I told you a few weeks ago that the giving up of the paci was imminent. So, almost 2 weeks ago, we did it. I wish I had thought to take a few pictures, but I did not, so you’ll have to use your imagination a bit on this one.
When it was getting close to bedtime, I informed Jayce that he wasn’t going to be able to take his paci to bed that night, that his paci was broken and we were going to have to throw it away. I had thought that this little preparatory talk might help things, but he also might ignore me and just keep playing, but it actually stopped him in his tracks, his little sad lip came out and he came over to me for a hug.
Since it seemed like he did actually know what I was talking about, I decided to just get rid of it then and get the process going. I went and got his paci, clipped the end off and brought it into the room to show him.
Me: “Look, it’s broken.”
Jayce: “Mo-om, fix?”
Me: “Nope, I can’t fix it, it’s broken. We’re going to have to throw it away.”
Jayce: “Blue paci?” (He had 2 pacis, this was the white one.)
Me: “No, the blue paci is broken too.”
Then this happened.
The sad, sad lip and eyes full of tears. Genuine sadness. He came over to me for a hug and buried his head into my shoulder. I snuggled with him and told him that it would be okay, but that the paci was going to have to be thrown away. I tried to get him to throw it away himself, but he refused, only giving it back to me and then keeping his head on my shoulder.
That night, it took him a while to fall asleep, but he never brought up his paci at all. I guess he understood the whole concept of it being broken and gone. But it did take him a while to get himself settled down and to fall asleep. It was much like when we were first doing the sleep training with him, the whole “crying it out” to get him to be able to fall asleep by himself in his crib. Now he just needed to figure out a way to get himself settled enough to fall asleep.
I had not anticipated him responding like this at all! I kind of thought that he would throw a bit of a fit when he couldn’t have it, and sit in his bed and call for it, the way he used to when he would accidentally lose his paci when he was still awake. He almost responded as if I had told him that his friend had died or something. Even though that sounds pretty dramatic, I guess that from his perspective it kind of was like that. It was the thing that comforted him when he was sad, and soothed him into sleep every day and night. No wonder he didn’t want to throw it away!
But the whole sleep thing is getting better. As we had anticipated, it was better by the end of the week. It’s still not great, and the fact that it takes him longer to fall asleep at naptime and bedtime has pushed his time of waking up in the morning forward as well. We’re still getting adjusted, but we’ll get there eventually.