Camille’s Paci Goes Night-Night

From the day we brought Camille home from the hospital, she has liked her pacifier. In the past few months, I feel that her affection for “pass” (as she calls it) has grown, or maybe she’s just better able to communicate to us that she needs/wants it. Either way, I’ve begun to wonder if it could become a problem. I’ve heard different theories on what age you should wean a child from a pacifier, and I don’t think we’ve done any damage yet. But I worry the longer we wait to begin phasing it out, the harder it will be.
Lee and I have been talking about weaning her off the paci for a few months, but it just never seemed like the right time. Either we were traveling and didn’t want to pick a fight, or she was sick and I couldn’t bear to take away such a comfort.
But now seems like as good a time as any. This afternoon, I offhandedly asked Lee, “So, when do you think we should start working on her paci?” And he said, “Right now.” I agreed, and that was that.
We’re not planning a trip for the next two weeks, and (knocking on wood) we’re all healthy at the moment. I’m not going to ask her to quit cold turkey, but we are going to restrict her pacifier to bedtime, naptime, and car rides for now. Then eventually we’ll phase it out altogether. Or at least that’s the plan, right? I’ve learned never to say never…
So, this afternoon she looked at me and asked, “pass?”
I told her paci had gone night-night.
She said, “Shhhhhhhh…”
I said, “Yes, paci is sleeping, and you’ll see it when you go night-night too.”
And miraculously, that seemed ok. In the past when I’ve just told her “no,” she’s cried and begged. But apparently the idea that paci went night-night was more acceptable. It probably helped that Nia and Nate were here to play with her and distract her, but it was a nice beginning to what I know could be a long battle. She asked for it several times again, but seemed to accept my answer for now.
I’m not sorry we let her have a pacifier. When we brought her home from the hospital and she had to lie all night in the bili-bed because of her jaundice, I was willing to give her anything for comfort. So I didn’t object when the grandmothers slipped in a pacifier. Pacifiers are supposed to reduce the risk of SIDS, and I also use it as a sort of germ-blocker from time to time. In the doctor’s office, I make sure she has a paci in her mouth so she doesn’t put germy hands or toys in there instead. And I was a serious thumb-sucker back in the day, and I would imagine pacifiers are easier to phase out than thumbs.
We shall soon see…