Have I ever told you how much I detest soothers? I find that they are a great tool early on in a child's life, but sometimes they just get out of control. I felt like my son's use of the soother was fast approaching that point so we have now been weening him off the soother. It is seriously taking us longer to ween him off the soother than it did to ween him off bottles and breastfeeding. I am not happy about that.
But in case some of you are in similar situations or find yourself in similar situations sometime down the road here is the path we took.
My son, bless him, is a very stubborn child, like super stubborn (I am sure he gets it from his dad). He also has a really bad temper and will throw amazing temper tantrums, which I know are from his dad's side because his paternal Grandmother told me his father was just like that. So at a very early age we used the soother to help him soothe himself back to sleep or so that he would stop using me as a soothing device. It was a great tool, but I had said I would cut him off the soother when he cut his first tooth. Seven teeth later we may finally be close to throwing out the soothers.
We (ok it may have been an I) decided that we would stop giving our son his soother during the day when he was up and about. He didn't need it, he was content if he didn't have it, so it wasn't a necessary situation for him to have to soother during the day. But try to lay that child down at nap time without it and it was like having a wrestling match. That and he would wake up and not just go back to sleep and we would have a very cranky child, so he was allowed his soother during naps and at bedtime.
Well last weekend we took away the soother at bedtime. I had a three day weekend and I knew I would need at least three days of not having to get up super early to be able to have the perserverence to ensure I did not cave in and give him the soother when he woke up in the middle of the night screaming for it.
So to bed he went on Friday night without his soother. He was so tired that night because it was after 8, an hour after his normal bedtime, that there was no fight in him when I put him to bed, he just laid down and was out in 5 minutes. I knew that was too easy. The night was very interrupted, he woke up twice before 1 and I went into his room and rocked him back to sleep san soother. He did it again at about 2 and I knew that I could get up and rock him back to sleep but that would teach him nothing so I laid in bed for 45 minutes while Adrian snored and Little man cried. He fell back asleep and did not wake up until after 6. But we did make it through the night without a soother, that was a win in my book.
When I tried to put him down on Saturday for a nap, it was like world war three. He threw a massive temper tantrum and did not settle down even after an hour of crying. So I decided that I would fight the night time battle but not the war and gave him his soother. I figured it would be better to break him of his soother habit at night and let him nap properly during the day. Saturday night Little Man went down to bed with no fight and only woke up once at 4 and cried himself back to sleep. Score two for the parents getting rid of the soother!!!
Sunday night we repeated this pattern and he only work up at 5 in the morning and came and slept with us for 45 more minutes before we all got up for work. And now tonight we are working on our 4th night without a soother and there was no tantrum when we laid him down into his crib. He was awake for 30 minutes talking in his crib but no crying or whining for a soother, so I think we have one more battle and then we will be done with the soother war of 2011.