When my son was two weeks old we introduced a soother. It was something we were hoping to avoid, only because I dreaded the day I would have to take it away. But in the midst of lots of sleepless nights and lots of crying he found comfort in it.
At first we just gave him his soother when he was fussing, but it wasn’t long until he had it at night time too. I remember playing the put it back in his mouth 10x a night game, until he was able to find it himself. When he was little we didn’t allowed him to have the soother any time he needed it. If we were out and he was fussy, I would offer him the soother and he would instantly be pleased. I remember getting looks from complete strangers, or unwanted advice about why he shouldn’t have his soother. Why do people who know nothing about you and your child feel the need to offer this ‘great’ advice? As much as I knew what I was doing was the right thing, it always made me question my parenting style.
After one of these run ins, I decided it was time to take away the soother. I started at nap time, and he cried for what felt like hours. I consoled him, and tried again, and again and again. I picked up my crying baby and asked myself why I let this person get to me. I am a great mom, and only doing whats best for my son. He obviously wasn’t ready to give it up, and I didn’t want to force it. **Note to those strangers that want to give advice – PLEASE DON’T!
After a few more months, I decided it was time for our son to only get his soother at nap and bed time. He didn’t use it during the day a lot, so thought we could use this as a teaching opportunity. He now knows he can only have his soother if he is sleeping, and being consistent with that he been really helpful.
Our son is now 21 months old and he still sleeps with his soother. I feel anxious just thinking about when the time comes that I will have to take it from him. I feel guilty, and I definitely don’t feel ready to take it from him.
My guilt comes from the decision we made when he was two weeks old. The decision to give him a soother, as a comfort. This is what he learned to use to help him sleep, to make him feel comfortable, and to calm down. I feel like its unfair to be the one that now has to take it from him. I hate that it will cause him sadness, and frustration. Maybe its that he isn’t ready to give it up, so the thought is still unfathomable. Maybe, he will one day just not want it, that would be great! But until that day I am left feeling this guilt.
I know the day will come when he will be ready to say goodbye to his soother. I wish I didn’t worry about needing to take it away from him, and I wish people would stop being so judgmental when it comes to other people. Try to put yourselves in their shoes and realize they are making these choices out of love for their children.
Has anyone else dealt with feeling this guilt over a choice you made with your children? Did you give your children a pacifier? Why did you chose to give them a pacifier? How did you wean him/her? When did you know they were ready?