Lucas has been dependent on a pacifier since he was a baby. You’re probably wondering why. Well you see, we needed to.
I gave birth to Lucas three weeks earlier than the expected time. He was delivered through Cesarean Section because the doctor suspected coil cord. She was right. He was distressed and even pooped before I delivered him. He had to stay for a week in a neonatal intensive care unit. It was a difficult first week for me as a mom.
When we finally brought him home, I had another worrisome experience. My one week old boy vomited all the milk he just drank. What bothered me was the way he vomited. It was at an angle like when you squeeze a rubber water toy, Later we found out that he was experiencing reflux because his stomach was underdeveloped. The only way to avoid it from happening is to feed him frequently in small amounts. Now infants’ primitive need is oral gratification. This is when we needed to introduce the pacifier to him.
His reflux was gone by his third month. During this time, the pacifier has become his binky. He could only fall asleep when he has his pacifier in his mouth. Doc Vienne said it was still ok for him to use it. Two years after, we haven’t weaned him from using it. Until his pedia told us that we should.
We had two options: the Slowly-but-Surely way or the abrupt K-Tnx-Bye way (method names were coined by yours truly).
We tried the first option. We said we’ll only give the pacifier to him at night so he can fall asleep. Seven months later, we still can’t get him to wean from the pacifier. Every time we tried to hide the pacifier from him at night, he would cry non-stop. Nakakaawa na. There was one time I tried to be stern about not giving his pacifier. Middle of the night, I gave in. The following day, sinipon (he had colds). I felt so guilty, I let him use the pacifier all day. Ugh.
Until one day, Mama noticed that his two front teeth were protruding. She said it could be caused by the pacifier. Images of my handsome little boy being teased because he’s bucktooth flashed my mind. I cannot allow that. Besides, Lucas is getting older already. Mike and I were talking about it and we knew we had to do the K-Tnx-Bye method. It’s the abrupt withdrawal of the pacifier. It’s not pleasant. It takes strong will. It’s going to be messy.
Me: Lezdodis! Kelan natin sisimulan. (When will we start?)
Mike: Ngayon. (Today)
So that night Mike, Yaya and I made a pact that we will not bend and give in no matter how much crying the Little Jedi will make. We.Need.To.Do.It. I prepared Lucas by telling him the whole day that he will no longer be using the pacifier because he’s already a big boy. At 8PM, the pacifier was gone.
Oh it was heartbreaking.
Lucas was crying really, really hard for seven hours straight. His cries went from cries of frustration, to anger, to begging, to whimpers. Right around the time when he was doing the begging cries, I wanted to stand up and get his pacifier but I told myself, if I give in now, we’ll just do this all over again some other time. It was about 3am when his whimpers turned into quiet sobs. His eyes were puffy and his voice was hoarse. I went outside to give him a glass of water and I guess all that crying made him really thirsty. I never felt so horrible as a mom. We wasn’t shouting anymore but he was still wide awake. My heart broke for every tear he shed that night. Deep inside, I was crying too. He finally fell asleep at around 4AM. So did the rest of the household.
One week has gone and Lucas has been sleeping without the pacifier anymore. He only asked for it the day after the grueling night but that was it. We never gave his pacifier to him anymore. He doesn’t look for it now, thank goodness. I feel so proud of my son. It was a tough night for us but we overcame it together.
Moms, if you are trying to wean your kids from binkies or the bottle, here are some tips for you:
- Set a goal. Understand why you need to do it and have it as your mindset.
- Choose whether to wean slowly or abruptly
- Do not give in to cries. Based on my story this is easier said than done but remember your goals.
- Remember that you’re not doing this to hurt your child. Let your love be your strength, not your weakness. During those times when I wanted to give in to the cries, I told myself, I don’t want Lucas to undergo this ordeal again.
- Keep your stand. A no is a no. Even if the person closest to you (your husband) will tell you otherwise.
- Outta sight, outta mind. Keep the binky or the bottle away. You will only make it more difficult for your child if he still sees it. I asked Yaya to keep it and now even I don’t know where it is. Hehe.
Don’t worry, mom. It’s not going to be easy but you can do it. Besides, the fruit of all those tears will be all worth it.