Help Wanted

I need your help.  I need you to leave comments because this time and this time only I am in need of parenting advice from total strangers (or non-strangers from those friends and family who read.  Hi!). 

I am looking to get rid of Eirinn’s soother.  For good.  She doesn’t have it all the time, but would if I’d let her.  I don’t mind her having it during sleep times; at night and during her nap, but I’d really like to break her of it during the day and I don’t think you can have one without the other.  I’m having visions of a five year old Tornado Eirinn wandering around Zellers with a ‘sooder’ hanging out of her face, sucking on it like Maggie Simpson.  I’ve seen kids like that.  They’re usually the ones wearing an adult sized diaper and a bottle full of Gaterade under their arm.  I don’t want Eirinn to turn out like that.  We’re going to tackle the diaper during Christmas vacation, but I was hoping that we could say sayo nara to sooder before then.

For a couple weeks, I’ve been laying subtle hints to her that soothers are for babies and she’s not a baby, she’s a big girl.  But she doesn’t seem to care.  Being a baby sounds pretty cool to her.  I’ve also pointed out that her friends at daycare don’t have soothers because they’re big kids and doesn’t she want to be a big kid?  Apparently, no thank you.  She’ll stick with the baby deal for now.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m still a soother fan; which, in Parenting Land, is like admitting to feeding your child chocolate covered mothballs for breakfast.  But I’ll admit it.  My name is Jen and I willingly encouraged my daughter to take a soother.  Not only will I admit that, I will also confess that I have every intention to offer it to any subsequent children.  It has on countless occasions calmed her, which has often been a difficult task, and allowed her to fall asleep.  It has done it’s job soothing her.  And I haven’t witnessed any of it’s “well documented” evil-doings; no speech delays or impediments, no misaligned teeth, only one ear infection in her life.  It has, quite honestly, been a lifesaver for me.  But everything has it’s time and place and I’m pretty sure the soother has reached it’s expiry date.  I think she’s old enough to learn how to sooth herself and how to fall asleep without the aid of a pacifier.

She also still gets a bottle before nap and bed, but I’m not ready to give those up for a very practical reason – she still isn’t eating a well-rounded diet (not for lack of my incessant trying) and needs those two servings of milk.  She also has inherited some of my anal-retentiveness and will only drink milk from a bottle and water from a cup.  No Milk Shall Be Consumed If Presented In A Cup.  So, for now, bottles stay.

Like I said, I need your help.  I need gentle, creative, effective ideas for easing the soother out of all of our lives.  Also, please leave any of your own soother stories, so I know we’re not alone.

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7 Responses to “Help Wanted”


  1. 1 Colleen September 19, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Since my son is only 6.5 months old, I have not yet considered getting rid of it. But here are a few tips I have heard on the street:

    1) Go cold turkey. Erase them from your lives and live with the few (hopefully not too many) days of pain of going to sleep without a soother. My friend has currently frozen all the soothers from their house in a tupperware container full of ice, just so she won’t break down and use them.

    2) Cut a tiny hole in the end of the soother, then it isn’t as fun to use. Make the hole bigger and bigger

    3) Cut a small piece off the soother, and slowly cut more off until there isn’t anything left

    Eirinn may be a little too young for these:

    4)Get her to give the soothers to a little baby, so they can use them. Again, reinforcing she is a big girl

    5) Put the soothers under her pillow for the soother fairy, or I have heard of tying them in the tree.

    6) Get Eirinn to participate in throwing them in the garbage and then seeing the garbage truck take them away.

    Let us know how it goes. I will be there in a year or so.

  2. 2 Nancy September 19, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with Colleen on points 2 & 3. My friends have done this with great success.

    Our dog would eat the tips off off the soothers constantly and we were always buying new ones. So one day my daughter was looking for one and we didn’t have any available and we told her that the dog ate the last one. After a few days she was all set.

    Do you have a dog you can blame it on 🙂

  3. 3 Stefanie Thrasher September 19, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Aleah had her sous full time until she was one and then at one she only had it for nap time, bedtime and long car rides. When I got her out of her crib, I would have her throw the sous back in the crib and we’d say “see you tonight!”. Same with when we got out of the car, I’d say “see you next car ride” and then leave it in the car. Then a year and a half later (yes she had it until she was 2 1/2 she went for a holiday at Gramma’s house and Mommy “forgot” to pack her sous. Oddly enough when she came home she didn’t even ask for it. With that being said, she did have a rough time getting to sleep at night but she eventually just worked her way out of it. So I guess my suggestions would be to first have your mom take it away during the day so she know she doesn’t have it at daycare and then just sort of wean her off of it if you are okay with her still having it at night time. Another thing I heard to do is to get some helium balloons and tie the sous the the strings and have her let it go. “Bye Sousie, you are going to the sousie fairies!” Not sure if Eirinn is too young for that or not.

  4. 4 Laura September 20, 2007 at 8:47 am

    I definately think there’s a time to get your daughter to give up her soother but I’m wondering why you feel like trying now. She’s still so young!! My daughter was born March 31, 2006 so she’s right around the same age. She still has her “sou sou” when she goes into her bed, if we’re in the car on longer trips (only if we feel she needs it) and on just bad days. I still feel like it’s a life saver sometimes so haven’t chosen to try to give it up yet. I think if she’s three and still is using it, there’s an issue but she’s so little still!!! When I do try to give it up, I’ll likely do the balloon ceremony with her but she’s definately too young to understand. They can’t even rationalize at this age!!

    Anyway, that’s my two sense. I don’t think you should worry about the soother yet.

    Laura

  5. 5 jlod September 20, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for the comments! So many interesting ideas. I had never thought of cutting the soother to make it nasty for her, or to do any sort of funeral service/balloon ceremony. Good ideas!

    Laura, I know she’s still young. Maybe I am getting panicky for no reason and a little ahead of myself. I’m just dreaming of the day when I’m not being woken up at night when it falls out of the crib and I have to re-insert, or when it’s not ANOTHER piece of equipment that has to be remembered when leaving the house, or I’m not constantly rinsing it when she drops it on the ground or dirty store floors. But maybe you’re right and I should just let her enjoy it until she’s old enough to barter with.

  6. 6 Poppy September 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Came over from Carly’s place…

    How we broke the Peach was by first having her leave her passy in bed after nap time and when she awoke in the a.m. She wasn’t at all keen on the idea at first but then she began to lay it on her pillow, then she added covering it up with a receiving blanket and then hiding it under her pillow. It was kind of funny the rituals she began going through with it.

    After quite a few months of only in the bed use we decided we were only delaying the inevitable, so we took it and tossed in it the garbage. So did her parents.

    Let me tell you the first 2 or 3 days were not pretty. She cried, she screamed, she begged but then it was over. The update I wrote to that post was the last time the passy was ever cried over. She did ask about it a time or two but never had a meltdown over it.

    She was almost 2 and a half when it was gone forever. It took a bit to get her parents on board and if they weren’t going to be doing it at their place there wasn’t much point in us doing it at our place. I’m also glad she was older because we could really talk to her about it and knew she understood that it was time and not just something we were doing to make her miserable.

    Good luck with your little one however you go about it. Just know the rough patch truly only lasts a few days…IF you can steel yourself and not give in 😉


  1. 1 Help no longer needed (for now) « Trackback on September 22, 2007 at 10:22 am

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