When my daughter was younger, I remember being glad that she never grew attached to her pacifier.
After reading articles about how difficult it can be to wean a child from their paci, I felt like we dodged a bullet! My daughter was happy to have a pacifier every so often, but she never came to a place of needing it with her all the time.
And then my son was born…
In a lot of ways we expected to see similarities between he and my daughter: in the way he slept, in his personality, in his temperament. But you very quickly learn that there is nothing that says your children will be alike!
My son turned out to be a pacifier LOVER.
His paci became his new best friend (besides mommy, of course). We bought paci clips so that it wouldn’t fall off at the park. We had between two and four pacifiers sitting out at any given time. The struggle was real. Fast forward to him now, at almost three years old. That dang paci will be the DEATH of me! He wants it All. The. Time.
We did decide to start limiting when and where we would give him his pacifier since it was becoming such a problem on the days that we forgot one in the diaper bag. We settled on not letting him take it out with us in public, and preferred that it stay upstairs only for bed and nap time. Those rules slowly began to stretch as meltdowns occurred between breakfast and nap and the only supposed solution to his tantrum was that paci.
Then, I had an epiphany.
I would introduce my son to the Paci Fairy.
Oh, you haven’t heard of the Paci Fairy? She’s not as popular as the Tooth Fairy, but she’s alive, and real, and eager to take those dreaded pacifiers back to her home in Fairyland.
Similar to the Tooth Fairy, the Paci Fairy comes at night and retrieves the pacifier from underneath the pillow, leaving in its place something fun – like a toy truck, or stuffed animal. In my son’s case, we talked about the Paci Fairy coming and made it an exciting thing to look forward to. We talked about what kind of toy she might be bringing him – would he like a truck? or a car? maybe a toy airplane? What did he think the Paci Fairy would bring?
Then we decided on a night. We put his pacifier under the pillow, and talked about it over and over again – once the Paci Fairy came, there was NO MORE PACI. He agreed, and fell into a deep slumber.
It still took a while for him to realize that his pacifier was gone. He would ask for it a lot and I would have to remind him what happened, but for the most part after she came he was ok! He slept like normal, which was great. My biggest fear was that his nighttime routine would be totally thrown off. It wasn’t, which just goes to show that the pacifier was a preference, not a necessity.
Unfortunately for us… my son, daughter and husband all caught the flu two weeks later after I tried this. My son had such a high fever and was miserable sleeping that the Paci Fairy made a surprise return and dropped off a healing pacifier to soothe him temporarily (I know, I know. No judgement). In hindsight it would have been better if I had just bitten the bullet and suffered through his tears. But this momma caved, and the pacifier had to make a come back.
Fortunately, after a couple more weeks with that Paci, the Paci Fairy came back and took that Paci to a baby that needed it. My son loved that idea, and has been fine with being without his pacifier ever since!
What do you think? Would you try this Paci Fairy idea with yours kids?
UPDATE: It’s crazy to me that a year has passed since I’ve written this post! Today is April 11, 2019 and I can confidently tell you that the Paci Fairy story worked for my son! He was actually very excited at the thought of the Paci Fairy giving his Paci to another baby. There would be times that we would pass a baby in the grocery store, and he would want to know if that was his old Paci. It was really sweet, actually, to hear the conversations my daughter would have with him about the possibilities: “Maybe the paci fairy gave your paci to a little boy!” “Maybe the paci fairy gave yours to a little girl!” This solution may not work for everybody, but this was a way for us to turn an unpleasant experience into a fun one! Best of luck, mamas!