View Full Version : Anybody ever been successful weaning babe from paci?
08-20-2004, 02:10 PM
OK, my DS is the most wonderful baby in the world. He never cries unless he is tired, he is a smiley, happy, chubby little lad. But, he is the king of night-wakings. Somebody's got to have more night-wakings than everyone else, and for now, its him. We have some definate sleep associations, including swaddling (still, at 5mo and 21lb), walking him, and his paci. He will not nurse to sleep, which I guess I should be glad for. He spits the paci out once he's asleep.
He naps for a hour, about 3-4 times a day, can't be up for more than 2hrs without turning into Prime Minister Cranky-Pants. We are OK with the nap thing, its easy to tell when he is tired, and I think he'll gradually be able to go longer, and hence, no tired signs after 2hrs or so.
But the nights are a bit tiresome. He goes down between 7 and 8 for "terminal nap" as DH calls it. He generally wakes every hour to two hours from then until 6 or 7 am. I nurse him about every 2-3hrs, if I try more frequently, he gets offended, and wakes up more. I am convinced some of the wakings are his sleep lightening, and him having nothing to suck on to go back to sleep. Often, a pacifier re-installation is all that is needed, along with a hug and kiss.
I have considered weaning him from the paci, using the Pantley technique (pull it out as he is just falling asleep, then gradually earlier), which I think will take a few weeks. Anyone done this? Or just extinction, just take it away, and get ready to walk with him all night long for a few nights? He is also a mess when unswaddled, wakes up every 20-30 min or so. I'd like to stop that sometime soon, too. It doesn't seem to matter if he's in bed with us, or in his crib in our room.
Any experience to share?
08-20-2004, 03:27 PM
I wish I had some words of wisdom and great techniques to share, but I don't. DD is just a little older than your DS and I can relate to a lot of what you were saying. (I love "Prime Minister Cranky-Pants" and think that he and Little Miss Fuss Fuss would get along royally!) DD still sleeps with her binky and will sometimes spit it out after she falls asleep. A recent development (within the last week or so) for her has been that she'll see her binky in the crib near her and put it back in her mouth herself. If you can't break him from the binky habit, at least you might be getting close to his being able to re-paci himself. I'm hoping someone else has a BTDT story!
08-20-2004, 08:53 PM
My DD was right about your son's age when she figured out how to put her pacifier back in by herself. What a glorious day that was! I don't know if you want to wean from the paci whether it helps the night wakings or not, but I just wanted to throw that info. in, in case you decide to keep the paci for a while. After she learned to get it to her mouth by herself, her night wakings decreased. She still woke to nurse, but also could resettle herself with her paci when she was not hungry. She's 18 months old, and still sleeps with a pacifier. She only gets it in her crib (and will toss it back in there if we mistakenly get her up while she still has it in her hand or mouth). At some point, if she does not give it up on her own, we will gently encourage her to stop using it. For the time being, though, it's not a problem. Anyway, just my $0.02! Good luck with whatever you choose to try!
08-20-2004, 09:00 PM
Um, Sophie's 20m and she still uses a paci. I think she was about 6m when she figured out how to put it back in by herself.
I thought about trying to take it from her, but with Amelia coming, I think she's really going to depend on it to self soothe.
I honestly think that 5m is pretty early. Why are you in such a rush?
08-20-2004, 10:22 PM
Personally, I worship the almighty binky! My dd is moving in quickly on 1 year and I still let her have it in her crib. She finds it comforting and goes to sleep easily when she has it. I don't see the harm. She is not walking around all day with it stuck in her mouth.
I am no rush to get rid of it! I lets me sleep too!
08-20-2004, 10:56 PM
My babe gave hers up on her own at 8 months, and I missed it greatly. Babies need to suck; personally, I see no harm in letting them.
Mom to Abigail Rose
"When you know better, you do better."
http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_sapphire_24m.gif Two years and counting!
08-20-2004, 11:37 PM
My DS weaned himself from the paci at 3 mos. and honestly, I would have paid big bucks for him to hang on to his paci and do what your DS is doing. :) When he would wake at night (every hour or so like your DS) NOTHING would help him go back to sleep. If I could have put a paci in his mouth and have him go back to sleep, I would have been one happy camper!
I don't want to minimize your situation- It doesn't sound like any fun at all, and I'm sure you must be exhausted having to wake up every hour! I can totally empathize with your need to get more sleep at night, but there is the chance that removing the swaddling and paci might make things worse rather than better. By five months, Colin was without any of the classic sleep associations that many experts say cause problems, and he still had a horrible time staying asleep. I would hate for you to end up in a situation that's even worse than the one you're in now!
Have you tried putting a half dozen or so paci's in his crib to see if he can learn to put them back in on his own? (I can't remember if I read that in Pantly's book or somewhere else....) But the idea is that if there are enough paci's in the crib, he'll be able to find one and put himself back to sleep.
I wish there were an easy answer to this one!
