Pacifiers are a gift and a curse. Especially in my house. A gift in the sense that It helps children soothe themselves and a curse in the sense that they get so attached that it is hard to break the habit!
That was the case for Jamison.
He loves his pacifier, or as he would call it his "Nani". That thing went everywhere with him. Bedtime, snack time, play time, school time, car time. If we didn't have his Nani, we could expect an epic meltdown. I never thought I would be able to get him off of it.
Bexley never really liked her pacifier, maybe it is because we co-slept and she practically used my boob as a soother... that is probably why she was in hour bed for 15 months before she could sleep in her own crib. Jamison was in his crib by 4 months and it was great to have my bed back all to myself. He used his Nani to help him sleep at night so it didn't bother me.
Fast forward to recently. Jamison will be three this August and I knew that I needed him to be a big boy and let go of his precious Nani. But with Jamison, I had to make him think it is his idea. So I did a very slow progression for Nani all day to Nani no day.
After Jamison turned one, I limited his Nani usage from all day every day to strictly night time and nap time. How I did that, simple. I kept saying to Jamison over and over that "Nani is for night night". Eventually he would remember that and when he would go to bed he would say "Mommy, Nani is for night night."
Now he is two and a half, in a big boy bed and stuck in quarantine with dear old mommy who is stubborn as hell. I made it my mission to get Jamison off of his Nani. I looked up so many articles on how other mothers did it and tried it. Clipped the tip to do a slow wean, that didn't work. Toss it out in front of him, he practically attacked me. So, I backed off for a minute to get a new game plan.
Then it happened: he pissed me off. That sounds harsh but toddlers can be assholes. It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was putting Jamison down for his nap and I asked him to pick up his toy car and I would give him his Nani. He looked at me with a smug look and said "No". After trying to ask him three or four times, and hearing him say "no" louder and louder...I HAD IT! I looked at him and said "FINE, you dont want to pick up your car, you can go take your nap without your Nani. Nani is for babies, you are a big boy". I threw it in the bathroom someplace high and closed his door.
He was out in 15 minutes! When he woke up, he was confused but he survived. He survived his first nap without his Nani and no one was hurt in the process. Ok that was great...now on to bedtime. At bedtime, I reminded him that "Nani is for babies, and you are a big boy". I laid with him until he fell asleep and did for the first week. And whenever he asked for his Nani I would repeat my sentence, "Nani is for babies, you are a big boy". After a couple of days whenever he would go to take his nap or go to bed, he began to tell me "Nani is for babies". It's like he was reassuring himself that he is not a baby and he is a big boy and that he was going to be ok.
He hasn't had used it since. The Nani is right where I tossed it and he takes his naps and bedtime like the big boy he is. Every child is different. Some do best with the slow wean off, some do best when they personally toss it out. You just have to find out what approach works best for your child and go for it!