PK is officially soother-free! I'm actually surprised by how smoothly it went. PK has been off the soother at daycare for a little over a month. Apparently none of the kids in the toddler room use a soother, so her teachers stopped giving it to her just before she transitioned into the toddler room. This of course made my life much much easier, since she spends most of the week at daycare anyway. The funny thing is that I was told that she didn't seem to mind having the soother taken away from her at daycare. Taking it away at home, on the other hand, was another story. Still, we decided that it would be best for her if we ditched the soother for naps at home, in order to have some continuity with daycare. We did, however, still keep the soother at bedtime.
We ditched the soother for naptime at home as soon was we were told that PK was no longer using it at daycare. PK was not happy. She cried out desperately for her "shoo-shoo", but we didn't budge. We tried to explain to her that she didn't use her soother for naptime at daycare, so she didn't need it at home. The logic didn't work on her all that well, and she cried her head off when we left the room. Fortunately, fatigue won over the soother, and she settled down after 10 or 20 minutes.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to take the big plunge and eliminate the bedtime soother. Again, she wasn't too happy, but PK was so incredibly tired that night, that she cried for about a minute before being overcome with fatigue. The first night of soother detox went relatively well, until the middle of the night, when she kept waking up every hour. We went up to her room to gently rub her back, and that seemed to settle her down. Eventually, the hourly wake-ups became so unbearable that we caved and gave her her soother. The next morning, PK woke up with a 40ºC fever. That pretty much explained the nighttime restlessness. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that she had a fever that night; she just seemed a bit warm, which we thought was because her room was too hot, so we turned on the fan in her room.
Anyway, the fever turned out to be a result of an ear infection. The fever lasted the entire day, even though we did give her Tempra. She spent the whole day in a very lethargic state, lying in our bed with us. I have a feeling that the ear infection was teething-related, though we have yet to see any new teeth. That aside, we couldn't in good conscience continue with our soother detox when she was feeling so crappy and when her teeth were hurting so much (when we asked her to point to the ouch, she pointed to her teeth).
Once the ear infection subsided, we both got sick. And there is no way in hell that we were going to sacrifice sleep in our sickly state, so PK got to keep her soother for naptime and nighttime for a bit longer. Finally, last weekend, we were all better. So we decided to pick up where we left off.
Again, there were protests. I tried to reason with her. I picked her up and told her that she didn't use a soother at daycare, and she didn't need one for naptime or nighttime. She was, after all, a big girl, and big girls don't need soothers. She nodded, said, "Big girl," and gave me a smile. We left the room, and there were no cries. I turned to the hubby and said, "Is it me, or did we just reason with her?" No sooner had I said that than she started wailing. So much for that. It took her about 30 minutes to settle down, but she did.
She made it that first night without the soother. Unfortunately, she decided to wake up at 7am on Saturday morning. And on Sunday morning she decided to wake up at 6am. Neither the hubby nor I acknowledge the existence of 6am on weekends. As a result, the hubby went up and gave her her soother. It kept her quiet for an hour. Waking up at 7am on a Sunday still sucked, but it was better than waking up at 6am.
PK again asked for her soother on Sunday night, and cried after not getting it, but she settled down quickly enough. I continued to tell her that she was a big girl and that big girls don't need soothers. She was still not buying it. Then, last night, a miracle happened. She didn't ask for her soother. And today, she woke up after 7am and was happily playing in her crib with her friends Bear-Pig, Froggie, and Raggedy Andy. She has really taken a liking to Raggedy Andy lately. It started a few weeks back. We'd bring him into her crib while we were getting her ready for bed, and when we put her down, she would kiss and hug "Andy" - as she calls him - and say good night to him. A few days ago, however, she decided that Andy was not leaving the crib. And now that I think of it, it coincided with when we stopped giving her the soother at night. I guess Andy has replaced the soother! I find this really cool, because I think every kid needs an awesome stuffed animal or doll that they're super-attached to. I guess she has forged this bond with Andy.