We've been planning to take Clara's pacifiers away for a while now. For most of her life, she's only used them for sleeping and she's always been really good about it. Since the time she was a couple of months old, we could just pop the paci back in when she woke up in the night and she would go right back to sleep--no feeding, no rocking, no effort. I think I loved the thing as much as she did. We (and by that I mostly mean me, not Sam) kept putting it off for different reasons. However, I knew I wanted her to be good and done with it before the new baby comes. So, we finally decided to make the big break up last week, after she finished the antibiotics for her ear infection.
In the morning, I walked with her out to the dumpster and had her put the pacis in. She did this without so much as batting an eye. I, on the other hand, wanted to cry. When did my baby get so big? She cried for about an hour when I put her down for a nap so I just decided to get her up. Bedtime went pretty well, mostly because she hadn't taken a nap and she was exhausted. After two or three days, she didn't even cry when I put her down and now, just under two weeks later, she doesn't even ask for the paci anymore.
The same day we took away Clara's paci, we decided to REALLY crack down on Abby's sleeping habit. Ever since she was about five or six months old, she has sucked on her blanket (or really any piece of fabric) to fall asleep. When we moved her from her crib to a bed, she started sucking on the flat sheet. We've taken it off before and she would suck on the comforter, pillow case, bunnies ear, etc. I was convinced she would take her pants off and suck on them if it came down to it. We've tried all manner of bribery but nothing was working so I decided to just keep removing things from her bed until she stopped, even if it meant sleeping naked (okay, maybe not that extreme). The first day, I took off the sheet and she sucked on her "Abby blanket." I gave her one more night and then took the blankie away and that night she didn't suck on anything. She's had one relapse when she had the stomach flu and she sucked on the comforter at naptime. We were all pretty bummed about it but she was determined to make it at bedtime and she did it.
They are both doing great and I am so proud of them. We've already been through a fever, a night of puking and some bad dreams. There are two major down sides. The first is that they have been waking up quite a bit earlier in the morning. We anticipated this (Clara would often wake up early but we'd just plug her to go back to sleep) and hope they will start to improve in the next couple of weeks. The other is that Abby has all but given up napping. But, it's totally worth it. Their teeth, especially Abby's, were really being effected and when your dad is a dentist, that is a problem.
Hooray for my girls!