The New Age Mum


Posted on: Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yup the topic today shall be on addiction but addiction on what? Addiction to smoking, drugs or alcohol? It is neither of the above. What I will like to post is the addiction to pacifier based on Clemens and Damir’s account.

Clemens’ Addiction

Clemens was addicted till he was 3. I had a good intention to help him quit when he was 2y6m because I saw that after he falls asleep, he will spit out the pacifier and during our car trip, he was able to survive without the pacifier. Hence I reckon that he is ready to do without the pacifier.

However, we were throwing in the towel whenever he cried. After a few days of cold turkey, and seeing him so upset, makes us really very angry with ourselves too. Hence my hubby and I started to argue over how ‘much’ of pacifier to give him. For example we will give it to him only when he is going to bed. Initially Clemens seems to understand our bedtime plan and he will actually adhere to it for a few days. But as the days go by he will literally become more and more demanding again like an addict, asking for more. I being weak in my discipline will start to give in more and more too till I start resenting the fact that he even wants to have the pacifier on during photo taking which can be such an unsightly sight. I was in despair and I started consulting people around me and even reading books on how to quit the dummy.

Some ask me to take it slow telling me that when he is ready he will throw it away. Some asked me to put extra hot chilli oil on his pacifier so that he will throw away his dummy immediately never to ask for it again. I had even some suggestions like scolding him really badly till he is fearful of me and he will not ask the pacifier from me again.

Well I personally thought that those ideas were rather ridiculous. What if he never wants to quit till he is in school because I know he is ready and that it is just the habit of having the pacifier in his mouth; and making him fearful of me to want him to get things done is definitely a no no for me because I want him to understand the rational of me wanting him to do something.

Hence shortly after his 3rd birthday, I started to keep all pacifiers except for Damir’s and started telling him that he is old enough to be able to do without the pacifier and that I know he can do it. I also explained to him that sucking too much pacifier will spoil his beautiful white teeth and slur his speech. After that every time he cries for the pacifier, I will actually distract him with doing things he really like together with him and re-enforcing the reasons of not having the pacifier.

Most of the time, he will also start to question me why Damir can have the pacifier and why can’t he? Due to what he says, I really wanted to quit Damir’s addiction too. However I was wondering if I could handle 2 crying boys at the same time. Hence I came out with reasons like only babies need pacifier and Damir is still a baby; where else, he is the big brother now and he won’t need it.

At bed time, it was more difficult and I had to read tons of books to get him tired and distracted from the pacifier. For the first few days, he was literally crying himself to sleep which really was heart wrenching because I never like my boys going off to bed so upset and I don’t believe that they should go to bed so upset in order to wake up cheerfully.

As Clemens was still angry with me for not returning him the pacifier, he refused to allow me to hug him to bed. He will rather be sobbing under his blanket. Over here I really had my hubby to thank for being supportive of us. Those were the weeks that he assured me that all will be over quickly and I was really happy for the fact that those were also the weeks that he hugged Clemens to sleep and kept assuring him that he can do it because he is daddy’s big boy. True enough all was over in 3 weeks.

Damir’s Addiction

By now I knew what I had to do, Damir’s ordeal was such a breeze that it only lasted for 4 days. Perhaps it was also because of his age (20m). He is younger; he won’t remember hence that effect of addiction doesn’t linger around as much. Also perhaps because my hubby is out of town, Damir could only look for me when he wants the pacifier and if I didn’t give it to him, there was no one else he could turn to.

 I also only quitted him when I felt he was ready to do it. He had the same signs as Clemens:

  1. Spitting out the dummy when he has already fast asleep
  2. Not needing the dummy when we are going away on car trips for a substantial time length of 3 hours.

I did the same as I did to Clemens:

  1. I distracted Damir by reading, playing and doing craft works.
  2. I gave him lots of hugs, kisses and assurance telling him that, “mummy is here so you won’t need the pacifier”

This time round as my hubby is not around; Clemens has been my source of support by telling Damir that the pacifier is shameful, and that it spoils the teeth. My hard work of re-enforcing reasons into Clemens’ little mind really pays off because he knows how to use reasons with Damir.  Imagine if I had earlier hit Clemens to forbid him from using the pacifier. God knows how he will lash it back at Damir now and it might have an undesirable effect on the relationship of the brothers.


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Welcome to The New Age Mum

Hi I am Angelia Giam! This site is basically dedicated to my 2 very precious boys who have filled my life with the all the colours of the world. It is also about me striving to lead a balance and fulfilling life with the family I have created. I have also added some basic food recipes which I have tried and tasted; and recommended some parenting books which I have read and found it to be useful as well for all to share.

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