Trying to Figure Out If I Did the Right Thing

Updated on November 27, 2009
T.C. asks from Wilmington, DE
18 answers

My daughter will be 2 and a half next month. She had a pacie which she used for "sleeping." I used quotes around sleeping because often times when she would come upstairs, she was say, "Pacie! Pacie!" and play with it in her mouth. She never had a problem saying "Bye bye" to pacie when we went downstairs and went out and about our day.

On Saturday, we had our daughter put all of her pacies in an envelop. She gave it to the mailman to deliver to the "Babies of the World." At least four or five days prior, we explained to her that new babies do not have pacies, and that now she is becoming a big girl (ie, helping Daddy rake leaves, going to "school," helping Mommy cook, etc...), she can help out the babies by giving them her pacies. We then explained that when she did this, the Pacie Fairy would come and give her a gift.

Saturday she gathered her pacies, put them in the envelop and gave them to our mailman. She was excited about the dollhouse the Pacie Fairy gave her.

But here's the thing: it takes her a pretty long time to fall asleep during her nap as well as night. She has asked for pacie a couple of times, saying, "I need pacie for sleeping." She hasn't gone so far as to scream and cry for it. Rather, she talks to herself in her crib and plays around. I am getting her up from her nap at her regular time (I can't have her sleep any later than 4 if she is going to get to bed at night) even though she is sleeping A LOT less than before. Her behavior during the day is one of someone who is overtired. She gets a little "crazy," for lack of a better word. I personally don't care much for her behavior, but I realize she is not doing it on purpose.

So I am figuring out if I did the right thing. I realize there is not one correct answer to how I am feeling. There are just experiences. I am curious about yours. If you had to cut your child off from the pacifier, did you experience some of the same things? How long until you had your little girl/guy back? Did you wind up caving? If so, what effect did it have in the long run?

If you are wondering why we cut her off from the pacifier, it's because I had some concerns about her front teeth. They look as if they are beginning to protrude outward. And yes, I was having her use the orthodontic or whatever pacifiers that help to prevent such a thing from happening.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

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answers from Philadelphia on

T., You are having some major Mom guilt. My son was a little older when we finally ditched the "bink" and he had issues too. He cried a lot for it and was tired for a few days because we all lost a little sleep. I really don't remebering it being bad for more than a few days. Hang in there, don't cave because you have already gotten so far. My son will have to have orthodontal work because his bink damaged his pallet. You have done the right thing.


answers from Williamsport on

You did great! Dollhouse?! Shoot, we just took the binks and threw them away! She's be absolutely fine and her body won't let her be sleep deprived for long. She'll get used to it, and you're sparing her from having a harder time later. Juat go with it, great job!

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answers from Harrisburg on

Child 1 had a pacifier until he was FOUR!! (Yet has nice teeth).

Child 2 never used a pacifier and had a horrible overbite. There's not necessarily any correlation.

That said, since she's not screaming for it...I would stick with your plan to ditch it.

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answers from Philadelphia on

i think you did the right thing. she is just having an adjustment to not having the pacie. nothing is worse than seeing a four year old child with a pacie in their mouth. I know it is probably racking your nerves and you are tired because you can not sleep. It may be another week until she figures out how to self soothe without the pacie. MAy be she has a blanket or a stuffed animal that she likes? Good luck. Hang in there. In the long run you will be happy the pacie is gone.



answers from Scranton on

T. you definitely did the right thing. I have a friend who's daughter had to give hers up on her 5th birthday!!! She tried unsuccessfully since she was 2. The little girl had such a difficult time with it she actually told her Mom "Mommy, you should have made me do this earlier.. it is just so hard now." Broke her Mom's heart. Stick with it.. you do not want a kid with orthodontic issues and an addiction at 5!!!
Good Luck



answers from Harrisburg on

You did the right thing! At age 2 1/2, pacie or no pacie, kids can be finicky sleepers (and eaters). She may not have slept before either but with her pacie in her mouth you didn't hear her talking to herself, lol. Who knows. When she's tired, she'll sleep. Put her down a bit earlier if it's taking her longer to fall asleep.

