Monday, January 12, 2009

Operation Stop with the Bop, revisited.

You may remember Operation Stop with the Bop, which took place way back when and was our effort to wean Luca from her pacifier. Yes, we had one of 'those' kids who LOVED her pacifier. And we were eager to wean her from it during daytime hours as early as possible, so as to avoid it becoming a never-ending bad habit, negatively impacting her speech and her teeth, etc. You can read about our experience, in three parts, here, here, and here.

Well, I have a confession: we've not entirely stopped with the Bop. You see, during the daytime, Luca goes without and we never have a problem. She doesn't get it while playing, riding in the car, out in public, or any other awake time. But we were hesitant to wean her from it at naptime and bedtime, mostly because she's been SUCH a good sleeper for us that we didn't want to mess with success, so to speak. But in recent months, I've come to the realization that it's time to break that nasty habit. I kept putting it off for one reason or another (mostly figuring it wasn't hurting her speech while she's sleeping, which was my main concern with letting her have it while awake). My latest reason was that I wanted her to get used to her big girl bed first, and I didn't want to throw two big changes at her at once. I was also worried I'd go through the trouble of weaning her from it now, only to have her regress when Andre comes along should he/she be a Boppy Baby as well.

It honestly wasn't a pressing concern for me, until we went to Mexico over Thanksgiving weekend. We knew the travel and new people would be stressful for her, so we gave some leniency with the Bop. Mostly, this just meant that she was allowed to have it in the car, something we hadn't allowed in 6 months. Well, this leniency proved killer, and we came away from that long weekend with a toddler who started to ask for 'Boppy' when it was bedtime, and to talk about it outside of that time. We'd ask her if she wanted to go 'night-night' and she'd say "Yes. Boppy." This was not going to work.

So, today is the day. I KNOW for a fact she naps without the Bop at daycare, and I was determined that we'd follow suit at home. So I followed the advice I've seen and heard mutliple times: I gave her the Bop, but cut off the smallest piece of the top, so that it woudln't have quite the same sensation when she sucked on it. I tucked her into bed for naptime, left the room, and turned on the video monitor.

What ensued was:
- fussing
- mumbling about 'Boppy'
- whining about 'Boppy'
- climbing out of bed to get books
- climbing into bed, reading books and talking about/to 'Boppy'
- throwing books and then crying while pounding the door

I went up to get her, and she asked for her crib. I took her into the 'baby room' and put her down, with the mutilated Bop, and left the room. This time, what ensued was simply 10 minutes of outright fussing.

I wasn't sure what to do. Everyone always says kids don't come with a handbook, but the truth is advice (good and bad) is everywhere out there. But I've always been one to follow my gut rather than advice...and my gut was telling me what Luca needed.

And what she needed was some kisses, some rocking, and a nice lullabye (Me and Bobby McGee, with Luca substituted in place of Bobby) and she was out in less than 5 minutes.

OSWtB, Revisited Outcome: Not too bad, really.

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