After I wrote about Agatha being weaned from breast-feeding (and using a pacifier in the morning to comfort her instead of nursing), she got incredibly attached the the pacifier. She started wanting it all the time, whether she was happy or sad, upset or bored. It got to the point that we put it on our nightstand before bed so we could give it to her right away in the morning. We only had three pacifiers in the house so if we weren't able to find one, it was torture.
Let me say, I don't think there is anything wrong with using pacifiers. Studies show that they lower the risk of SIDS when used in infants. They obviously can be of great comfort to kids and great sanity savers for parents. However, I didn't think it was a habit she needed to pick up at 18 months old, since she had never been strongly reliant on them in the past and because this is the age a lot of parents try to break the habit.
But it was hard not to give it to her. She started learning new words every day and one of those words was "pacifier" (pronounced "pwier" by Agatha). She wasn't using one at all in day care and we still didn't give it to her at nap time or bed time, but she asked for it a lot while awake. Once she had it for a few minutes and was content, Chris or I would sometimes slip it out of her mouth without her objecting and hide it for a few hours. It was just getting to be too much of a crutch for her.
Finally, a few weeks ago, I said we were going to stop. Chris and I talked to her about it and let her know that starting that Saturday (a week ago Saturday), she wasn't going to get the pacifier any longer. I'm not sure how much she understood but I figured we owed it to her to be up front.
On Saturday morning she asked for it upon waking. Chris was up with her that morning and she whined a little bit but was easily distracted by breakfast. She asked for it a few times throughout the day and cried a little when we told her, "We don't do that any more." But she soon forgot about it.
And it really hasn't been that bad. I think that Saturday was the worst day and since then she has asked for it a handful of times, mostly when upset about not being allowed something else she wants. For the most part, she seems to have forgotten about it. She did see a picture of herself with the pacifier in her mouth and said "Pacifier" this morning, but it was like she was just pointing out an object she recognized.
So, one week and two days pacifier free. Next up: Potty training!