Wednesday, February 8, 2012
As some of you may remember, we weened him off of his pacifier around his 2nd birthday. We cut a hole in it and he lost interest in it after only a few days. Easy enough, right? But then, The Nightmare happened. I don't know if I ever blogged about it, but he had a horrible, horrible nightmare and every night going to bed was traumatic because he was so scared. He was even terrified to sleep in our bed with us. In fact, he preferred to stay in his own bed. It happened before he was talking very well so it was hard to figure out exactly what he was afraid of. Long story short, in an effort to help relax and soothe him at night, we gave the pacifier BACK to him. Only this time with the stipulation that he could ONLY have it for naps and bedtime. He understood that and has been great abiding by that rule. It helped get us through the nightmare phase and that was the most important thing.
Lets fast forward to the present....I thought his 3rd birthday would be the perfect time to say goodbye to the pacifier because, well, he is 3 and he "shouldnt" still have it, right? Leading up to his birthday I prepped him that he was going to have to throw it in the garbage can because 3 year olds are too big to suck on pacifiers. I knew it was going to be an issue once it came down to it and it was. Troy got him to throw it away on Monday and when bedtime came we had an episode and I ended up rocking him to sleep. Tuesdays nap was a little difficult, but I let him sleep in my bed and that worked. Last night was fine, but it took him quite awhile to fall asleep and resorted to the "Mom, I need_______" diversion tactic. Today, no nap. Here are my thoughts on the issue now that our plan is action.
1. Hearing him cry so sadly and say, "Mommy, I don't want to be big Stockton, I want to stay little Stockton" just breaks my heart and makes me want to cry. Is it weird that making him give up his pacifier means that he is, in fact, growing up and by letting him keep it I would be letting him stay "little" for just awhile longer????
2. Does no pacifier mean the end to naps? Because, if so, I will let him keep it until he is 18.
3. What damage am I really causing him by letting him keep it? Am I not allowing him to develop the skills necessary to "soothe himself" to sleep?? Is it really going to mess up his teeth? I mean, seriously what kid doesn't "need" braces these days anyways???
Basically I just feel like if there are more good reasons to let him keep and it if it makes him happy, then why do I feel so much pressure to take it away from him? What is it really actually hurting to let him suck on it when he goes to sleep? Its not like he is going to show up to Kindergarten with a pacifier in his mouth. Or am I just feeling like this because it is hard for me to see him sad about it and because I don't want to let go of "little" Stockton?
What do you guys think? Have you, as parents, gone through a similar situation?