The Case of the Missing Pacifier

Yes, my son is three.

Yes, he still uses a pacifier.

Yes, it irritates me.

No, I don’t know how to get him to give it up.

Or…  I didn’t know how to get him to give it up.  As it turns out, giving him no choice in the matter worked very well (she says with her fingers crossed).

Do you have any idea about what I’m going on about?

Basically, on Monday I went out for lunch (it’s a rare thing for me to ‘do’ lunch, but there you go).  It was an early lunch and this meant that LagosDad had to collect V from nursery and deposit him at home before going back to work.  You probably know by now that LagosDad has no sense of timing, so I kept clock watching and calling the nanny and him to make sure he got there on time.  He didn’t.  But I guess making V wait for five or ten minutes isn’t too big a deal.

When he gets home, V has lunch and then naps at about 1.30pm.

At 2pm the nanny called.  She couldn’t find V’s pacifier (chupa) anywhere, he wouldn’t settle and she wanted me to buy another on the way home.

I considered it.  In fact, my first instinct was to go buy one.

But after thinking about it (and consulting the rest of my family), I decided not to get one.  This was the perfect time to get rid of it.

Once I got home the nanny explained that he didn’t actually sleep until 2.45pm because he was so distraught and that he finally fell asleep because he was so tired.

When he woke I took him downstairs and we looked for the chupa everywhere – under the sofas, under the tables, on all the surfaces in the kitchen and under all the appliances.  No sign of it.  And he also saw that there was no sign of it, which is a good thing.

That evening was a little difficult.  We went through all his soft toys, looking for one that he could take to bed.  I eventually told him that I’d give him a present in the morning if he went to sleep.  He wanted to know what it was.  Then he wanted to look at it.  Then he wanted to keep it in his room while he slept!  I made it clear that it wasn’t to open at that time, but the next day.  He agreed.  I took out one of his birthday presents (I’m so glad I didn’t let him open them all) and gave it to him.  It took him a little while to fall asleep, but he slept without any more fuss.

The following morning was a problem though.  He didn’t want to go to school.  He wanted to open the present and do the puzzle right then.  He cried the whole way to nursery and they had to take him from my arms.  I felt so bad.  I didn’t foresee that happening.  I should have known better!

There were tears on Tuesday afternoon just before his nap, but he eventually slept at about 2ish.  We kept him super-busy for the rest of the day – playing outside, running around, Lego in the afternoon, puzzles, the whole lot.  At 10pm he said he wanted to go to bed.  He asked for his chupa once and then fell asleep by 10.30pm.

Wednesday nap-time – Hooray!  He didn’t even ask.

(And we found the chupa – but threw it away before he saw it.)

Wednesday night was easier.  He went to bed earlier and settled more quickly.

He still asks for his chupa now and then.  And he still finds it a little difficult to settle – but it’s definitely becoming easier.

I’ve been wanting to get rid of the damn thing for a while now, but didn’t really know how to do it.  And I took the chicken’s way out and decided that I’d let him give it up when he was ready.  In my mind, the cutoff for this was Christmas time.  However, although it’s been a bit traumatic for him, I’m glad it’s happened this way.  No one has had any choice in the matter!


8 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Pacifier

  1. Wow! This brilliant. Children adapt sooner than we think they would, glad it happened for you ‘accidentally’. At least it’s done now.xx

    • I’m really pleased it’s happened this way. I do have to admit though, I wish I still had it during this afternoon’s temper tantrum (his, not mine!)!

  2. Lily still has her pacifier (dummy) for sleeping
    It is the ugliest thing but she loves it and soothes her to sleep so perfectly. I’m considering getting rid of it when she hits three too, but I know it might still be around longer than that, if I’m honest. She is a dreadful sleeper as it is and having one certainly gives me peace of mind during those often, long nights when I’m up and down with her.
    I think persevering on your part was awesome. Well done, and well done V for giving it up in a very short time. x

    • I understand exactly what you’re saying. The last week has been tough for all of us. But we’ve all just had to be strong. V is also a bad sleeper and still wakes at least once during the night. The last few nights have been worse – and I think it’s because of the lack of pacifier. And oh boy, do I wish we still had it during tantrum time!

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