How Did You Get Rid of Your Baby's Pacifier?
Oh, Plaid. The day has come where I successfully have rid Aveline of him. Truthfully I never knew this day would be so bittersweet for me. I think it’s because she didn’t just have any pacifier, but that she had one and that she loved him so much. Also, like I described in my Instagram post, I feel like this is one of the last things of Av being a baby that I’m losing as she transitions to being a big girl.
Plaid was literally the only pacifier I could get Aveline to take when she was a baby, and then the phase continued… until we had brother… then all of a sudden the pacifiers he had were good, too. Oh, the stubbornness in this child is going to give me a run for my money.
My friend recommended we get rid of Plaid around 16/18 months because it’d be easier than waiting, so I slowly started phasing Plaid out a month and a half ago. Honestly, I tried going cold turkey with Plaid at 16 months but that hit the fan, so I came up with a plan to help ease her out of Plaid.
I’ve had a lot of friends reach out and ask how I got rid of him so I thought I’d share what I did!!
At 16.5 months I started letting her have Plaid ONLY during nap and bed time. At 15ish months we transitioned from two naps to one nap so she had him for 3 hours during the day and then at nighttime. PLAID WAS NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE HER CRIB. NO EXCUSES. I would get her up and we placed Plaid on the edge of her crib, she would give him a pat and tell him to have a good nap. (I told her Plaid only sleeps when she plays so it’s his time to sleep so he has to stay in bed. Who knows if she understands what I said, but it worked). If she ever went to her room and got Plaid I told her she needed to put him back or she needed to take another nap. She 100% always put him back by herself.
Next, Gwendolyn came into play. I made Gwendolyn (her stuffed raccoon) take the place of Plaid. Every time we left the bed, Gwendolyn came with us. In the car, Gwendolyn came with us. To the park, Gwendolyn came with us. Gwendolyn was in the crib with Plaid during nap and bedtime, as well. Everywhere we went, Gwendolyn was the new Plaid. I think this helped her 100%, because she was losing her best friend but I was substituting a new one in while letting her still sleep with and keep Plaid.
The first few weeks were hard because Plaid stayed in the crib while we went on walks AND car rides. Bold move, I know. But there was only a few hard rides when she was trying to sleep and realized she didn’t have him. I swear that this helped with the success of not having him. We took a bunch of road trips & car rides without Plaid and she started falling asleep without him. This was something I really wanted to do, because I wanted her to know that she could sleep without him. (Gwendolyn was always with her).
When this would happen I would hold her hand, tell her that she was doing so good and that Gwendolyn was going to help her fall asleep so to hold her hand or give her a big hug. If she didn’t want to hold my hand, I would rub her head for a few minutes.
The best book I ever read before becoming a mother was “Bringing up Bebe”. I swear it truly changed my perspective as a parent and the way I look at and treat A & P. One of the biggest things I picked up on was that the book focuses on how babies are fully capable human beings, and if we believe they are capable of understanding things, and we treat them like they are able, then they will be more capable & confident throughout their childhood and ultimately, lives. I talked about telling her that Plaid sleeps above, and I’m going to go on another route right now, where you might think I’m crazy, but I truly think talking to Aveline like she understands and is capable of understanding what I’m telling her is a huge reason why she’s so cooperative.
I removed Plaid on Sunday morning- the 16th. I told her a week before that one week from “today” that Plaid was retiring so she needed to give him more hugs and tell him she loved him. Every day I would count down the days left with Plaid. Now, y’all. I know I sound crazy for this BUT IT WORKED so bear with me!
I reminded Aveline Saturday night that Plaid was going to wake up in the morning and the truck was going to come take him to his retirement barn. (Put this next thing under “things I never knew I would do as a mom”)
We have been watching a bunch of horse movies in our house. If you know me, this shouldn’t come as a shock. I told Av that like all good race horses, Plaid was going to his new barn where he was going to have big fields to run in and play in and he would send pictures to say hello.
On Sunday morning, I woke up Av, I sat with her on her floor and told her that it was Plaid’s big day, and that she needed to give him two big hugs and a kiss if she wanted because he was going to his new retirement home! (Literally the excitement and energy I had about this made her so excited, too. I truly believe this helped as well.) She walked with me to my dresser where I told her we were going to place Plaid on and his ride was going to come get him! She gave him one last pat on his head like she used to every time we put him on the ledge of her crib *literally had to hold back tears* and we went to get breakfast.
After breakfast we went to my room and Plaid had been picked up! (Again my excitement level was super high to convince her this was exciting).
Full disclosure- I did Babywise with her and P, so I’m used to them temporarily crying it out during certain phases. Whether it was learning how to put themselves to sleep as babies, sleep regressions throughout their first few months/year, or what not.
I knew it was going to be a shock when reality hit when nap time came around and she understood Plaid was gone. BUT AV AND I HAD COMMITTED AND I PROMISED MYSELF WE WEREN’T TURNING BACK. BUT GUYS IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER THAN I IMAGINED. The first day, she only cried for 15 minutes during nap time and 10 minutes at night. She did this for three days and now she’s perfectly fine- only five days later!
Reasons Why I Knew It Was Time:
I had noticed for a few months that Av’s front two teeth weren’t dropping all the way down, so I had my skepticism that Plaid was a contributor for this. Literally within 5 days her teeth have dropped and I can finally see most of her cute little buck teeth.
I was afraid of waiting too long. I remember at her one year appointment I asked her pediatrician if I needed to take away Plaid and he seemed nonchalant about it and said “if there comes a time and she still has him and it’s been too long I’ll tell you”. So, I’m not sure what time is the “right” time to remove a pacifier, or when is “too long”, but this is when I was comfortable with doing it!
I was afraid that having Plaid in her mouth all the time was keeping her from speaking, and I promise you her speech and vocabulary has gotten ten times better since removing Plaid. Could it be the time that’s passed? possibly… but could it be that something wasn’t consistently in her mouth? Possibly!
Things That Didn’t Work For Me:
When I tried removing Plaid at 16 months I used a Plaid that had a pacifier removed from his face. I called him “big girl Plaid” and let her carry him around with her instead of “baby Plaid” (pacifier Plaid). Shit hit the fan when I put her down for a nap with big girl Plaid and she was just biting his nose and pointing at him like “mom, wtf is that, where is his pacifier?”. So I threw that plan out. When I removed Plaid I removed all of them, but this could be something to try for you, though!
I cannot believe our little reindeer buddy is gone, but I am SO relieved to not have to worry about having him with us for upcoming travel!
Thanks for the great run, Plaid!
Did you have a different method to removing your babe’s pacifier?! Share with me in the comments!