March 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm , by Sue Erneta
I remember the night like it was yesterday. Sophia was nearly 3 years old, I was six months pregnant and all the impending baby excitement had turned our little angel into a terror. Then I said it, “Sophia, if you don’t get into your bed now, then you won’t get your binkie tonight”. Pablo — knowing that I never make empty threats — glared at me as if to say, “Really? Are we really doing this tonight?”
Sophia had never been the kid that walked around all day with a pacifier in her mouth but it was a sleeping crutch. She used it at nighttime, during naps, even for a little shut-eye in the car. We knew that it needed to go. But how?
I think we dreaded losing it more than she did. Anything that gets a kid to sleep is a blessing, no?
As you can guess, she didn’t get into her bed that night and I did take her pacifier away. She cried for 15 minutes, then went to sleep. The next night she asked for it and I told her she was a big girl and she didn’t need a pacifier anymore and pacifiers are for babies. This time she cried for 5 minutes, then went to sleep. The next night, she didn’t ask for it and she didn’t cry. We were shocked. Taking away the binkie — an act we had dreaded more than she did because, let’s face it, it was more of a crutch for us — was done in 2 nights. And Sophia felt great too. Realizing she didn’t need the binkie made her feel like a big girl and we gave her lots of positive reinforcement and love to support it.