I Fought The Paci & The Paci Won. Again.

The plan was I would write a post this morning while Lowell naps and Leyna watches Doc McStuffins all about how we FINALLY kicked the paci habit.

(Remember that time the “Paci Fairy” was going to come? She didn’t. She was like, nah, y’all can’t handle me yet.)

And now, Lowell is napping, and Leyna is indeed in my bed “resting” and watching Doc McStuffins. But, well, this is not a post about how we kicked the paci habit.

Tuesday night, Leyna came to our bed around midnight, then woke later crying because she couldn’t find her paci. Excuse me, because she couldn’t find her PINK paci. We tried to give her another one, but she wanted nothing to do with it. So she eventually fell asleep without any paci, and all was fine

So I thought, well, let’s seize this opportunity, shall we? I talked to her about trading in all her pacis for a new Doc McStuffins doctor kit. She was not under the influence of anything and seemed to fully understand what she was agreeing to when she excitedly said yes.


Ok, y’all. She told me she’d give up all her pacis for this Doc McStuffins kit. It’s been nearly 24 hours. FINGERS CROSSED AND WINE POURED.

View on Instagram

I don’t know why I thought now would be a  great time to take away her mute button when she never. stops. whining. but I was very committed to it earlier this week for whatever reason.

She went all of Wednesday and didn’t even really ask for it. Wednesday night, after a long, busy day, she fell asleep without it, exhausted, after about 10 minutes of mild whimpering.

I thought we were over the hump. I thought I could be like, YOU GUYS IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER THAN I FEARED.

El Oh Fucking El.

She BEGGED for it last night, SOBBING. Like, she reached into my chest, ripped out my beating heart, and poured her sad tears all over it while choking back her snot and crying “But just for nigh night, mommy! Just to go to sleep! I MEEEEEED IT!”

As I lay next to her in bed, trying my best to soothe her and distract her, the conversation in my head went something like this:

“Don’t give in, Jill. She’ll pass out eventually. She’s already getting tired.”
     “You asshole. She’s getting tired because she’s violently sobbing. You are scarring her for life.”
“If you give in now, what kind of message will that send? That she can get anything she wants if she just cries enough for it?”
     “If you let her cry like this, what kind of awful person are you? What is this paci hurting?”
“She’s too old for this! She’s never going to give it up on her own! You’re a fool to give in now.”
     “You don’t know a single child going to kindergarten with a pacifier, do you? OMG, she’s so sad. You jerk.”

(This is what happens to your brain on too much internet. Don’t raise entitled children! But don’t let them cry! Teach them to self soothe! But be a “yes” parent!)

And on and on for about 30 minutes until I got out of bed, got it from the super secret spot in the office, gave it to her, and watched her pass out in my arms 3 minutes later.

Again, if you read this blog for expert parenting advice, you will never, ever find what you’re looking for here. I continually prove to myself that I will never figure this shit out.

Meanwhile, totally back to enjoying the silence and the sleep, and saving for orthodontic work.

Hashtag whatever.



50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • 24


  1. Oh my gosh, Jill. Me too!! My little binkie suckerfish is two and a half. Since they kind of shame him at daycare, he takes it out of his mouth when we pull up to it in the car, plops it in the cup holder in his car seat, and goes the whole day without it. The second I put him in his car seat after I pick him up, he grabs that little blue binkie and puffs away on it like a smoker who hasn’t had a toke in a week. Thankfully, our family has a history of needing orthodontia, so it doesn’t really matter if we let him have a binkie until puberty hits. My daughter, who is now 23 (and doesn’t still carry her binkie around), used to have to have one binkie in her mouth and one in each hand at all times. She was a tough one to break of it, but thankfully she hid them in her high school graduation photos. Just kidding. She eventually gave them up, and so will yours.

  2. UGGGG. I know the struggle. My girl is 2.5, and we recently took away the paci and gave her a big prize – a Thomas the Tank Engine set because the kid loves Thomas. She did all right but ended up spiking a high fever the next day and we gave it back. I couldn’t bear to take away a comfort item when she was sick. This was a month ago and we haven’t attempted to get rid of the paci since.

  3. Ehhhhhh yeah. I knew none of that paci fairy or get a new toy stuff would work for my 2.5 year old but his habit was suddenly getting out if control (aka public) so I knew I had to at least cut him back to bed only. The morning that I decided to get tough, my son accidentally threw his paci behind the changing table which was too heavy (not) for us to move to get it back for him. So since it was his fault, he was surprisingly cool with it and only asked for it a couple times but didn’t even cry. I’m still shocked but I’ll take it…although when the whining starts some days it takes everything I have to not shove the baby’s paci in his mouth.

