Wednesday 9 January 2013

Bye bye soother

When we gave James a soother (aka dummy) it was to make life easier for him.  And us - let me be honest about that.  He had a lot of colic and this helped it.  It did as it was named.  It soothed him.

Over the past few months, the soother has undermined our quality of life.  It has become an addiction, not an aid.  It was time for it to go.

Having read of different methods, I chose Bye Bye Binky.  By cutting a little off the soother each day, the link between comfort and the soother is broken, so the child no longer craves the soother.

The theory is easier than the reality.  Sadly.  It's true, James is no longer soothed by the soother.  He asks for it and then throws it away.  The problem is that he hasn't yet found a comfort replacement. 

As a result, he cries a lot more at the moment and getting him to bed is much harder.  He used to fall asleep when his head hit the pillow.  It can take 40 minutes now.  Waking in the night is still an issue, as it was even when he had the soother, though it did peak for two nights when I was up seven times with him.

This is a significant transition point in James' life, loosing something he deeply associates with comfort and nurture.  It takes more care-full parenting.  We have changed his night time routine so, instead of going to sleep after his prayers with his soother, he's tucked up with his choice of cuddly toy and we turn on a lamp that projects stars on the ceiling and I sit nearby rather than leaving him.

It's Day 8 today.  His soother measured 2 millimeters this morning.  He asked for it and I gave it to him.  He didn't even take it.  He calls his soother 'bed' (you can see why going to sleep has become harder).  "Bed is bah, Mama" he said.
"Ok, so do you want to throw it away in the rubbish bin with the other 'bahs'," I suggested.
He took the soother and waved good bye to it, "Bye bye bed", and it was gone.

I was so impressed I rewarded him with some chocolate (a rare treat here) and then we phoned Papie to tell him the good news.  I'll make a fuss of him today, it's a big step.

So the addiction isn't quite over.  He still craves the comfort it used to give.  It will take a while, with cuddles and cuddly toys for him to find a way to recentre himself, but in a month, this stage will just be a memory.

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