Granted this was a message board from 2006, I googled how to get rid of the paci around 6 months and this is what I came up with. You can read the message board here.
In summary, I learned that cold turkey is the way to go. Now, let me preface by saying my Riley was never the huge paci addict that she could have been. We never even gave her one until she was about a week old. (I didn't want to, but gave in one night.) She only used it to fall asleep for naps sometimes and in the car to calm down... Well... it didn't really work in the car. (Remember, there are demons in her car seat that stab her. No, really. There must be.) That's another blog for another day. I just assumed today would be rough at nap time since she is used to getting her paci and blankie and laying down in her crib until she falls asleep. I was so wrong!
So- Riley = paci sometimes for naps and sometimes at night if daddy gave it to her. Now, she never really needed it to fall asleep, but we started giving it to her if she woke up from her naps to try to make them longer and that just seemed to start a vicious cycle. She's always been a fabulous night sleeper but a super cat napper (I'm talking 30-45 minutes tops. Occasionally we would get an hour or hour and a half but that was rare.) At night, she usually falls asleep after her bottle and is laid down. For some reason the last few nights, Daddy has put her down and he has given her the paci when she finished the bottle even if she was almost asleep. Not that he was doing anything wrong, I just didn't give it to her in that situation, so usually it was just a nap time thing. But anyway- the last few nights we have noticed her waking around 2am and then again around 5 or 6 wanting the paci to be put back in her mouth.
My child has NEVER woken in the middle of night after about 2 weeks of life and this was kicking my butt! (Yes, I am spoiled getting my sleep, but who cares... I didn't like getting up to put that dreaded thing back in her mouth!) And not to mention this meant she wasn't getting the best sleep either.
A lot of things I have been reading say that if a baby doesn't go to sleep sucking, they are less likely to wake with the desire to suck. I think this was proven today during nap time. Now don't let me toot my horn too much, because yes, this was only day 1 and it could be worse tomorrow, or it may not... But today- Riley napped for not one, not two, but THREE hours! (She also took a 1 hour nap this morning and about 30 minutes this evening also on her own.) But back to that beloved THREE hour nap... She woke up right around the 2 hour mark. I heard her squirming and headed to her room from the kitchen. Dude, my house is NOT that big. By the time I got outside of her door (maybe 15 seconds) she had already soothed herself back to sleep. At three hours, I finally went in and made a lot of noise to wake her because we had to get to the birthday party.
Granted, she used to be able to be laid in her crib and put herself right to sleep without a whimper, I did let her whimper (NOT CRY!) for about 10 minutes today. At the ten minute mark, she had put herself to sleep. The same tonight. I rocked her after her bottle, kissed her goodnight and laid her down. She moved around and made some grunting noises, but after 10 minutes she was sound asleep.
I thank God for this wonderful baby and I pray every day and night that he keeps her safe with me and healthy. I know not all babies are this easy, but I hope this works for someone else as it seems to have so far worked for me. Most ladies on the board say that this usually is good after the first 24 hours. About 8 hours to go when we hit that 24 hour mark. Hopefully if she wakes tonight she will fall right back asleep like she did during the nap.
This may make for a slightly fussier baby for a couple of days around nap time, but I think after at least a couple of days she wont even remember what a paci was and she will be perfectly content! I am hoping we don't have to give it back and by the time we head to Vegas she is completely over it and fuss free with a thumb or without. Say a prayer for us as we bark on this first weaning stage of her life!
And really- check out the link I posted if you need more details. I really suggest cold turkey if you plan to do it at this age. Many moms love the paci. "It's easier to take away than a thumb." I am totally OK if that is your way! I don't judge. This is just my opinion and I don't have to find her thumb for her in the middle of the night, in the car or on a trip... So far so good.
~let go laughing!