My three year old still has a paci. We've tried at different times to phase out her beloved paci but something always seems to come up (sickness, trips) and it just hasn't happened. There are lots of people out there with lots of opinions on the subject.....some are louder than others but most of the opinions are that she should not still have a paci. The only two people whos opinions matter to me in this regard are my daughter and her dentist (and of course my husband who's opinion always matters). My little one would love to keep her paci but her dentist has suggested we take it away because it is starting to affect her teeth. Which means, that the dentist wins and we are going to part ways with our paci.
This topic in general is very difficult for me. Coming from a 31 year old woman who still has a blankie, still sleeps with a blankie I totally get Charlotte's attachment to her paci! And it's just so unfair. We are the ones who introduced a paci to her.....from day one! We bought numerous brands of pacifiers trying to find one that my colicky baby would take to stop the crying. We gave it to her and asked her to accept it. And she did. She formed an attachment to the silicone and plastic noise reducer and it has been in her mouth everyday since the day we brought her home. It seems so cruel to me that I asked her to attach to it and now I am forcing her to give it up. It was convenient for us until it was no longer convenient and my poor baby is the one who has to deal with the end results.
I understand that we NEED to do this! I don't want her to have messed up teeth or need dental work in her future to correct the damage that a paci did. I get it. But it's really hard! If there wasn't a dental issue this wouldn't even be a problem. I truly believe that she would out grow her need for a paci on her own time. That it could be something that she chose to let go of when she was ready. I really hate doing this. We've been talking about saying goodbye to the paci. We've talked about her teeth and how she's a big girl and doesn't need it anymore. We've talked about sending the pacis up to God so that he can give them to new babies and we've talked about getting her a paci bear (Build a Bear) to replace her paci. She seems excited about all of these things.....she wants to send her pacis to God, and she wants to get a new animal to cuddle at night but I'm not sure she really realizes that she has to give them up. It's a big concept, one that I'm not sure a 3 year old can completely comprehend. This morning while I was talking to her about it all again (I want to go over it and over it so she knows exactly what is going to happen) I took her paci away from her and said that we were going to practice and not have the paci. And she cried. A heart wrenching, big fat tears, utterly devastated, cry. I felt like a total meany.
The paci has got to go. I think we'll be making the transition this upcoming weekend.....the sooner the better, right? But I feel like crap about it. I wish we didn't have to do this! My heart hurts for my precious daughter and this very big change that she has to go through. I pray that it won't be as bad as I think it's gonna be and I hope that she won't be too mad at Dan and I for forcing this on her. I also hope that she doesn't start sucking her thumb as a replacement for the paci.....that I have been told is an even harder habit to break! Wish us luck.
P.S. If you happen to be one of those people who are of the opinion that children of a certain age shouldn't have a paci/blankie/lovie, please know that voicing your opinion to someone who doesn't have the same ideas as you is not helpful. Some thoughts are best kept to yourself. :o)