I was never excited about the idea of pacifiers. When my son was born, shortly a few days afterwards, I found out the nurses had given him a pacifier. I wasn't ready for that commitment. My baby had never known what one was and I wanted to be the one who determines if and when he'd start using a pacifier. After bringing our son home for the first time I was committed to using the pacifier under strict circumstances.
Long car rides
That was it. I wasn't about to let my son have his pacifier if he was awake. So he never did, he never looked for the pacifier.
My husband and I ended up naming our pacifiers Nuk-Nuk, basically because of the brand Nuk. As my son started babbling and talking, he developed his own name for the Nuk-Nuk, and called it Ga-Ga. So we went with it.
Ga-Ga's have been everywhere, shoved in pockets at the grocery stores in fear he's sob uncontrollably. I'd bring it to the doctors knowing he'd be having shots. On long car rides when we'd need a little peace. And of course when he's napping and sleeping at night.
In his bed at home we keep multiple Ga-Ga's. 4 to be exact. One for each corner, although when he goes to bed, he likes holding 3 of them and sucking on 1. He tucks them in his little hands and under his blanket (ganket).
My son is now 21 months old and the other day his daycare experiemented with him and told him he had his Pooh and that he didn't need his Ga-Ga. (Pooh has been around since we came home from the hospital.) He appeared to accept that explanation and proceeded to take a nap, no problems, no questions. Two days in a row he slept great, with no Ga-Ga.
So last night I attempted our first night without Ga-Ga's. Things seemed okay. He looked around his crib for a while. I told him I'd stay in his room and lay on the spare bed next to him. He seemed okay with that and enjoyed the extra comfort of my presence in the room. After a few minutes he did fall asleep without a problem. But by 12:30 he was awake and looking for me, where did Mommy go? I ended up sleeping in his room all night. My husband thinks I should have just given him the Ga-Ga and deal with this another day. But he wasn't asking for it, how could I give him something he wasn't looking for. I know he definitely could have used it, but we're trying to go a night without it. We can do this, I know we can.
He was up many times but overall, he did great. No Ga-Ga! There were lots of high-fives and yelling No Ga-Ga afterwards. Yes, he even chimed in and repeated after me. He was weary, but excited. He enjoyed the success.
Part of me is sad. My baby is taking a step and growing up. Breaking habits is not fun, and I know pacifiers won't be used throughout his life. But there comes a time when we all need to learn to let go of something. He may need to rely on something else to replace the missing Ga-Ga. I hope it's his Pooh bear. Maybe it will be something else?
How about you? How have your kids transitioned away from using the pacifier? How did you cope with the change?