A few months ago we weaned Nathan off his pacifier, except for the occasional emergency need for one. But we had 3 parties planned for his birthday and the crowds of people were a bit overwhelming for him so we gave him the pacifier for comfort. The parties ended and the people left but Nathan was still sucking away. Apparently all he needed were a few good sucks and he was in a full on relapse, he was addicted... again!
I had never planned on using pacifiers to begin with but I had come to terms with my "baby" using one... I wasn't feeling so great about my "toddler" using one. So we began the painful process of weaning him again. Will and I agreed on a No Pacifier rule. If he cries, he cries which is easier said than done. It's not easy to watch your child get himself so upset that his eyebrows turn bright red, his face is streaked with tears and he's on the verge of hyperventilating. But we knew he was crying for the pacifier so we refused to enable his addiction. We distracted him the best we could and tried to show him other ways to comfort himself like hugging his best buddy Pooh. This would work for a few minutes but then he would remember the dreaded paci and start crying again.
We stayed strong and I'm happy to report the crying fits have ended and he hasn't had a pacifier in 3 days. As hard as it was to watch him get so upset and not give him the one thing we knew would make him feel better, we feel better knowing it was for the greater good. After all, I wouldn't want to be filled with regret, obsessing over not having let him cry as I proudly watch him get his high school diploma one day, in his cap and gown... and matching pacifier.