Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Doodle is completely addicted to soothers.
I know. He's 4. He should not have a soother. Trust me, we have been saying that since he turned 2. The problem is, he is completely addicted.
Doodle has had a soother since he was about 2 weeks old. We loved the soother. I, especially, loved the soother, since he always needed something in his mouth. When I went back to work (he was about 14 months) we didn't see the need to take the soother away. He was starting daycare and it was him comfort item. As a parent it's a lot easier to let your child go to daycare if you know there is something he loves.
When he was 2 he switched daycare, something just as emotional for me as for him, so there was no way we were going to wean him. Fast forward to turning 3 and we were on to more life changes - we'd just moved to a house and another daycare. We loved that soother. And on it went.
Someone suggested that we take the soother away at his fourth birthday. I couldn't do it. The thing is - he was getting a new baby. I figured that he needed it to comfort him. And, I didn't want him to relate the soother being taken with a new baby. And I didn't want him taking the baby's soother... And on the arguments went.
Until we realized that OUR CHILD IS 4 AND USES A SOOTHER.
I mean, it was constant.
So, Phat Daddy and I have put an end to this.
Here's the rule. The soother stays in the bed. We have an entire check mark behaviour reward system that goes along with it.
Doodle does always seem to want something in his mouth. We have replaced the soother with sugar free gum during the day. The child goes through as much gum as someone quitting smoking. Seriously. The kid is addicted.
Today in the van he said to me "I miss my soother". But, being the strong willed person I can be, I just said I was sorry, but he's 4.
The funny thing is, I think I'm having a harder time with him quitting than he is. I don't know why. Really, I think it's because I feel like I'm forcing him to give up something he really loves. And even though every part of me knows that he needs to give it up, for me it's hard. I hate taking it away from him. To me it seems like such a stupid thing to force him to give up. I mean, it's a soother. It's a piece of rubber and plastic that brings him comfort. 
Seriously. What is my problem?
So, we're fighting the good fight. We're being strict parents. And, for the most part he's okay with it. 
Want to know my secret? I usually keep one of his soothers on me in case of emergency. I feel better knowing it's in my purse. I stash it in there just in case something happens.
So far I haven't pulled it out. He's good. I'm good.
Who knew an addiction would be so hard to break?


Jenn said...

I think 4 isn't too much to be worried about, especially if you're already weaning him already.

I still had my soother when I was 6, but it was giving me speech problems because I didn't take it out to talk.

My parents got me off it by taking me for a week long visit to my grandparents house and "forgot" my soother at home. I remember it was traumatic for me the first couple days, and I cried for it. They made it fail proof by actually not bringing any, and my grandparents lived about an hour from any store that sold them. By the end of the week I didn't need it anymore, and pretty much forgot them. My mom says it was pretty hard for her, and that if she hadn't left them all at home, she'd have given in.

I think I turned out mostly sane. Mostly.

SciFi Dad said...

Wait until week two, when he gets the cold sweats and the shakes and the hallucinations... oh wait, that's cocaine, not pacifiers.

Seriously, though, you're doing the right thing. He'll be fine (although with the oral fixation he may end up with a toothpick in his mouth at all times, like Fonzie...)

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

The bunny is orally fixated as well and because we did take away her soother (a long time ago), she now bites her fingernails, to the point where they bleed.
I think you're doing the right thing--just stick to it!

AndreAnna said...

Charlotte, at 2, is completely addicted as well. But with new baby on the way, I just don't even see the point in the argument. Maybe when she's three we'll try.

In the meantime, I'm not concerned because I have never seen a kid start high school with one.

citygirl said...

Keep strong! My husband quit smoking after 20 years and WOW that was a challenge. It's hard to give up a habit, no matter what it is. He was used to going outside every hour so when the urge would arise, he'd find something to distract himself.

Steph said...

Can there be some sort of big brother passing on the soother to his baby sister rationalization with him?

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Good luck and stay strong!
We had my son pick a toy at the store that he really wanted and then he had to 'pay' for it with his soother. Worked like a charm. A day or two later, he wanted to take back Buzz Lightyear, but we told him that there was a no return policy and he got over it by the end of the week. He never really even had a big cry or anything.