How to Bid Adieu to (the Paci Part of) Giraffe??

Before having Maya, I was pretty much anti-pacifiers for no other reason except I was a thumb-sucker and my mom never used them with us. What did I know!?

Then an amazing friend gave me this adorable giraffe Wubbanub and told me how much her daughter loved it–playing with the animal and using the paci part when she needed it.

My hesitation about pacifiers went out the window.

These pacifiers are genius. The paci part itself is the same as the Soothie brand we got at the hospital–i.e., the only kind she has ever used, even though we have others for her at home.

The animal attached is a little friend, making it hard to lose the paci. And the animal weighs down the paci in the baby’s mouth — which means it doesn’t fall out (KEY with a new baby who can’t stuff it back in). By the time she was maybe three or four months old (I can’t remember), Maya could put it back in her own mouth even if it did fall out.

Maya took to it right away … She loves to suck and Giraffe helps her sleep at night. She carries him with her all day … holding him, sucking on his legs/feet, petting his ears … it’s the cutest thing ever. Sometimes I even see her twirling him on the webcam at babyschool! Because he does go to babyschool, too, and we only have one — Giraffe has multiple baths a week.

He is, in every sense of the word, her first lovie. She can sleep without him … but she always ends up finding him in her crib–usually he ends up under her arm or near her face.

Point is, she loves Giraffe.

We aren’t at the stage yet where she deliberately throws him (she has dropped him on occasion, realizing we will give him back and then she collapses into giggles), but I imagine if at some point we took him away for some reason, she’d be sad.

But the best part, what I’m seeing now, is when we’re done with the pacifier part, it can be cut off and Giraffe (in all his pilled, faded, rubbed-and-loved glory) can still be her lovey and her BFF.

We aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to her paci just yet … I think at one year we will be done with the pacifier … but I’m wondering how other people have done this.

Maya isn’t super-dependent on Giraffe, but it’s clear he brings her comfort at night or if she is sick. And now that I’m (officially, finally) done nursing, it’s not like I can offer her myself in that sense.

So, in the words of sleep training, do we follow the gradual extinction method or go for full-on extinction (i.e., cold turkey)? What works best?

My thinking now is, at the year mark (on or about) cut off the Soothie part and let her continue to love on Giraffe … has anyone done this with a Wubbanub? Any tips to share?

How about you? How and when did you wean your little one off his or her pacifier? What strategies worked best?

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10 thoughts on “How to Bid Adieu to (the Paci Part of) Giraffe??

  1. Meliss-does she use any other sort of pacifier? Maybe you could cut off the soothie, have her use a real soothie that is separate so she doesn’t realize they are separate and then cut her off the pacifier if you are ready for that? I think you just have to be careful not to cut the fabric on the plush part. I am so glad she loved her giraffy so much!!! xoxo
    Noa still uses her pacifier just for sleep. I’m not ready to cut her off yet…I think it’ll be awhile before I want to try it.

    1. It’s the only one she uses, sweetie!! She looooves Giraffe! Thank you again 🙂 That’s a good point about being careful with cutting it. I think around the year mark, but I’m not wed to it. More just wondering how to wean them off it. We do have a green meant-for-teething Soothie we could use at night and let her just hold Giraffe … but last night (and a lot of nights lately) she falls asleep even without sucking on him.

  2. We first weaned her except for naps and bedtime, at 6 months or so. The paci had to stay in the crib. Then when she was 2 or 3- it was a long time ago – the paci fairy came. She brought fun toys and took all of the pacis. There were a few tears that night, but surprisingly few.

    1. LOL … the paci fairy!!! That’s awesome! Thing is, she really doesn’t use him for much else except bed-time and nap-time and just holds him the rest of the time (or sucks on his feet, ears, etc). It’s rare (though she does it sometimes) that the Soothie part ends up in her mouth. Usually that is reserved for her toys 😉

  3. I had every intention never to use a pacifier. Boy, that thought lasted maybe a day or two. We said she’d be done at 4 months. Then at 6 months. Then at 9 months. Now, at 13 months old, she still uses it. We typically only let her have it while sleeping, but we used it extensively on our vacation a few weeks ago because she was cutting a tooth. I think it’s more my crutch than hers though… That said, I think I’ll go cold turkey when we decide she’s done…

  4. We tried the paci fairy, too, when Olivia was 18 months old. Didn’t work. A year later, after we found out she didn’t use a paci at naptime at daycare, we decided to plant a paci tree in our garden. She placed the pacis in the ground, and later, lollipops grew! (I can’t take credit for this idea – we actually got it from Jason Bateman when he was being interviewed on The Daily Show…I know, random!) So, it was essentially cold turkey, but with a lollipop reward. It was a rough couple nights and naps, but she’s OK now.

    BTW, I can *totally* relate to the above comment about the paci being as much her crutch as it is her child’s. I felt the same way and for a while resisted weaning because of so many changes going on our lives (we moved 3x from when Olivia was 5 months to 2 years old).

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