08-21-2004, 12:00 AM
Our DS is a paci addict and am trying to get rid of it. It seems like an easy fix when they can find it themselves, although he still wakes up at night not finding it (even when there are 2 in the crib), and I end up getting it for him. Personally, I wish I had done something sooner. Our pedi wants us to try to wean him off it, although his partner said it was ok at night. There are probably various opinions on this as anything else so you may have to end up doing what feels best to you.
Another thing that annoys me is the constant washing of the paci. I have relaxed my standards now, not washing it every single time it lands on the floor...dh's two second rule. LOL. Though, at daycare i worry that he is going to be sucking some other baby's binky.
Has anyone had luck getting rid of it?
08-21-2004, 12:04 AM
Its not that I mind him having the paci, in fact, I dont' mind at all, its just that it seems unfair that we swaddle him, then he can't get the paci back in by himself when he wakes. He can get it in and out when awake, he likes teething on the hard plastic part these days, which is super cute. I just wish he could somehow get it back in . So, I guess if we wanted to work on something, I could try leaving one arm out of the Miracle Blanket, so he could get the paci back in, or his thumb, fingers, whatever. The more I read about child-led weaning and the need for comfort in the preschool years, the more I think this bias against pacis and thumb-sucking is more of the "trying to make your baby independent" business, which I personally am not a fan of. He'll be independent soon enough. Guess I just feel bad for the little guy, and a bit tired. I just thought that weaning from the paci would help him get back to sleep without fussing, I feel bad about the fussing, like the swaddle/paci combo is making him unable to soothe himself, yet I feel we can't stop either one! Oh well, thanks for the support ladies, as always! I'm sure he won't be waking up every hour until he goes to college, and we'd need a pretty big Miracle Blanket to swaddle him in junior high, so I'm sure that will fix itself as well.
08-21-2004, 12:08 AM
I remember being in the same situation with DS at about 4 months, and the doctor suggested we just take the paci away cold turkey. We didn't have the heart to do it. A lot of it is a blur, but fortunately, DS figured out how to put his paci back in himself, maybe around 5-6 months. We put a lot of pacies in bed with him to assist him in finding them. If you can hang in there a bit longer, your DS will probably be able to re-paci himself on his own pretty soon.
DS is 29 months and still uses his paci in bed. He hasn't had his first dental visit yet, so no one has told me a good reason why I should take it away from him.
Wish I could help you with the swaddling. From the get-go, neither of my boys had much tolerance for swaddling.
08-21-2004, 12:16 AM
We stopped swaddling DD's arms when she figured out how to roll over from her back to her tummy. It took her forever for her to figure out how to roll back the other way, so it just seemed mean to let her get stuck on her tummy without even her hands to help her get comfy. I digress...anyway, one day we kept both arms out of the swaddle but still swaddled her lower body. She did fine - it was a teeny bit rocky, but her sleep was a little rocky at the time anyway so it was hard to tell what was normal for her and what was b/c of the change in swaddling. I thought it would be really tough and it definitely wasn't. You might try leaving his arms out and seeing how he does. It might not be that bad. Good luck!
08-21-2004, 12:19 AM
DD has her paci constantly. I do take it out when we play with her, but if we're eating dinner or are busy, we plug it in.
She nurses to sleep, and I usually have to plug the paci in when she is falling asleep after being put in her crib. She goes right to bed and doesn't usually "wake up" for 8-10 hours.
I'd try to nurse your son less and try to rock/comfort him more. Our ped suggested waiting just 10 minutes before feeding DD when she would wake at night. Just to send her the message that nighttime is for sleeping and not for eating. Certainly feed on demand, but I don't think he needs to eat every 2 hours during the night for nutrition.
I know that when DD's teeth start coming in, we won't be able to nurse her to sleep anymore. Or at least we would have to wipe her teeth down to get rid of the milk.
My friend's baby is 15 months now and she started weaning her daughter of the paci at around 9 months. She'd just let her have it for naps and sleeping. I think at that age they're more active and able to distract themselves easier. Right now at 4-6 months, the only thing they really have is the pacifier.
08-21-2004, 12:32 AM
Have you tried swaddling with his arms out? He's old enough to have lost the Moro reflex (the one where they startle and throw their arms out swatting themselves simultaneously).
Sophie honestly hated having her arms in. It also helps with them learning to roll over.
08-31-2004, 09:51 AM
I'm just wondering if you tried Pantley's technique and how it worked for you. We have gotten to this point with our 4 month old. He wakes every 2 hours, but is only hungry every 4 hours now. It takes about 20 minutes of re-inserting the paci to get him back to sleep. He'll almost be there and then lose it, so we have to try again. I'm usually good at it at the 9PM waking, but it's so much harder at 1AM! I'd love for him to be able to get back to sleep without it.
We don't swaddle his arms, but he's not yet able to put the paci in by himself, so that doesn't help us.
Please let me know what you did.
