I am going to share with you my experience with weaning my 2 year old off of the paci. I can only speak from my experience as I know there are lots of ways to go about this delicate process.
For my Isla girl, her paci has been her best friend since day 1. I thought it was a miracle when a few months before she turned 2, we were able to cut down on the paci use to just naps and night time. Since she really struggled with teething every time she got a new tooth, and her paci was a comfort and help to her during those times, I just figured I’d wait until all her teeth were in to worry about taking the paci away altogether.
Fast forward to a couple days ago. She had turned 2 four months ago and I kept wondering when those last molars were going to come in so we could start thinking about taking away the paci. Well I felt like an idiot when I finally counted all her teeth and realized she already had those last molars in for a while now and that she no longer is teething. For some reason I kept thinking more were supposed to come in.
It was in that moment I thought, “Ok, this is it. We need to start the process of taking away the paci. There’s never going to be the right time. I’m going to have to create that moment myself.” I had these thoughts about an hour before her nap, so I tried to casually mention that she’s a big girl and big girls don’t need their paci anymore.
The reality of the words I had been speaking didn’t settle until I put her in the crib and told her she wasn’t going to be getting her paci for nap time. The look of sadness and distrust on her face just about broke me, but I knew it was going to be tough, but so necessary to get through. The screaming/crying/wailing for her paci last about 30 minutes. I went in to check on her about halfway through to reassure her and negotiate what a treat might look like if she takes a nap. That’s Isla for you—she loves to make a deal. To my amazement, she eventually fell asleep! She even woke up in a good mood, and that’s all the evidence I needed to know that we can get through this.
That night looked a similar way, but the crying didn’t last as long. The next day for her nap was even better, and that night before bed was even better. Here we are on day 3, and as I write this story, she’s taking another peaceful nap without her paci. I honestly thought her future husband was going to have to deal with the fact that Isla comes with a paci. She was that attached to the thing.
I wanted to share my experience to give hope to those terrified parents who are dreading the same process. I even asked some other mom friends what their technique was, and most of them said they got a paci bear, read books about a paci fairy, or they took several days to prepare their child letting them know the day was coming soon when they didn’t need their paci anymore. I don’t recall any of them saying they did it cold turkey one day without any planning, but for me and Isla, I think that’s the method that was going to work best for us. When thrown into a situation we adapt. Isla amazes me at her ability to transition and make adjustments where needed. She’s so strong and I am so glad that we embarked on this journey of no more paci without preparing much for it. That might seem like the opposite thing to do, but it really is just tough no matter your technique. It is about 3 days of lots of tears but they eventually do go to sleep without it, and it becomes one less transition to work through.
For us next, we plan on tackling potty training this winter. She’s not ready for it yet, but I definitely want her to be potty trained before she turns 3, and I want to give us plenty of time to work through it.
I honestly just can’t believe I’m even writing this post. This day has come, and I feel so proud of myself and Isla for working through it and being consistent. Good luck to all you parents getting ready to embark on this journey, and I’d love to hear how your experience goes!
I’m so grateful to be Isla’s mom and to be able to come alongside her as she grows throughout her life.