My daughter loved her pacifier. In all honesty, so did I. The pacifier, lovingly nicknamed “ba,” allowed us to make it through colic, sick days, a flight to and from California, teething and vaccines and taught her how to self soothe and sleep through the night (and for that, I am forever grateful!). Her ba was both of our best friends and I’m not sure we would have survived the infant stage without it! I remember clearly the sound of gratification she would make as an infant when she was in a moment of desperation and ba came to the rescue. WubbaNubs and Soothies (and MAM pacifiers before those) were part of our village. I feel like my life changed the day I discovered WubbaNubs!
My daughter’s school had already helped us get rid of daytime pacifier use when she transitioned from the infant to toddler room, but she still used it for sleep at home. I was afraid that many sleepless nights were in our future when we eventually got rid of it. We tried a few months before baby #2 came along and only lasted 2 nights before she begged for it back and I caved, because I was afraid of too much change, too fast since we had just finished potty training also. Fast forward a few months and she had gotten adjusted to having a baby sister and I started researching ways to get rid of the pacifier (and watched this video that makes me cry every time I watch it) and a co-worker gave me an idea to go to Build-A-Bear and put the pacifiers inside. Isn’t it the best to have friends with older kids who have BTDT (been there, done that)!? I knew this would be the way for us because she liked holding them, so this would be a way for her to still have them, but just not put them in her mouth.
A few nights before we went to the store, I explained to her that they were hurting her teeth (it helped that she had already been to the dentist for a cleaning) and that she can’t them in her mouth anymore, but that she can still hold them. She decided to store them in one of her stuffed animals that had a storage pocket. She kept them in there for a few nights and we knew it was time to make it permanent so she wouldn’t be tempted and fall back into the habit (and also, so I wouldn’t be tempted to give them back to her).
We made a big deal out of the trip to the mall. Once we got there, she got to pick out the bear she wanted. Then, she gave her ba’s a hug and a kiss (that seriously melted my heart, it was the sweetest/saddest thing ever) and then they put them one in a hand and one in a foot (she got to choose where she wanted them). The Build-A-Bear employees were well prepared and they were so sweet with her. They made it a great experience and she had fun. She got to help fill it up with stuffing, give it a bath, and pick out clothes! She named it “Ba Bear” and we were on our way. I was envisioning future tantrums when she realized she couldn’t get the pacifiers out, but she hasn’t asked for the pacifiers once since then! I think it was important that we waited until we knew she was ready, we were ready, and we didn’t have any other major changes going on. 2 years and 7 months later, a love affair ended as fast as it had started.
What tips do you have for getting rid of the beloved pacifier?