Night after night, Noah would stand up after we put him to bed, throw his pacifier out of his crib, and then scream until one of us went upstairs and gave it back to him. We haven't played the pacifier game since we did away with the swaddle several months ago. The other night, he was falling asleep on us and obviously very tired at his bedtime, but he still refused to sleep and threw his pacifier on the ground one last time. That was it.
We (at daycare and at home) have been leaving the pacifier behind for playtime and using it for extra fussiness and sleep, but now we are done. Last night went as expected (or better) - he cried for 30 minutes straight and I went in to try to console and comfort him, tried soothing him with his wonderful Mickey Mouse lovey (matching one we gave to Piper on our visit in March), rubbed his back, then had to leave. Within 10 minutes, he was asleep! AMAZING! Well, not amazing, but seriously way better than I expected.
The sad part came at 5:15 when he woke up and started looking around his crib for the missing pacifier. Instead, he simply cried and woke me up earlier than I like! We normal follow the rules set out by Dr. Weissbluth in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and try to let him wait until 6 am so that he knows when he should be awake. But, I decided to pick my battles and this one was enough.
Day 1 - No pacifier:
Apparently at day care, he kept trying to steal the other babies pacifiers. Oops. That may be the funniest thing I've heard of him doing, though I'm sure he stressed out the 'teachers.' We've been working really hard to get him on a good nap routine, and coordinating with workers taking care of several other children can be rough, but lately things had been going fairly well. Today, however, they were very apologetic saying he wouldn't nap. I walked in much earlier than usual, around noon, in hopes that I could get him home for a nap, and saw him nursing a bottle and falling asleep. I think the teachers would have been okay with him falling asleep with a bottle - I, however, don't want that AT ALL. That's just another habit to have to break. No more! Okay, okay, we'll probably have to break the blanket/lovey habit one day, but that seems less awful than the pacifier.
I brought him home, gave him a few good hugs, then set him down in his crib. In under 10 minutes of fussing, he fell sound asleep for about an hour and a half (anything over 45 minutes is a good nap in our eyes) while I relaxed, ate lunch, and watched Grey's Anatomy reruns on Lifetime.
Still no pacifier all afternoon, though he found anything he could to gnaw on: phones, remotes, toys, puzzle pieces, etc... Of course, I remember reading/hearing somewhere that for the first few years, babies experience the world through their mouths. I guess I'll just need to take stock in 7th Generation natural cleaning supplies...
As for bedtime tonight, we went through our regular bedtime routine, gave him lots of love, then Adam read him Goodnight Moon and said goodnight (I ran to the gym to avoid the inevitable crying) and after a little fussing and no major wailing for about 20 minutes, he fell asleep! Wayyyy better than expected.
Here's to hoping he sleeps (or lets me sleep) until at least 6 am tomorrow...
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