Giving Up The Bottle

My tutoring session last Wednesday was cancelled and V has no more cooking classes until January, so I decided to take him to buy a new water bottle and his special cup for when he “gives up the bottle”.

The first store we went to was the place to get his new water bottle.  On the same display as the water bottles, were the pacifiers.  This was a problem.  He spent ten minutes choosing his new bottle and then a further five minutes trying to persuade me to buy him a pacifier.

When he realised his tactics weren’t working, he started crying.  He cried and cried.  All the way to the second place we were going to.

When we reached the second shop and he realised a) I wasn’t going to give in and b) He was going to have to wait in the car if he kept crying, he stopped.  He stopped his tantrum so suddenly, I wondered if the whole episode had actually happened!  All he said was, ‘When I become a baby you buy me a chupa, ok?’  I agreed.

He chose his cup.  A very boring green cup.  I’m still trying to work out why he didn’t want the teddy bear or cow shaped mugs.  Oh well, at least he saved me some money!

We got home and I asked him when he was going to throw his bottles away.  He stopped for a minute and said, ‘On Monday.’  I asked him why on Monday?  Why not right away?  He responded, ‘Mama, see.  Today is Wednesday.  I can only throw bottles on Mondays.’

Hmmm… Delaying tactics me thinks.

I brought it up a couple more times during the next few days – but never got a response or a reaction until…

On Saturday morning, V came into our room and said: Mama, Santa is coming today.

Me (confused): Oh?  Is he?  But it’s not Christmas Day today.

V: Mama, Santa is coming today and he’s going to take aaaall my bottles away.  And he’s going to leave me a present.  But he will only leave me one present because it’s not Christmas Day yet.

Me: Oh!  Ok!  Lucky you!  Santa’s coming!

And he turned and left.  Where did all this come from?

He was at his grandmother’s that whole afternoon, so I was able to gather all his bottles.  I found a whole lot of new ones still in boxes (don’t ask) and I shoved everything in a cupboard.  I wrapped a gift from the toy cupboard (in Christmas paper) and hid it.

He didn’t even ask for milk before he went to bed.  This was very unusual – but I didn’t say anything.  I just wanted to see what would happen.

He woke in the night and when reminded about the bottles/Santa, he had water and went back to sleep.  At 5am he woke again and was not happy.  Until he saw the present Santa left him!  He had water and went back to sleep.

He was very excited on Sunday morning.  He opened his gift and I read him the accompanying letter.

IMG_20131130_153358He hasn’t been very well since yesterday afternoon (cough, cold, high temperature) and hasn’t asked for any milk at all.  He knows that when he drinks milk when he has a cough, he usually throws up.

He’s still unwell – so I don’t know what will happen once he’s feeling better, but I’m so proud of him.  I can’t believe he’s just…  Done it.

I really should have higher expectations.



So it’s been almost a month since we lost V’s pacifier.  As you know the first week was absolutely terrible, but it got better and now he’s doing great.

We did, however, have a little *incident* a couple of days ago.

He was digging through all the cupboards and drawers in the playroom looking for a cup or something.  And he wouldn’t stop until he found it (once he has his mind set on something, there’s no deterring him).  Anyway, so while on the hunt he came across a box.  He opened it.  And inside was a pacifier!

It was an old one, and it was a brand that I thought I’d switch him to, but he never took to it (different shape or something).  So I guess it was just dumped in a box and put away…

His whole face lit up as soon as he set eyes on it.  It was as though all his Christmases had come at once!  But, it was very quickly whipped out of his hands and taken downstairs to be put in the bin.

At first he asked questions such as, ‘Mama, what was that?’  He knew exactly what it was.

It soon turned into, ‘BUT I WANT IT!’  Tears and foot-stamping followed.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I told him it was one of Rolo’s (the dog) toys.  V looked at me dubiously, and pretty much told me to explain myself!  I really don’t know what I told him – but after five more minutes of crying, he calmed down and asked for milk.  As he was lying in his cot, I heard him say to the nanny, ‘Yaya – that wasn’t a chupa.  It was Rolo’s toy.’

And it was forgotten.

Thank you, Lord!


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?



