Thursday, June 22, 2017

Paci Free!

Reaghan has officially been pacifier free for 1 whole week!

She has only been allowed to use her paci at nap times and bedtimes for almost a year now, but for some reason we just couldn't get rid of it all together. Some of it was hesitancy on my part. I knew how easily the pacifier helped her fall asleep and I was selfishly worried that she wouldn't nap or sleep as well without it. Obviously as she's gotten older its become more and more obvious that she didn't really need it she was just used to using it.

When Lilly was born I tried to feel her out about getting rid of the paci, saying that now that Lilly was here she might need all the paci's and since she was a big girl she should give her pacifiers to Lilly. She was very matter of fact in that conversation, letting me know that Lilly had her own paci's and she could keep her big girl paci's. She wasn't really getting the whole "big girls don't use pacifiers" thing. Since she didn't jump on board with a positive connection between Lilly and giving up the paci's I decided to wait for a couple months so there wouldn't be any negative associations. Maybe I read too many blog posts and over thought the idea that she might be bitter towards Lilly if she was the reason she had to give up her paci because honestly, Reaghan has shown zero jealousy, bitterness, resentment whatever towards her baby sister. So it probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but wait I did. Also, I needed to come to a place where I was getting enough sleep that I could handle any toddler meltdowns in the middle of the night along with the newborn's needs! Once I felt like I could handle it if went horrifically wrong, I started telling her at night during her bed time routine that we were going to have to say goodbye to her paci soon, and then I said in a few days, and then one night I told her that if she gave up her pacifier she would get a special treat. {she sort of loves special treats!} She immediately pulled her paci out of her mouth and handed it to me! haha I told her I didn't have a special treat right then, and that she could sleep with her paci one more night and the next day we would say goodbye to the pacifier and get a special treat. She went to bed really excited about the idea. I went to bed thinking oh man, this is it. We have to go through with it now! This could be my last night of decent(ish) sleep for a while!

The following night at dinner we told her our plan. We said we would put her pacifier in a special bag, take it to the ice cream shop and throw it away and after she threw it away she could get her special ice cream treat! She was so excited! I l.o.v.e when she gets excited about things. When we got there she marched right up to that trashcan, took her paci out of the back and tossed it into the trashcan without a second thought! I was the one that got a little choked up when I saw that pink paci fall into the dark hole. I'm ridiculously sentimental. But you guys! My first baby is growing up!

She enjoyed every bit of picking out all of the toppings for her ice cream and savored every bite. I knew we hadn't gotten to the hard part yet so I was still a little nervous about how the night would go. When it was bed time I reminded her of how she traded her paci for a special treat and how proud of her we were and that she could pick out a toy to sleep with instead. She chose one of her stuffed teddy bears and our bedtime routine continued on as usual. No tears. No nothing. It did take her longer to fall asleep and at one point she called to ask if she could sleep with her polka dot blanket too and we obliged her sweet request. Once she fell asleep, we didn't hear from her again until the morning!

I couldn't believe it! I was kicking myself for not getting rid of that thing sooner, but also eased my mommy guilt by telling myself we waited until she was really ready. I couldn't believe it was so easy!

But I celebrated a little too soon because he next night was a different story. There was quite a bit of pouting and tears. She wanted to know how she was going to twirl her hair if she didn't have her paci???  Reaghan's not really a big fit thrower... when she doesn't get her way she pouts, and cries and tells us she's sad. Usually she is reprimanded for this behavior but we loved her through her paci withdrawals reminding her how proud of her we were for being a big girl and emphasized the new blanket/toy that she could sleep with. She eventually fell asleep that night too! The third night was minimal pouting and no tears and by the 4th night that pink pacifier was a distant memory. It didn't affect her napping in the afternoon either which was something I was dreading! 

She hasn't asked for it once since that second night and she is very proud of herself for not using a paci anymore because she is a big girl now and pacifiers are for babies. ; ) Every night she picks out a blanket to sleep with and stuffed animal and she's good. 

I'm so proud of my little girl. The break the paci addiction went way better than we anticipated with really only one bad night! I definitely don't miss her hair being piled up in knots from all the twirling right now or the drool on her shirts after nap time! But I do cherish each little milestone, realizing there will be a last time for everything! 

Treasure all the little ins and outs mama's, I imagine in 10 years I am going to miss her sitting on my lap while I gently brush the knots out of her hair in the morning. <3

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