With my son’s two year birthday on the horizon, we knew it was nearing time we bid adieu to his pacifier that he so lovingly refers to as “Nani” (nah-knee). For nearly two years this tiny thing made of plastic and silicone has been my son’s security blanket, just as much of a crutch to me as it was him.
I never intended to use a pacifier on him. Part of that whole “nipple confusion” crap. It wasn’t until I hauled him into urgent care when he was about three weeks old due to his non-stop screaming that the pediatrician told me to try a pacifier. Sure enough, that was gold. I popped that baby into his mouth and never looked back.
I knew there would be a price to pay later, but I never really worried about weaning him off of it. It was definitely marked as “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” To my surprise, I found myself at the foot of that bridge last week after my son’s first dentist appointment.
My son did as good as to be expected for a not-quite-two-year old, and the doctor raved about how good his enamel was and his mouth full of teeth. However, he did show us how his two front teeth are starting to bow out slightly due to the paci use. He said as long as he is off the binky by three years old, the teeth will shift back to normal. He wasn’t overly concerned about it, as I’m sure he sees it a lot. But there it was, a flashing sign telling me that Nani had to go.
My husband and I decided that quitting cold turkey was the way to go. The good and bad of my son’s paci use was it was limited to sleep time. The good is that he wasn’t so attached to it that it was in his mouth 24/7. The bad — he’s never been the best sleeper, and the paci provided a little bit of solace. So I knew removing Nani from the equation was going to mean less sleep for all of us, at least for a while.
Night one was fairly rough. It was about an hour of crying, calling out for his “Nani.” With “Mama” thrown in there everyone once in a while behind desperate pleas, it was enough to make my heart break. Fortunately, my husband was manning this breakdown and stayed with our son in his room until he calmed down enough to fall asleep. This was repeated once more during the night.
The days following have progressed much smoother, to the point that he may ask for his Nani only once a day. But with the removal of that crutch, it’s become apparent that our son has not quite learned how to fall asleep on his own yet. So we have more work a head of us. Feel free to send wine.