08-31-2004, 11:44 AM
Around 5-6 months, Leela learnt to find the paci and put it in her mouth using her mouth.. she kind of wiggled towards it (arms in miracle blanket, arms out did not work for us) and then directed her mouth towards it and then kind of lunged forward.... but several times it was too far out of reach and we had to get it for her. Then again, we put two pillows on either side of her when she is swaddled, so the binky cannot go that very far.
Now, Leela is only miracled for day-naps, at night she sleeps unswaddled.
I am now trying to give her the binky only when she is in the crib or if she seems upset or frustrated... before, it used to be lying around and she used to pop it back in whenever she felt like... my parents, being 'old school' said that this was preventing her from babbling.. i did not believe it but did not want to argue.. but strangely, she has started babbling more and more..
..good luck girlie.. i know how tough those night wakings are.
08-31-2004, 05:20 PM
Okay, we are one of the few parents I know who managed to wean their DD off the paci... though all the credit goes to DH. The bad news is, it took us three tries. The first two lasted three days (I think we tried at four and five months)-- the last one also lasted three days (at seven months), but then it worked. Our DD was exactly like your son-- basically a very happy baby who only needed her paci to sleep. But she always used it to fall asleep and would cry if she didn't have it.
At around six months, she started to do exactly what you describe-- wake every hour or two and cry for her paci. It exhausted us. Some people suggested the multiple pacifier method-- throw a bunch in the crib and hope they can self re-insert, but that never worked for us.
(We also swaddled her and stopped that around the age your son is now. Unswaddling was easier.)
This is what we did: remove the swaddling or paci from the best naps (i.e., the ones at which your child falls asleep the easiest) first. For us, this meant first removing it from the morning nap. We would spend a little more time sitting with her, patting her on the back, etc. initially. She cried, though the duration of the cry was shorter each day. The first two tries I just couldn't stand her crying anymore after a few days, even though the crying was getting less and less, so I gave up.
When the child is ok with removing the swaddling or pacifier from the naps, then you try the "terminal nap." That one is the hardest.
For the first couple of days, the baby looks tired during the day because he or she has to readjust. On the third try, our DD was totally adjusted to life without a pacifier after a week. Now our DD falls asleep without her pacifier and sleeps through the night and has almost every night since she was 9 months old. And she's still a very happy and active baby.
The Pantley technique didn't work for us. It just made DD angrier. So we had to go with extinction.
Good luck! HTH
08-31-2004, 05:32 PM
Sounds like a reasonable plan. We had some weirdness in his sleeping habits last week, but seem to have the regular guy back now. Like your DD, his morning nap is pretty easy on him - 2 or 3 minutes to fall asleep. I'll start there tomorrow and see what happens.
We tried unswaddling a few weeks ago, but he didn't sleep as well as he did swaddled. We only go waist down. He doesn't roll over yet, so it doesn't seem to bother him at all. I think I'll keep the swaddle and work on the paci first. Then, we'll think about the swaddle.
I did try the Pantley method today. But, I couldn't "gently" remove the paci. He would almost be asleep, but sucking super hard! Even once he was completely asleep, he had a death grip suck on it.
Thanks for your ideas.
ETA: How many days did you go before eliminating the paci from another nap? Or, did you wait until she had no problems with nap #1?
09-02-2004, 01:55 PM
Usually the first day it would be only the first nap. Then on the second day, it would be the first and second naps. She'd still fuss at the first nap, but not for very long. We'd let that run for a while-- maybe two additional days-- then we'd try the evening nap.
When I think back on it, during the first two tries, I think DD wasn't quite ready to give up her pacifier. She had that "need to suck" they talk about-- and yet, she wouldn't suck on the breast (our LC diagnosed "weak suck" though this certainly didn't seem to be the case with the paci!). At seven months, she was able to comfort herself more-- she'd make sucking motions as she fell asleep, even though there was no pacifier there.
The strange thing is that she's not really sucking her fingers. Every now and then I'll see her with one of them in her mouth, but she doesn't do it to comfort herself.
Good luck with this. When DH and I talked about this, we agreed that in the end it worked out well. The pacifier had really helped us those first few months, and we were glad we weaned her when he did. But I have to say that if he hadn't had the courage to try and try again, I would have faltered. I hope you have to go through less crying than we did.
Let me know how it goes.
10-11-2004, 10:34 AM
I thought I'd just let you know that we were successful with eliminating the pacifier. We did it about 5 weeks ago and it's great now. We ended up going cold turkey because when we tried just one nap, he did okay, but then was super possesive of it when he got it back later. We had 3 tough days/nights with a lot of rocking and nursing to sleep. He cried, but not too much. Then, for another couple of weeks, he woke up more often to use me as a pacifier. That started to decrease on its own. Now, he's found his 2 middle fingers on his left hand, and that comforts him.
We are very happy we did this. The night before we started, we got up to put it back 14 times! This was in addition to feeding him. He is much happier now, too, since he sleeps for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Another plus is that driving is much easier. Before, I was always pulling over to replace the pacifier. Now, he just relaxes and goes to sleep. Overall, it was worth a couple of hard days/nights to get here.
Thanks for your help.
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