Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pulling the plug

Hope everyone had a happy Labor Day weekend! We didn't do a whole lot, but yesterday we decided to end the weekend by heading to the Detroit Zoo.

We packed up a lunch and diaper bag and got the boys into the car, when I had a thought and dashed back inside to snag one of Jordan's two pacifiers out of his bed. I hoped to not need it, but knew I should have one just in case.

Historically, I hate pacifiers. I received a couple as shower gifts when I was pregnant with Logan and never used them. I didn't want my kid to rely on some stupid plastic plug. Frankly, I was downright prejudiced against them. I felt like moms were taking the easy way out by giving their kid a pacifier instead of attention. I still feel like some moms--too many moms--fall into that trap.

So, Logan got through babyhood without a pacifier just fine. When he was fussy, I'd walk around the back yard with him. If I wanted him to nap, I'd drive around. So on.

Then Jordan came along, and in my mind, there was no question that he, too, would be pacifier-free. Then, a day or so after we came home from the hospital, I realized something. This baby liked to SUCK for comfort, and with no pacifier, I was at the receiving end of all that sucking. Ouch, to say the least. Finally, it was about 3 a.m. and we were at the tail end of a two-hour marathon nursing session. I was beyond worn out and so were my poor ta-tas. I found myself in the middle of the night, barefoot on the dirty concrete floor in the basement with a squalling newborn on my shoulder, rummaging through old storage tubs of baby stuff, because I knew there was a pacifier in there somewhere. One of the ones I never used with Logan.

I found it, washed it up and popped it in Jordan's mouth. He slept. I slept. The rest, as they say, is history.

For the first few weeks or months or whatever, the paci was just a bedtime friend, and I'd take it along in the car in case he got hungry somewhere I wasn't able to immediately feed him. Then, it began creeping into our day when he would be fussy or tired or start screaming in the car while I was driving. Before long, anytime the baby made a peep, Logan would find the paci and pop it into his brother's mouth.

Recently, on vacation, I realized it had grown into much more than just a casual relationship with the paci. It was in Jordan's mouth quite often, and we were constantly having to pick it up and wash sand or campground dirt off it. Finally, after one afternoon of walking around Traverse City, we reached the car to realize the paci had been pitched. Somewhere. In a store? On the sidewalk? We didn't know. We had been all over that town.

A little voice in my head said something along the lines of "well, guess we're going to wean him from the paci" while a much louder voice screamed "Oh MY GOSH WE HAVE TO FIND THAT DAMN THING NOW, BEFORE HE BLOWS!"

I listened to that one.

We drove slowly through town, hoping against hope to spot the stupid paci, and magically, Hubby did see it. He pulled over and I leapt out of the car, dodging traffic, and picked it up. In the meantime, I gave Jordan the backup paci out of my purse (Yep. I had a backup, but panicked nonetheless.) When we returned to the hotel, I washed up the old one.

Now, I realized, it wasn't just us giving the baby the paci when he needed it. We were giving it to him when he wanted it. And if he spotted it at any given time, he would invariably want it.

I decided not to worry about it until we got home from vacation.

Well, we're home from vacation.

So, for the past few days, I've been trying to keep the paci away during the day. It is a naptime and bedtime thing only. I don't know if this is the best way to go about it, or if cold-turkey would be better. I am still trying to establish good nap and bedtime routines to get Jordan to go to sleep on his own, so I'm opting to still let him have it at sleep times. I might regret that decision later, but we'll see.

So far, it hasn't been TOO awful. I would say over the past three days, Jordan has had maybe an hour of non-sleeping paci time. A half hour or so on Sunday when he was super fussy and we were trying to make dinner, and a half hour or so on Monday when we were at the zoo and he was way past overdue for his nap. (Actually, by giving him the paci, I was hoping to entice him to fall asleep, but it didn't work. He did, however, fall asleep WITHOUT the paci when we got in the car and started driving home, so that's a bonus!)

At this point, I am still grabbing the paci out of the crib when I leave the house, "just in case," but I am hoping that very soon we will be paci-free.

Yes, those are real tears! Isn't it a pitiful photo?


Ang said...

Oh my goodness, Look at those tears!! We are a paci household, not that I like it. #1, we literally lost his paci in the house at 10 mths old. He had a favorite, would not take any other one, so ended his paci use. #2, well she would still have one at the age of 6 if we let her. #3 still has one at 2, but we are slowly making it just for bedtime and naptime. Then there is #4, who is also a "I need to suck on something" baby. It started because I needed a break, with 3 others in the house, walking around with a baby attached using me as a paci just was not feasable at all times. Now he doesn't use it a lot, but I feel it is slowly making its way into his mouth more and out of his bed.
Good Luck!! I have never been a fan of cold turkey, but I feel like limiting it to sleep time is good.

MarciaG said...

Good luck with this Krys!
Look at Jorndan w/ those cuuute!! :)