K. b
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answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T.,

We did the same thing with my son (he is now almost 6)but we cut the pacifier and told him his teeth broke it. After two weeks things went back to normal without the pacifier! I have a two year old and we will be taking it away soon. Stick to your good parenting; you did the right thing. :c)


answers from Pittsburgh on

T.: Of course you did the right thing! You knew that the pacifier had to go...sooner rather than later. Sure, it's tough the first few days, but if you keep to your routine you will all get through it. Keep it simple and don't talk about it unless she brings it up then keep it short and "no big deal". When she whines remind her that she sent them to the new babies...what a big girl and then change the subject. I've been through this four times...we had to go through it twice with our oldest then she started sucking her thumb...which was a harder habit to deal with! Hang in parents we have to make the tough decisions and remember that we can't be friends with our children until they are adults. Best wishes.



answers from Erie on

I agree, you did the right thing, Stay strong don't cave. It might take a month or two but she will figure it out.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think you did the right thing- and regardless at this point you HAVE to stick to it. She'll have to go through this transition at some point so it might as well be now. It may be a few days, but she'll get used to falling asleep without it. We gave our pacies to the baby squirrels and my daughter, now almost 7, saw it in my hope chest a few weeks ago, and I had some explaining to do ; )



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T. :)

I don't have an experience to share because my girls never wanted a paci (sometimes I really wanted them to during those inconsolable moments though). =)

I just had a thought for you. You've probably already considered it, but if you decide to give her the paci again, I have a feeling that it might be even harder to take them away in the future. It sounds like she's handling the transition fairly well! I've heard some horror stories... :)

Best wishes with whatever you decide.
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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi T.!
I did the same thing as you did with the whole "paci fairy" thing, but my daughter was 3. I told her that she was a big girl now and she had to get rid of all her paci's so that the new babies in the world could have some. I had her gather all of them up and we put them under her pillow and the next morning they were gone. She had her "blankie" to sleep with and she seemed to be fine after a few days without her paci. About a year later we were moving and I was cleaning out closets in the kitchen and I found the paci's. I don't know why I didn't just throw them away but there they were. She saw them and I was like look where the paci fairy put them. Thank goodness she was too little to understand! But, stick to your plan and soon enough she will forget about having it or wanting it. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!




answers from Philadelphia on

The paci is gone so forget about it. If she keeps talking about it change the subject. If you keep talking to her about it sh is going to talk about it. My motto is when things (negatives)are such a big deal for children its our job to lessen the deal. Soon it will be out of sight out of mind.
Happy Thanksgiving!



answers from Houston on

You are absolutely correct in what you did with the pacifiers. My daughter loved her pacie as well but she would suck so hard on it that she reduced the blood flow to one of her front teeth. As a result, she lost one of her front teeth about 2 years premature and went that long without one of her front teeth. She also developed an open bite which eventually corrected once her permanent teeth came in. I loved your idea about the pacie fairy!

Maybe the end of a tradition is a good time to start a new one. If she needs a little reassurance at bedtime, perhaps a routine of selecting a baby doll or stuffed animal to sleep with her or a soothing bedtime story. I formed a really tight bond with my son by reading him a story every night before bedtime.

You sound like a very caring and loving mother. I'm sure whatever you choose to do with be the right choice for your daughter.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi T.,
I think you did the right thing. The older they are, the harder it is to ditch the paci. My son was quite a bit younger when we got rid of his, but I remember some sleepless nights, fidgeting, etc. Can you try to substitute a super soft blanket or stuffed animal that is always keep in/on the bed only for bedtime use? Might be worth a try, Hang tough, she'll be OK.



answers from Allentown on

Hi T.,

I agree with Pam M. I too had similar issues.

My oldest never used anything and needed braces.

Middle guy used a pacifier and needed braces.

The youngest 2 one used a pacifier the other did not. They are 5 & 6 they too look like they will need braces.

The pacifier does not decide whether or not they need braces. It is the shape of their mouth & size of the mouth. We all have small mouths. I had to have 4 molars pulled before I could get braces the Dr. said my mouth was too crowded. Then I had to have all 4 wisdom teeth pulled I still have a full set of teeth and I had a total of 8 pulled.

My oldest had braces & I mentioned her teeth are crowded like mine. He said we are here to save teeth not pull. She had braces for 4 years once she had them taken off her teeth went crooked within 3 months as if she never had braces. I took her to another Ortho. He pulled 4 teeth & put braces on. Now her teeth stayed straight and it's been 10 years. My son had braces 4 teeth pulled and his teeth have been straight for 6 years.

Both boys with their pacifiers gave them up on their own. They both just started using them for bed I never replaced it with a new. The pacifiers (Nuk brand) my boys used would get sticky when it was time to replace. They did not like the sticky and would not use it but it was there....

You did very well T.. Keep up the terrific job you are doing. Remember just read over everyone's advice on this site BUT use your judgement when it comes to your children. MOM KNOWS BEST!!

I hope this helps.



answers from Pittsburgh on

You did the right thing. Try and stick it out. My daughter never took a pacie, but she did suck her thumb. She did some damage to her mouth/teeth. She stopped sucking her thumb before her permanent teeth showed up and she will still have to have some work done.



answers from Harrisburg on

When my sister ditched my niece's paci she was almost 3. It took her AGES to go to sleep for about a month - she just didn't know how to fall asleep without it. But, then she figured out a different way to fall asleep and all was good! It might take a while but I would stick with the plan!

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