- 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!