I knew when I popped that soother into DD’s mouth way back when I would pay for it some time down the line.
The line has ended and things aren’t looking good.
For about a year now, DD only gets her soother at bedtime. But for some reason, in recent months she has become fixated with it. She knows the rules, but she asks for her soother. All. The. Time.
It’s getting ridiculous. She tries to convince her parents to get the soother in all kinds of creative ways. We’re constantly repeating: You can have your soother at bedtime, not supper time. Dolly doesn’t need your soother to feel better. Actually, Spike (a cat) doesn’t like soothers.
Before you ask if there has been a big change in DD’s life – either at home or at daycare – the answer is no. Life is trucking along its regularly scheduled program.
I want DD to ditch her soother, and there’s three methods of intervention I’ve heard/read can work:
- Option A: Tell DD that Baby X needs her soother since Baby X is a baby. (Find said baby, which won’t be hard since many of our friends are parents of newborns)
- Option B: Cut the nipple off the soother so that much-longed-for sucking action is killed; hope that eventually DD loses interest
- Option C: Convince DD she’s ‘a big girl now’ and have her throw the soother in the garbage
I don’t actually see that last approach working. This one knows the value of her soother. So it’s either option A or B.
My thinking is to have her kick the habit over the Christmas holidays, between Boxing Day and New Year’s.
- – We’ll all be off on vacation so lack of sleep due to screams of outrage and gut-wrenching loss won’t matter
- – Our holidays will be fairly quiet at that point since out of town guests will have left for home
- – Although it won’t be ‘our regular schedule’ there will be lots of fun family activities to partake in – aka distractions
Speaking of distractions, I know a kick-the-soother-habit best practice is to offer up other ways for your child to self-comfort. A favourite stuffy or blanket, lots of hugs from mom and dad, etc. No problem – got that covered.
But here’s my conundrum. My husband is resisting the soother intervention. He thinks we should hold off. What’s the rush, he asks? (Like I’m the only one who gets exasperated by DD’s soother demands.)
When I ask him to specify an exact date to nix the thing, he gives vague references to ‘the future’. Hmm…
Thing is, DD is what you might call persistant. So both of us parents need to be 100% prepared for the battle we’ll be up against.
Then again, maybe this isn’t such a big deal. While I heard it’s best to have your child kick the soother habit between 18 and 24 months, she really doesn’t have the soother all the time. It’s not impeding her speech development, etc. And it’s not like she’ll enter kindergarten with a soother in her mouth. Uh…right?
What I’m asking for is some advice. If you gave your child(ren) a soother, at what age did they kick the habit? How did you prepare them? And what method did you use? One of the above options? Something different?
And if you were one of those parents who never gave your child a soother, or whose child didn’t “take to a soother” – please keep your smirks to yourself. There’ll be payback for you someday, somehow.
December 13th Update:
We’ve decided to hold off on the big soother intervention. The advice kindly shared by other parents suggests giving DD lots of advance warning that her soother is going. I think it might be confusing with the whole ‘Santa is coming’ message that is also going on. I don’t want her to be excited about Santa and at the same time, anxious about her final days with her soother.
So, am I chickening out? A little bit. But we will do this. In January. Ya. January.
In other news, I recently discovered that Annie over at PhD in Parenting, is running a blog carnival called Carnival of Toddlers. If you want to participate, all the details are here.