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10 Ways Getting a Toddler Off the Pacifier is Like Getting a Crack Addict off the Pipe

Toddler drinking

Replacing one bad habit with another

I went out to buy some pacifiers the other day because my 1-year-old daughter Peony makes a sport of throwing out the nine I put in her crib each night, partly because she thinks it’s funny to watch me retrieve them for her roughly every seven minutes, but mostly because I think she senses she won’t have them forever and wants to test out how it’ll feel once they’re gone for good.

I imagine it’s not going to feel very good for her. And I reckon she also has an inkling that life without them won’t nearly as sweet as life with them, which is why I suspect she acts like Chicken Little when she realizes her toss-the-paci game isn’t really entertaining when it means she’s left herself with nothing to suck on.

Here’s how I foresee it will go when the binkies go bye-bye once and for all, which is likely somewhat akin to what a crack addict giving up the pipe goes through:

 


  • Denial 1 of 10
    Denial
    Peony will check under her crib bumpers for one of her pacifiers. After all, with something like a half dozen or even up to a dozen always at her fingertips previously, she'll want to believe there must be at least one still hiding in there.
  • Coughing or vomiting 2 of 10
    Coughing or vomiting
    Without an ever-present pacifier in her mouth, Peony will inexplicably start producing a dry cough that could very well (re-) produce something she ate for lunch as her body physically reacts while desperately searching for a reason why it's no longer being allowed to soothe and suck simultaneously.
  • Depression 3 of 10
    Depression
    When she realizes there's not a single pacifier to be found, Peony will find herself sad. She will express that sadness through tears, a lack of appetite and a general melancholy way too sophisticated for someone who thinks the toilet seat is a fine and sanitary place to store her toys.
  • Agitation 4 of 10
    Agitation
    Without her most consistent form of self-soothing available, Peony will find that every little thing irritates her, like others smiling, breathing and generally existing.
  • Anxiety 5 of 10
    Anxiety
    If I can't suck, what can I do? Hello? Is anyone listening to me? It this thing on?
  • Lack of motivation 6 of 10
    Lack of motivation
    If she can't suck, why bother doing anything else?
  • Angry outbursts 7 of 10
    Angry outbursts
    Except tantrums. Tantrums are a good sucking alternative.
  • Insomnia 8 of 10
    Insomnia
    Sleep? Who can sleep when there's nothing to suck?
  • Paranoia 9 of 10
    Paranoia
    My lovey is out to get me. I knew it. It's not a lovey It's totally a hate-y. There's nothing loveable about something out to get me.
  • New addiction 10 of 10
    New addiction
    Well, hello there, thumb. Welcome! Why didn't you tell me you were here before?

Top photo credit: Meredith Carroll

All other photo credits: iStock

More from Meredith on Toddler Times:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Strollerderby, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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