From the moment it all began, I knew I was going to write about this today. I was so nervous about not having enough time, I even considered staying up late last night so I can get a head start. (For those who didn’t know, I’m a nap blogger, hence the perfectly-timed, consistent posts.)
Here I am, though, in my usual time, regardless of the war my husband and I decided to start in our house. A war against a pacifier.
A few days ago, I wrote about how you shouldn’t feel guilty for giving your child one. And indeed, there are many health benefits early in the infancy that involve using pacis, like the decreased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), because it teaches the baby to breathe and swallow while sleeping.
However, it made me wonder: what are we doing? Where is this all going?
I realized I’ve never seen my baby fall asleep in a natural way, not even once, except for when he was super exhausted or in a stroller. That can’t be good, not knowing what your child even looks like when falling asleep without sucking on something.
That thought began to terrify me.
I felt even worse when I tried not to give him the pacifier on a few occasions when I felt motivated to try to get him off it.
The screaming… the horror… the inability to fall asleep.
It also terrifies me.
I mean, something that you get this attached to cannot possibly be good for you. Right?
So we decided to do something about it. (Or, more accurately, I did – yesterday afternoon – when I realized I can no longer live with myself like this.)
I casually mentioned it to Filip, who seemed to agree. He was very supportive, although he didn’t say anything before that. He also saw how addicted he is to paci, and I believe it also made him uncomfortable, feeling completely dependent on a piece of rubber to get the baby to sleep.
I thought about cutting the tip of the paci for it to lose its function (the engineer in me said: ha! this will work!). I googled it and realized there are other people who do it, too. (Shocker. I didn’t invent a new method.)
So I did it, and I handed him the pacifier during the day, which is something I don’t normally do. It kept falling out of his mouth, and he was returning it patiently, until he got bored and left it alone.
“This has to be a good sign”, I thought. “That means it’ll be the same when he goes to bed.”
Boy, was I wrong about that.
We tried putting him down early-ish since he only had one nap that ended at 3pm, so 7pm looked like a good bedtime. Except I didn’t give him the pacifier this time, after his last bottle.
He quickly saw through my intentions of giving him a broken piece of rubber. He screamed and screamed, until I caved, picked him up and took him to the living room.
Filip went to bed and I don’t blame him; this was the war I’ve started on my own. And I’ll win it, if it’s the last thing I do.
It was already 8pm and Viktor seemed perfectly content with being awake. I decided to do some de-cluttering and reactivate his playpen where we stored all his toys. I took it all out, arranged it in boxes, and I created this awesome little space for him to hang out and practice standing up, while having a safe landing spot. He seems to like it a lot!
It was nearly 10pm at this point. Filip got up from his nap, we put Viktor in a stroller and played some relaxing music for babies that had some sort of moving aquarium cartoon-like video playing along. He likes fish for some reason. He watched that for a bit, relaxed, we took him to the bedroom, jiggled the stroller, played white noise, and he was asleep. Without the paci. Win!!
Well, I thought it may not last the whole night, so I mentally prepared myself for a screaming session in the middle of the night as I went to bed.
It never happened.
He woke up once, asking for a night feed. He got his milk and went straight to sleep.
There was no getting up, putting the pacifier back into little mouth that whined.
It was blissful.
The morning came and I expected a tantrum during the daytime nap, since he’s not that tired during the day. I decided he’ll only nap once today, so I tried to keep him awake until 1pm, which wasn’t really that hard. He really likes to crawl around, enjoys his organized playpen – we even crafted a bit and put dye in water bottles. It turns out to be a great sensory activity for the little ones!
I gave him his daytime bottle (we’re still working on taking that one out) and I tried to put him in the crib. He cried a bit and tried to put my hand in his mouth, hoping a pacifier will compose out of thin air.
It never did.
I put him in a stroller, repeated last night’s process (yes, I’m planning on getting him back to falling asleep in the crib – one step at a time!) and moved him to the crib once he was asleep. Another win.
I’m starting to think this might work out for us, after all! He’s doing great!
I’ll make sure to give you some updates on it, too.
Have you tried taking your babies’ pacis? How did it work out? Let me know in the comments!