All The Things I Said I’d Never Do

Before I had a baby (or was even pregnant) I think I may have been one of those women that was quite ‘judgy’…  How could she take their baby to her bed at night?  And how could she give her child a pacifier?  I had decided that when I had a baby (and ohhh, how I wanted one), I would do things quite differently to others.  Below is the list of things I said I would or wouldn’t do when I had a baby.  Did I stick to it?  And has it affected him in any way?  

Here they are:

1.  I would breastfeed baby.

2.  I would not rock, walk or bounce baby to sleep.  Ever.

3.  I would not allow baby to sleep in my bed.

4.  I would not let baby use a pacifier (or ‘chupa’ as they are called in my house).

5.  I would not take baby for walk in buggy to try and get him to sleep.

6.  I would not let baby sleep on top of me.

7.  I would not carry baby too much so that he gets used to it and wants to be carried all the time.

8.  I would follow Gina Ford, Baby Whisperer and any other parenting books I had so we could get into a routine as soon as possible.

9.  I would not pick up crying baby from cot – he will learn to soothe himself and go back to sleep.

10. I would follow Annabel Karmel weaning advice ‘to the T’.

So now… The Truth.  Keep reading to see what I did or didn’t do!

1.  I did not breastfeed my baby.  I’m not going to go into it right now – but here is my story if you want to read it.


2.  Baby has been rocked, walked and bounced to sleep and he is still sometimes walked.  I tried *really* hard not to do any of these things…  But you know, whatever works!


3.  Baby has slept in my bed.  We travelled to India and to London when he was six months old.  We were away for seven weeks and didn’t have a cot for him in either place – so he slept in our bed – and he slept really well!  Even before we left, there were nights when I brought him in to bed because I was just so tired!


4.  Baby used pacifier.  And still does.  While I was pregnant, I had no intention of buying pacifiers.  And then someone told me that I should have them just in case.  And also since we travel – it would be easier on his ears during landing. (Little did I know that he prefers to scream than take his chupa)  So I bought a set of two.  And at two weeks old, when I was worried he was ill (he wasn’t), the doctor suggested I give Vindoo a chupa to help settle him.  He actually wasn’t happy to take it at first, but that soon changed.  He uses one mostly when he’s tired and cranky and about to fall asleep.


5.  I did take baby for a walk to try and get him to sleep.  Only a handful of times.  And it worked.  But only until we got back home!


6.  Baby did sleep on top of me.  Sometimes that was the only way to get him back to sleep when he woke up.  He doesn’t do it anymore though!


7.  I *loved* carrying Vindoo when he was a newborn.  He was so tiny and (still is) perfect.  How could anyone *not* want to carry him?  It was my mum, more than anyone, who kept telling me not to get him used to it…  But I did it anyway!


8.  I read a whole bunch of parenting books while I was pregnant and was quite gung-ho about following a routine.  But when he actually arrived – it was so difficult!  Luckily, he quickly fell into a routine.  Feeding every 2 hours.  And then 3 and 4 hours.  My problem started when he was about 14 weeks.  He was feeding every four hours, which was great – but they were never the *same* four hours!  I didn’t know what was happening from day-to-day.  So I decided I would follow the Gina Ford feeding and sleeping times.  It was great 🙂  But he still doesn’t sleep through the night.


9.  If you are a mum that let your baby cry it out and put himself to sleep – Well done to you!  I wanted to do that.  I just couldn’t.  There were nights when I ended up in tears while listening to Vindoo crying.  I just couldn’t do it.


10.  Weaning.  I started feeding Vindoo baby porridge and baby rice from when he was about 5 months.  He loved it!  Once he turned six months, I started on the carrot puree and the others suggested in Annabel Karmel’s weaning books.  A few days later, we left for Bombay.  We were staying with my grandmother – and it was a full house.  My aunt, uncle and cousin were there too.  And my parents.  And everyone ridiculed me for making the poor child eat vegetable and fruit purees.  And how could he eat dinner at 5pm and sleep at 7pm?  Together they convinced me to let him eat what we all ate (without the salt, sugar, masalas and chilli obviously).  He eats really well (touch wood) and likes almost everything.


Now…  The question is – have any of my choices affected him negatively in any way?

Nope – not at all!  He is happy and healthy 🙂  I suppose the fact that he still needs to be walked to sleep sometimes isn’t a good thing…  But the only thing I’m a bit worried about is the pacifier thing.  I figure we’ve still got a few months to deal with that.  Suggestions for weaning him off it would be very much appreciated!