The pacifier saga continues

For those of you who read yesterday’s post, my sink is fixed, the laundry pile is slowly dwindling, I found some allergy medicine that we already had in the house, and I’m going to be getting, IY”H, cleaning help on Friday (the previous no-show was a simple communication glitch)!  Yay!

You may recall our interesting experience with our oldest son’s short-lived pacifier obsession.  Well, after son #2 came around, the obsession re-emerged.  When my oldest saw that delicious-looking green pacifier (Soothie brand) bobbing up and down in the mouth of the baby, he must’ve recalled the thrill of the endorphin rush.

And he wanted it back.

So, since I was deliriously sleep-deprived and did not feel like fighting that particular battle, I thought, “why not?”  And thus, I found both my sons pacifying quite happily.  Since my oldest is still quite little (not even three yet), for the most part, I didn’t catch any flak for his toddling pacifier activities.

Before he could manage with the word “pacifier,” he called it “fier.”  Imagine his Morah’s surprise the first time she heard him asking for his “fier!”  Lately, though, he’s identified it by the full name, as well as the color (we have both blue and green, the blue being somewhat firmer and older children, so of course, he wants the green one):

“Green Pa-ci-FI-er.  Green Pa-ci-FI-er!”

Every now and again someone would say something about it, like when I was in the grocery store and my oldest asked for the pacifier.  An employee was walking by and said to me,

“That’s when you know he’s too old for it.”

Thanks, employee-lady.  I really wanted to know your opinion about my parenting choices.

But random unwanted advice aside, it didn’t much bother me.  However, in the back of both of my and my husband’s minds, the “fier” had to go.  It was never a good time to wean him, though.  Either I didn’t have the energy, or the right bribery material, or it just didn’t bother me enough.  However, once the baby was only taking it when falling asleep, while my toddler walked around all day with it in his mouth like a miniature Groucho Marx, it was time.

At the beginning of the month we decided to have a go at it.  I stocked up on tons of cookies that I found in the dollar bin at Target, and we decided that the pacifier could be had in the crib, the carseat, or the stroller, but that was it.

Day one:

Success in getting him out of his crib without the pacifier, but oh, the whining.  The whining.  The Whining.  The poor kid was definitely missing it.  And so was I.  The first time he asked for it I told him that if he could wait just a little bit longer before having the Green Pacifier, he could have a cookie.  He seemed to like that idea, and the cookie was consumed.  We made it the whole day sans pacifier.

Two days later:

He was SO kvetchy when I picked him up from playgroup that I almost gave up on the whole thing.  When he requested the pacifier, and I asked him if he wanted a cookie, he said no.  No!  Seriously, is this my child?  I had to up the ante to three cookies in order for the bribery to work (they’re really small, about the size of a quarter).  I wasn’t feeling so successful, but that night, he WENT TO SLEEP WITHOUT IT.  That was unprecedented since the paci predilection began.

Three days after that:

He turned to me, while playing (after another night of sleep without Green pacifier) and said

“Green pacifier all gone.”


He did ask for it when going down for his nap, though.  Fair enough.  As for the cookie bribery, it was a no go.  Last time I tried to bribe him, I had to offer four cookies, and he countered with,

“One two three four five six seven eight nine ten?”

He hasn’t learned to say only the number he wants; he always counts up to it.  No, he didn’t get ten cookies.

Now, over a week later:

Most days have been blissfully pacifier-free, with only occasional uses in the approved locations.  I have made a few exceptions when either he or I are ridiculously tired.  Since he has absolutely no interest in the cookies (I still don’t understand how that’s possible), my latest tactic is to say,

“Oh, you want your pacifier?  Okay, but you can only have it in your crib.  Do you want to go to your crib and have it?”

He’s only taken me up on the offer once, and it lasted about a minute.  Most of the time he decides it’s not worth it, and makes no fuss about it.

I ate the rest of the cookies (darn it!).

11 thoughts on “The pacifier saga continues

  1. That is too funny! They are smart, aren’t they? Logan has no sweet tooth so bribery would not help. We are currently trying to night wean. You would like I was killing him. But it is seriously time.

    I used to think when a child could ask for a paci or nursing, then they were too old. Of course, I realized I knew nothing when I finally had children. I love when people just know their little parenting gem is the one we have been waiting for.

  2. I was fortunate that fairly early on, my daughter weaned herself off it except for naps and night-time, or after shots at the Dr. It was her “lovie” but she was perfectly fine without it during the day. When we weaned her off it completely, it was after her third birthday. It seems so late now, but at the time, she seemed so much smaller! It’s all relative, I guess.

    Congratulations on a job well done!

  3. Wow, it seems like you did pretty good weaning him off of it. Good for you!

    And that you didn’t let the wining get to you…it’s a tough one!

    Glad you enjoyed the leftover cookies :-)

  4. You sound like a good mom. Pacifiers seem like a problem at that age 3-4 but really are they? It’s like my friend says about potty training, “As long as they go to the chuppah dry.”
    I don’t remember stressing over boppies (pacifiers) the one son out of the 6 who hung on to his for an extended period (so long a neighbor tried bribing it away from him,:Hey lay off my kid!)he is now in medical school so it seems to have not hurt him.
    Great post Rivki.

  5. gmomj, you are right on with your comments. My 3.5 dd is not potty trained and is not interested. I know my girl, when she is ready it will be almost overnight. So many people have opinions on this and the fact that MY daughter is not potty trained is very upsetting for them. Me? Not so much, we will get there eventually.

  6. I think accepting that kids have their own schedule and agendas is crucial to maintaining sanity as a parent. I have a feeling that son #1 is not potty training anytime soon, despite my husband’s fervent wishes to begin already. The kid consistently denies ever even having a dirty diaper. He maintains “diaper all clean,” even when I’ve seen evidence to the contrary. Haha.

  7. “Oh, you want your pacifier? Okay, but you can only have it in your crib. Do you want to go to your crib and have it?”


    You sound like a genius mommy who knows her kids and pays attention to who they are, rather than who you want them to be. Doesn’t mean “abdicate parental responsibility.” It means actively parenting individuals. G-d gave YOU the job for a reason. Sounds like you’re up to the task.

  8. My daughter refuses to let go of her pacifier and she turns 3 in August. Funnily enough, her brother doesn’t take one but she is addicted.

    My husband and I would be worried … except that we aren’t. I suppose we just don’t care enough to worry. Plus, Emily looks likes she’s one so people don’t give us weird looks or unsolicited parenting advice. When it comes down to it, I know she will let go of it when she’s ready. But, with all the changes that will be happening to our family in the near future (month-long vacation, move to the Midwest, and start of med school for daddy), I realize that she needs something regular in her life.

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