It was a random Thursday about 2 months ago when I forgot Lu’s paci at home. Our babysitter usually has an extra one but this day, she decided to try and lay her down without it. Lu was fine, went straight to sleep and didn’t even ask for it.
The paci struggles had gone on for quite awhile and we were getting close to calling it quits but Lu desperately loved her paci. She whined constantly without the paci and she needed 5 or 6 in her bed to get through the night without waking. Of course her whining and crying only bothers me, since Daddy is Deaf. So I was the one always giving in and giving the paci back.
I don’t want to make excuses but since Lu has an underdeveloped throat that causes swallowing and breathing problems our pediatrician and ENT had basically told us that using the paci will help her learn to pattern her breathing and help her learn to clear secretions in her mouth and throat without choking. They also had us keep her on the Soothie Pacifier that is created. Yes, that BIG GREEN UGLY, Maggie on the Simpson’s looking, paci. Unfortunately, the need for the paci has long since gone and what we are left with is a paci addicted monster child.
|Note that she has 3 in her hands!|
Ok, so I digress, after she did great at the sitters without the paci, my husband and I decided that we would just be strong and not give them back to her. The first few days and nights were awful. She cried for hours and hours, alternating between signing and screaming that she wanted her paci. We would go in and comfort her, love her, snuggle her and eventually the tantrums grew shorter and less stressful but the change in her sleep habits have not improved. It has been almost two months and she is still having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
Last night, at about 3:00am, I hear the initial whimpers, the “where’s my paci?”, the soft cries and finally the true wails. Sometimes, she will get to the soft cries, console herself and fall back to sleep, but the past couple of weeks the wails just become louder and louder and I go in there and the first thing she says is, “I want paci.” So, I pick her up, bring her to my bed, we snuggle, she falls asleep and we are both happy. Or are we?
She is content to be with me, but what she really wants is a bed full of pacifiers. There are real and valid reasons not to let her have the paci back. The paci has caused serious shape changes in her palette and teeth. It is impacting her already delayed speech. It is just time for her to be done with the paci because she is almost 2 1/2.
It just makes me so sad for her that even after 2 months she still remembers and craves this comfort tool. I want so much for her to be happy and comforted. So, here I am, torn, do I give back the paci’s for night use, let her be happy or do we continue to wait it out, midnight whimpers and all until one day, she doesn’t remember anymore? Oh, the paci, the paci – the most loved lovie in our home.
And lastly…look at this adorable smile, paci free! If she could only be this happy at night too!