The pacifier. Merriam Webster says it’s “a usually nipple-shaped device for babies to suck or bite on”.
The Pacifier. A human invention that mimicks the nipple. It’s a strange contraption, really, if you think about it. Here’s a rubber / silicon / man-made material of 3 or so centimetres of protrusion shaped like a woman’s nipple; presumably that of the child’s mother’s, manufactured en masse in exactly the same shape & dexterity of the child’s- no, every child’s mother; assuming that every child would prefer one of that shape & size, or on the flipside, based on a major assumption that that shape & size would be representing every woman’s I mean every mothers’ nipple, acceptable to every child that has one stuffed into his/her mouth.
But I digressed even before I started..
Like a moth to the flame; ok let’s not be metaphorical. Like Daddee to chocolates / cheesecakes / pasta / medium-done steaks / PS2, Caitlin, presumably like all toddlers, has been needing the pacifier to pacify her during dire situations that need pacifying- usually around sleep time, which includes both daytime naps & night time sleeping. In the world of a toddler, regardless of how tired the child is, apparently the act of falling asleep is actually a dire situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for pacifying a human when the need arises; baby or otherwise. I can even remember when Caitlin was born that I was keen to get her some offbeat pacifiers since seeing them on the market. But it was something threatening that Mummee said to me which I can’t remember, that also made me forget the whole idea.
Anyway, I did recall reading that the pacifier actually does reduce a child’s blood pressure thereby soothing him/her fairly close to instantaneously. It did do the trick of putting baby to sleep quicksmart. I can see why it can be addictive; after all, isnt’ relaxation one of the reasons people get hooked on certain substances?
Anyway, back to the point…
It’s been just under a week now that Caitlin has managed to sleep without her pacifier.
Mummee and Daddee’s style has been that we’d let Caitlin know our intentions of anything upfront. If we were going out with her, we’d ask her to prepare for getting ready after her lunch, etc, & when the time comes she’d oblige willingly. If we had plans to go out without her, we’d tell her first & manage her protests. Most times after some verbal pacifying she’d accept it, find some distractions (Lego, Bear in the Big Blue House, etc) & wait patiently for us. For me, there is nothing worse than losing her trust by dissappearing on her.
So it was with the plan on weaning her off the pacifier. Upfront we told her that we’d like her to stop her addiction, kick the habit. The first few times she protested as expected. I can’t recall the specifics of how I managed, but one of the “ways” was that she was so dead tired that she just dozed off in the middle of her protesting!
That only added to my arsenal of persuasion. As I have mentioned before about the benefits of positive reinforcements, I had used this experience to remind / highlight back to her that she didn’t need the pacifier the last (few) times she slept. I would harp on this “success” & achievement with praises.
But for Caitlin & this Daddee, what really reinforced it was highlighting the other achievements. I would remind her that she’s already achieved so many things so far. I would run through a list of these with her, and then stress that this kicking of pacifier habit would be yet another achievement to the list..
“Caitlin can already count from 1 – 10…”
“And Caitlin can cont 1-10 in English, Malay, & Mandarin!”
“And, Caitlin can already kick & swim in the pool; swim from one ladder to the other ladder on the other side, ALL by herself!”
“Yah! Kick kick kick….”
“Yah! And Caitlin can already feed herself with the spoon!”
“And now, Caitlin can do ONE MORE thing already!” Index finger in the air. “Caitlin don’t need to sleep with the pacifier ANYMORE!”
“Yah! Caitlin is SOoo clever now!”
“That’s one more thing that Caitlin can already do on her own”
In the last 2 days, I can’t say I recall her asking for it anymore….
Now I am wondering what I am going to do with all these pretend nipples…
PS: This is not a paid post. I really did Google to find funny pacifiers to get Caitlin!