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How do I stop my 14 month old using me (my boob) as a pacifier?

I have tried everything I can think of, including the CIO method, the only thing she learned how to do was climb out of her crib. So that is not an option. My husband is pretty useless in the middle of the night. So him getting up with her won't work. I've tried several different types of pacifiers, I've tried leaving a sippy cup in her bed for her, I've tried different blankets/stuffed animals. Nothing seems to work. I'm open to other suggestions.

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Asked by momma2b2008 at 8:44 PM on Jan. 24, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 11 (508 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • You stop letting her do it. Have you tried footie pajamas (for you)? They make them in adult sizes and I'm pretty sure she doesn't know how to work a zipper.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 8:51 PM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • I have tried that. And believe it or not she did figure out the zipper! :-(

    Comment by momma2b2008 (original poster) at 8:56 PM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • just sit on the floor while she is in the crib, Mommy can't right now sweetie, here is a paci, she throws it out, put it back in , and just stay in the room, but don't let her out of the crib, or pick her up. keep putting her and the paci back in the bed.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 9:13 PM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • What you're doing is interrupting a cycle of using nursing to keep feelings patted down & under wraps. So if you wish to discourage comfort nursing (because it has gotten highly disruptive?), the way to get through is to realize that if you remove the "pacifying" step, the feelings that trigger her impulse to nurse are going to bubble up & come out.
    "CIO" leaves her on her own to deal with those feelings, with no support. If you are there with her, showing her that she is okay & that you are there for her (but not nursing her), giving her your warm attention & caring, then you will create enough safety in which the feelings (stored fears) that are driving the night wakings can come up, be expressed & resolve.
    It's an emotional project, something to get through.
    Have a cup of milk or water or some snack handy so you can put your mind at ease about whether she's actually hungry or thirsty. Acknowledge how upset she is; be there.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:22 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • Depending on your child, it can take several nights. (It's a matter of working through feelings that have been "saved up" each time she coped with them by this kind of comforting/distraction.) Once it gets to the point of seriously interrupting sleep, you can assume that there's a fair bit of "stuff" to be processed. Being supported while it's released is what it takes (to process it.)
    So if you go through it for a long time and reach the "end" one night, where you are too stressed, overwhelmed/worried, or tired to be able to handle her crying & struggling, then acknowledge that you both have done good work and it's enough for that night. Tell her you're going to nurse her now & go back to bed, and realize it's OK. If you're anxious, frustrated, or at the end of your tolerance/patience, the safety that facilitates emotional release isn't there anymore, but the other work is still done, she's chipped away at that much. It's OK!

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:29 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

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