Weaning from pacifier: Is it worth it? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, my DD is 6 m.o. and is a huge fan of her paci for sleep.  Our fall asleep routine is usually nurse (she is often active or fussy), then pop in the paci, at which point she usually settles right down and closes her eyes. (ugh, just had to run up in the middle of writing this posting and replace the paci). She can fall asleep without it -- she does it in the car, or when we are wearing her, and occasionally when she goes through light sleep she will fall back into deep sleep without it.  Sometimes when she wakes up, we can just pop it in, pat her back or head, and she will fall back asleep (don't worry, she definitely lets us know when she is hungry and still nurses SEVERAL times a night). Also, she definitely sometimes turns her head away to resist me putting it in, but always relaxes back to sleep when I do (I would like to add here that to say that on the Mothering message board is automatically asking for some criticism. I want to cut it off at the pass by saying that I am very aware of my baby's needs and that she makes it clear when she needs something more than to be helped back to sleep.

 

Anyway, while I am not attached to reducing necessary night wakings, I have read enough to know that the paci is a prop and her body isn't learning how to sleep without it. While I am totally in favor of soothing and caring for your baby at night, I believe that part of caring for your baby is teaching him/her how to get the best sleep possible (which I believe means the most uninterrupted sleep possible. So, my objective in stopping the paci would be primarily to get her to sleep better (though obviously there would be a period of disruption). So, can anyone tell me have you weaned off pacis, and did your baby sleep better afterwards? Did you replace the paci with something else? Any advice for how you went about it?

 

Thanks!

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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Hi.  Your DD sounds similar to mine.  I would try the paci first at night, she would usually take it and sleep another hour or two.  She also used it to get sleep a lot.  I had it in my head that I would take it away at 12 months, but then kept delaying because I heard it would be difficult.  I ended up taking it away closer to 18 months.  I just took it away and that was that.  She still fell asleep for naps and bedtime just fine.  I am glad I kept it around because I do think it helped her sleep and she didn't switch to sucking on her fingers.  I would much rather my kids take a paci in the beginning than have to try and get them to stop sucking thumbs later on down the road.


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Old 11-11-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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I agree, definitely not worth it at 6months. I was concerned about it for a while, but at 12.5m, my daughter still goes through phases of using it more or less, and I can see it's a good option that helps her take care of herself and go back to sleep. Yes, even though she's right next to me, she finds it by herself when she's asleep now and isn't hungry but just wants it for going back to sleep, which was NOT the case at 6m.  I am so glad I kept it, and now I'll probably let her keep it for another year if she still uses it for comfort. I'd also hate to take away a self-soothing prop (yep, and by the time they can find their fingers it really is one or the other) for when she's away from me while I'm working. I think just gradually reducing it to sleeping-times only will be a fine way to wean from it when she's a little bigger. 

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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Paci's are my girls comfort item until 2 years.  I wait until they can understand what I'm saying, that I'm taking it away because they are big girls now (taking it away sooner and making them CIO which is what they would do, is too harsh IMO)  They just have that extra sucking need and is has nothing to do with replacing breastmilk.  Believe me I hate the idea of a paci, but my girls just need it, and I'm so glad I can cut them off from it, when I see 5 year olds sucking their thumbs and know how much harder it is to stop that.  I really hate the judgment with pacifers, I try to ignore all the negativity.  My babies are on my boob every hour all day long for months, and STILL benefit from a pacifier.  They all sleep through the night eventually without one. 
 


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Old 11-20-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Whatever gets you and her the most sleep possible is good. At some point it'll fall out and she'll keep sleeping without it, or she'll figure out how to put it back in her mouth at night.

There's some stuff I think we can overthink. I wouldn't worry about her learning to get herself back to sleep at 6 months. All kids learn that eventually. Mine who didn't really like pacifiers learned later than the one who did. But I think with a lot of 6-month-old babies, helping them get back to sleep in some way is part of the whole nighttime thing, whether they use pacifiers or not.
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