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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Transitioning to Twins: The Pacifier

One of my goals in this process of getting ready for the twins is helping Scarlett grow up a little bit. She needs to be the big sister in the house, not another baby, and getting rid of the pacifier is no exception. I am by no means opposed to a pacifier. I think they serve a purpose, especially for teeny babies to learn to self-soothe. But there is no way I could keep up with three kids' pacifiers. That would be absurd. So it was time to get rid of Scarlett's pacifier.

When Scarlett was approaching her first birthday, I was determined to wean her from it. She really only took it while she was sleeping (nap time and at night), but it was a great way to relax her if we were traveling or having some kind of "off day."

And then I started justifying the pacifier -- "we can't get rid of it until after our trip," or "she needs it to fall asleep at Mom's Day Out." And then before I knew it she was 18 months old. At that point I knew it was definitely the time to take it away from her. But then I just continued with my justification -- we're traveling, she's sick, etc etc.

Sometime in the spring I got really confident and decided to poke a hole in the tip of each pacifier with a needle. I had read this would work great because the pacifier wouldn't have the same suction, and then she would lose interest. But that didn't happen. She still loved them.

We went to Florida the last week of April/first week of May when she was 22 months old. We had a lot of full and busy days at Disney World where she was generally out of control because of the lack of sleep, excitement, and the heat. So we used the pacifier A LOT to keep her calm.

She started requesting specific pacifiers. She referred to them by their colors, "pink one" or "blue one," and when she got upset she would come running to me and say "blue one!" She would ask for a nap at 9:30 a.m., which was really her way of asking to get her in crib to suck on her pacifiers because she knew she couldn't have them unless she was sleeping. It was time to get rid of them.

But Scarlett is one stubborn kid and she has a TEMPER. I just knew it was going to be a fight for days and I didn't know if I had the willpower to stick it out. Plus what if she refused to sleep without a pacifier? Mommy needs her nap too. But I also knew I couldn't have a toddler who was attached to her pacifier and newborn twins on my hands. No way was it happening.

So finally one morning I had the courage to fully snip the ends of her pacifiers. When she asked for one I would give it to her. She'd spit it out and hand it back to me. I asked her, "oh is it broken?" Soon she realized they were all broken and she totally lost her mind. She was mad, kicking and screaming, asking for her pacifiers. At nap time I put her to bed with the broken pacifiers and she didn't want them at all. She handed them to me and told me "broken." I told her if they're broken we should throw them away. So she did. And that was that.

Seriously. I had 22 months of fear and anxiety about this whole situation and that's all it took. She asked for them a couple times over the next couple of days, but nothing major. I would just say, "remember they were broken?" She cried for a couple weeks when she went to bed, but it wasn't more than 5-10 minutes.

And there's another checkmark on my To Do Before Twins list. Hooray!

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