Parents. Whatever you do. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT under any circumstances give your baby a pacifier.
It may seem harmless at first. In fact it may seem like a life saver to stop that little new born from crying.
But trust me, one day, that seemingly small decision will come back to bite you in the ass.
And nearly kill you.
We’ve spent the last 3 days trying to break Isabella from her “oobie” habit and I think it’s breaking us instead.
First we tried taking her to a 12 Step meeting and having her admit she was powerless over the oobie. She didn’t really get it though so we had to go another route.
We did it gradually. The first step was to limit her oobie use when we moved in to our new house in September. We basically said she could only use her oobies for sleeping, so during naps or at night but not otherwise during the day. She resisted at first but eventually was super good about it. She’d even remind us that we forgot to put her oobie away if she brought it downstairs after a nap.
Then I started limiting her to only one oobie while sleeping (normally she would use 3 – one in her mouth and each hand).
That one was harder for her to buy in to.
5 days ago, while thinking of what New Year’s resolutions I wanted to make for 2012, I decided to take them away from her for good, starting January 1st. I told her about it too, to prepare her. Basically I warned her that in 2 days she would have to give all her oobies away to other little babies that needed them, like how we gave them some of her toys after Christmas. She seemed on board with the idea! No protests. We talked about it many times over those 2 days. Then, come Sunday morning, we packed them all in to a baggie and put them out in the donation pile (secretly I stashed them in a cupboard when she wasn’t looking, just in case. I guess I needed a safety net too!). Again, she was cool about it.
Until nap time. She wouldn’t lay down and sleep for anything. She wasn’t crying, she was jumping and singing and talking and running back and forth. Anything BUT lay down. I fought with her for over an hour. Finally I gave up. I knew we were going over to my sister’s house later and that she’d probably fall asleep in the car. She did.
Then nighttime came. More lolly-gagging. We pretty much ignored her and let her do her thing.
That’s when the crying started. And it kept going. And going.
We’d check on her every 20 minutes or so. At one point she looked at CJ and just pointed to her mouth like, “Um dude, did ya forget something?”
Finally, after an hour, I gave her on old broken oobie (one that had the top cut off). It was no good for sucking on but I figured she could hold it and get some comfort that way. My heart was breaking for her. I knew it was like we had taken away her best friend, one that she’d slept with every day for over 2 years. We had ripped her little heart out.
And my heart was broken too.
CJ couldn’t take it anymore and retreated to the basement, wearing headphones, and worked out on the elliptical. Finally after about an hour and 20 minutes of crying, she wore herself out and stopped.
Silence, sweet silence.
We were both afraid to move or make a peep though for fear of waking the beast!
And we dreaded the next night.
Monday morning when I got her out of bed, I told her what a good job she did sleeping without an oobie and how proud I was of her. She said, “I didn’t have an oobie in my mouth…it was very hard…I cried…mommy gave me a broken one…” She already knows the art of a good guilt trip. I dread the teenage years.
The same shenanigans happened come naptime on Monday. Goofing around and not wanting to sleep. Finally after about an hour she fell asleep. Last night, more crying and carrying on. I don’t know how long it lasted because I was super exhausted, pleaded for mercy and begged CJ to hold down the fort while I went to bed at 8:30pm. I think it lasted for a while though.
Then tonight, more crying. Only this time it stopped after 40 minutes. Progress? I sure as hell hope so. Some of it was that she didn’t nap at all today so I know she was exhausted. But I hope it’s progress too.
My nerves are fried. I feel like a PTSD victim. Every time I hear a cry or wail, my blood pressure shoots through the roof. It’s horrible. It was all I could do tonight not to curl up in our closet and hum gospel hymns to myself in hopes of a miracle.
I read somewhere that the transition could last anywhere from 1 night to a week. A week! Dear God, no. I don’t think I can take anymore. I’m liable to break at any moment!
So parents, let this be a lesson to you. No matter how cute they look with one. No matter how tempted you are. No matter what your parents say.
Do. Not. Give. Your. Baby. A. Pacifier.
This message has been brought to you by PDLPGP (Parents Don’t Let Parents Give Pacifiers).