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!



One of the things I said I’d never do when I became a parent, was give my child(ren) a pacifier.  

Silly me.

V will be three in four months and he still uses them.  I say ‘them’ because he has several and he takes great pleasure in choosing which one he wants to use.

I’m not worried about him growing out of it (He will grow out of it, won’t he?) – I just find it irritating that the damn thing is always in his mouth.

It started out as a soother.  It became a necessity for nap/bed time.  Now whenever he’s cranky or sulky, he wants his chupa (pacifier).  He’s cranky and/or sulky A LOT.  He wants his chupa ALL the time.  I’ve managed to restrict some of his times.  For example, he’s not allowed to take one to nursery any more.  He can use one in the car, but he’s not allowed to take it with him when we leave the car (wherever we’re going), etc.

I’ve asked people for their advice, I’ve read others’ posts about their kids and giving up their pacifiers and tried to take it all into consideration.  In fact, it was after reading this post by motherventing that I decided to broach the subject with him.

Me: Vinay, you know by Christmas time you’ll be a very big boy…

I chose Christmas as it gives him a long time to prepare himself.  Don’t think it matters though, he still says ‘yesterday’ for three weeks ago.

V: Yes.

Me: At Christmas time, you should give all your chupas away to the little babies that don’t have any chupas.  And then Santa will bring you a very big present.

V: Yes, I want Santa to bring me a big big present.

Me: And he will.  But first you have to give your chupas to the small babies.

Silence for thirty seconds.

V: No.  I don’t want any presents from Santa.

Great.  Now what?

Should I keep talking about it?  Or should I just leave it?