and then he asked me to take him to WalMart right then to buy the knife.  I told him he had to make it all the way through the night without a pacifier, and we would buy the knife in the morning.

He made it!

He asked for it twice, and then quickly said, "Never mind".
He woke up around 6:00 AM, ready to go to Walmart.  We went after breakfast, and Jimmy did dull the knife a little bit before I gave it to him.  I don't want to be visiting the ER!

Today is the fourth day without a pacifier.  Last night was the worse.  He had a very hard time falling asleep.  He didn't cry, or even ask for his ba ba, but I knew he was struggling.  The saddest part is that he is not sitting in my lap very much.  He always sat in my lap with his pacifier while smelling my hair.  He hasn't smelled my hair in four days.  

It's a positive milestone, but I am still sad.  My baby is growing up!


  1. What a wise mama you are knowing that his desire for a pocket knife was possibly greater than his desire for his pacifier. (Love the redneck joke by the way!)

    What a big boy Sam is getting to be. Talk about going cold turkey, giving up the pacifier, lap, and hair all at one time. Wow. But, I know it must make a mama's heart a little sad.

  2. That's funny! Lucie is almost three and I haven't even thought about making her give hers up, yet. Lots of times when we're leaving the house and she can't find her blanket and pacifier she says, "I'm a big girl." I usually grab them just in case.

    My kids are all blanket kids, well my biological children are. Love Owen, by the way. I think my parents finally bribed me successfully when I was like 12 to quit sleeping withit. My 12, 10, and 8 yr olds all still sleep with blankies. They can go without them, unlike Lucie who watches the washer and dryer and cries while it's getting clean, but still... It just hasn't been a priority for me. I actually still have mine, but it's retired to the top of my closet : ).

    And I agree, you might be a redneck : ).

    Oh- and your freezer dinners sound wonderful! I may need to make a few of those my next time around.


  3. Loved this post! and yay! for Sam. This was probably best since it was "his decision." You got to do what works and obviously this worked!

  4. I feel your pain over losing "the baby". We have yet to kick Preston out of our bed. We know when he is out of it our baby will be gone! (And as my hubby says "he won't still be in the bed with us when he gets married:))

  5. I love the redneck comment! That was sooo funny! I also love the way you waited on him. My youngest is a thumb sucker and it used to be great, in that, she never lost her "pacifier" but now I think, "how will she ever give that up?" I'm not worried right now, she's only about to turn two. Great post!

  6. Yay for Sam! Now, any suggestions for a thumb-sucker? Gabriella is 4.5 and sucks her thumb... ALL THE TIME. We are currently letting her chew gum because she does not suck her thumb if she has gum in her mouth. I suppose there are worse things. :)

  7. Well, Roan AND Amanda81....I've had one of each. My pacifier baby just up and walked into the kitchen one day (right before or right after she turned 5..can't remember) and said, "Here. This is for babies. I'm too big." And NEVER LOOKED BACK! I also hid it for 2 days wondering if it would really stick. She just floored me. I sure wish I had known it would be that easy, I wouldn't have given it a moment's concern.
    My thumb sucker was (I'm sorry to say) 10 years old? Maybe 9 1/2. Anyway, she read in a book that you can break your habit by wearing a glove when you sleep. So she did for a month and that was that. All on her own.
    My point is I despaired of them ever stopping and they both did --on their own!!!
    But yes, it is a little sad about him not smelling your hair! :)