  4. Courtney Warner Pedroza on

    Oh goodness! Luckily the paci battle isn’t one I’ll have to wage, but the sippy cup is. And so many thousands of other things. I have this exact conversation with myself almost daily. And then on those even better occasions, my husband is right there to vocalize that oh so loud “don’t give in! You’re a pushover!” Voice while I’m “I’m an awful mother! I’m scarring him for life! I can’t let him cry! Cry it out ruined my childhood!”

  5. Rachel Rayray Montana Cruz on

    Oh I’m so there with my 3 year old daughter Gracie. My son Alex, now 8, finally gave up his “suckers” when the sicker fairy came shortly before he turned 4. He still remembers it and gets a little sad cast to his eyes recalling the days of suckers past *sigh*. Did I mention my 3 year old is still in diapers and I now have a newborn upon whom I push the sucker?! Will I every learn?!
    Hang in there Mama, life is long, I swear she won’t be ruined by extra time with a paci <3

  6. Jenna Leduc McGraw on

    She sounds so much like my Emilie. We kicked the paci (after months of HELL), but she has replaced it with me laying down with her every night or sleeping with me. I regret not caving and giving the paci back.

  7. Nicole McDermott on

    We threw ours out at the mall because I knew if they were in the house when she had the heartbreaking meltdown, I would give in. It’s been 6 days, no paci, but she still asks for it every night.

  8. I think there’s a huge difference between giving in when a child cries out of legitimate emotions (I really need this/I am really scared/I am really hurting) vs out of trying to create an outcome. Meeting a need is never wrong, imo. Now sometimes the crying might mean “I am really sad because I want that thing but don’t need it,” and then meeting the need might just be offering comfort through the sad. The hard part is determining what need the crying is expressing, in this case does she still really need the pacifier for comfort/security (and yes, those are legitimate needs) or is she ready to move on but it’s hard and she needs your support? That’s why I hate “rules” about always/never “giving in” to crying, the appropriate response depends on the situation! Sounds like you are doing a great job working to figure out her needs and respond to them 🙂

  9. Jessica May Cornett on

    Thank you for posting this! I had a very similar conversation with myself last night. Good to know I’m not the only one!

  10. Karen C. Murdoch on

    This post just filled my heart! I just cheered a little “Thank God I’m not the only one” AND you reminded me why I only have one. (God Bless any mom of more than one -, fo-sho) Thank you for your brutal honesty – it is a gift to me : )

  11. Marissa Coleman on

    If it makes you feel better the only one of the five of is to not need braces was the one who wouldn’t let the binky go til he was 3

  12. Every time I felt like my kid really just needed to give up the paci, I would see an older kid sucking their thumb. And then I’d ask my self, why, exactly, does she need to give it up? What is the harm?

    Because she “should”? Because she is too old? Says who? How is some “they” supposed to know my child’s emotional needs better than my child.

    I get the orthodontia angle, but you can’t take away their thumbs. If a child needs the comfort, they need it.

  13. Love your honesty! Nothing wrong with taking a small step back 🙂 Make it disappear all day and reappear at night. We did this with our daughter, it was gone all day and used only at bedtime and once she was out at night…it went away again. Occasionally she woke in the night wishing she had it but it was never sad enough that we had to get it 🙂

  14. Being a yes parent is overrated. Seriously, as a kindergarten teacher I can tell in about 5 minutes which kids always hear “yes” and it’s just not worth it. To put my money where my mouth is (cause I’m really not trying to be mean here) my three year old is not told yes, and I listen to a lot of crying and whining because of it. (Which is why after almost three years at home I have gone back to work!!) lol

  15. I know your pain! We tried several times to take my daughter’s nighttime pacifier away at around the same age. I remember one miserable fail after the “bee-bee”(pacifier) fairy gave her a doll for a night of sleeping pacifier-free, only for me to renege the next night. I got tons of flack from friends and family, but thankfully our pedi was supportive. She told me her daughter was nearly 4 before she was able to take her pacifier away. Relief! One day, when my daughter was a little older than yours, she looked me dead in the face and said: “Mommy, we need to pack up all the bee-bees — Tonight! I’m a big girl now.” I did as I was told and that was that. Until that point, I never believed people when they said their kids suddenly did something when they were “ready.” But in our case, that’s exactly how it went down. Potty training was more of a chore, but similar. When she was ready, it happened. Taught me a great deal about my own anxiety! Still working on that one, lol, but it was a great lesson. GL!

  16. Pingback: Baby Rabies | How To Wean Your 4 Year Old From Her Paci

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.