Saturday, April 4, 2009

Breaking a Habit

Things seem to have been busy here lately, which is why I haven't updated the blog in a week or so.  We're fully back into our normal groove after returning from Colorado.  However, we did decide to mix things up a bit by attempting to take Drew's pacifier away.  We got rid of Zach's shortly after he turned 1, so we figured we should do it with Drew, too.  With Zach it really was no big deal, and I wish I could say the same for Drew.  For a long time now, Drew has only had his pacifier at naptime and bedtime, so at least we're not trying to break an all-day habit.  However, our trip to Colorado sort of broke the rules, because he got to have his binky on the airplane and in the car going up to and coming down from the mountains- mostly for the altitude changes and for pressure relief in his ears.  I think having it outside of his crib possibly strengthened his attachment to it.  About a week and a half ago Zach, Drew, and I went in search of the perfect new "lovey" for Drew- something to sleep with and bond with that could replace the binky.  We picked a cute alligator that Zach and I named Bridget (after the alligator in the book Zack's Alligator).  I started giving that to Drew anytime he was in his crib, and I would also have Bridget sit with us while we read books and while I nursed Drew before bed, so as to strengthen the attachment.  I decided after Bridget was with us a week or so I would ditch the binky.  So, Tuesday night I put him to bed without it.  He sort of fussed a little bit, but not too much and not for too long, and then went to sleep.  Wow, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be, I thought.  Wednesday morning rolled around, and I put Drew down for his morning nap without the pacifier, and that did not go so well.  He was really upset.  I checked on him once, tucked Bridget under his arm, and walked out.  He continued to cry so sadly, and after another 5 to 10 minutes and some quick internet research on when to get rid of the pacifier, I caved.  No, I did not find any recommendations from the AAP or AAPD, but I found some random discussions from other moms that were all I needed to help me justify letting him have the binky for naps at least.  Of course the second he had that binky in his mouth he went right to sleep.  Then I had to figure out how I was going to explain this to Mike, who was very clear on his thoughts about the need to toss the binky at 1 year.  Easy for him to say, when he's not the one home all day listening to the crying.  Anyway, Wednesday night we kept to what we said and didn't give the binky.  Then we did the smart thing and got out of the house- Mike and I went to work out and we left Grandma Linda to deal with the crying baby and the directions of what to do if the crying kept up.  And I got my first taste of fatherhood- give "easy" directions, and then leave so I didn't have to be the one to follow through or listen to the sadness.  Linda did a great job- she had to go up once and give Drew Bridget and pat him a couple of times, but then he went to sleep.  Night #3 there was about 5 minutes of fussing, which was not bad.  Last night was night #4, and there was a bit more crying and standing up.  I went in two times and just laid Drew down and tucked Bridget into his arms, and after the second time he went right to sleep.  So, I think we're making progress.  It may seem weird that we're keeping it for naps but not for nighttime, but when Drew was really little and not sleeping well I did a lot of reading on babies and sleep, and what I read (and found to be true for Drew) was that babies can distinguish the difference between nighttime sleep and naptime sleep, and that they naturally do better with the nighttime sleeping.  So, I thought that it made sense to do the binky removal this way.  Lots of people have told me that their pediatricians and dentists have said to get rid of it by 2 years-old, so I've used that in my discussions with Mike, and I've made some headway, I think.  We've agreed not to go that long, but to pare it down to naptime for now, and in another month or two, we'll tackle that part, as well.  I think pacifiers are like drugs or any addiction- when you (or the baby, really) are on it, life is great, but breaking the habit, which has to happen, is hard to do!  As long as we're not like one mom who was part of one of the message boards I read in my research online that day- she said something about how she should have broken it earlier, but now her daughter was 6 and still was attached to it, and the mom was worried about the kids at school making fun of her.  Ummm, ya think?

Here are a couple of funny pictures from this past week.

Drew was having a little chocolate pudding after lunch.  I decided to give him a spoon and let him try it himself.  He's concentrating very hard.

Then he decided that it might taste really good to dip his crackers in his pudding.  Typical kid- always wanting to dip something!

And here's Zach after he got up from his nap.  He decided he didn't want pants on yet, but he did want his cowboy boots on.  In this picture he's really proud of the knots he tied in the string in his hand.  Please also notice the lovely necklace he made to go with his boxer-briefs and boots.  This first picture isn't a great one of Zach, but it gives a slightly better view of his unique outfit.

I'll try to post again tomorrow with pictures and results from Zach's and my race today.  I'm waiting for the results to be posted on the race's website.

1 comment:

zinncaulfield said...

That last photo will be good to show to a girlfriend of Zach's someday!