This is my baby. Well, he is not really my baby anymore. He isn't really a toddler either. He is pretty much a preschooler who isn't quite old enough to go to preschool. And it was time to end the nuk addiction. We ended Charley's nuk addiction at the age of 2 and it was the hardest thing we had to battle with him.
With Charley we did a similar thing..I bought a box of presents and told him that in the morning he got to pick one of the presents to open. The truth about this strategy - neither boy could give a crap about the presents during their breakdowns. The presents were my way of making myself feel better during the horror of the cry out and my way of telling myself they would love me again in the morning.
The first night Henry cried for about an hour and 20 minutes. He finally fell asleep when I went in and told him a story about fishing with grandpa Bob. It had lots of monotoned counting...we counted worms as he scooped them in the garden, we counted fish that their friend Paul had caught, and we counted eagles that flew overhead. Counting. Henry woke up around 4 that morning but a book on tape put him back to sleep and he actually slept until close to 7am...I think.
The next night we skipped nap and he fell asleep with a story within 10 minutes. Heavenly. He woke though at 5 and was up for the day.
The third night he cried for a while but fell asleep on his own.
And so it went. The box of presents slowly dwindled and soon they were gone. He still asks for a nuk but he doesn't demand it. He is able to fall asleep some nights on his own. We had a babysitter one night and he and she survived and was sleeping within 30 minutes of her putting him down. However, we do still struggle most nights with getting him to settle down. Dropping the naps has helped him fall asleep much more peacefully and timely (more on that in a bit).
The big question...will we give the next little miracle a nukkie like we did Charley and Henry. I am guessing we will. I love that they have something that soothes them. I love that it is something I can take away..where a thumb is that much harder to take away. And with breastfeeding I really think they sometimes need to suck more since sucking isn't always as vital. And I don't want to be a human pacifier. So I am guessing that the horror of this month will pass and come January, when this new little family member arrives...we will swaddle that babe up in his little burrito wrap and pop that HUGE green nukkie into his/her mouth and sigh as we gaze at the miracle that at that moment rests peacefully - forgetting that 2 years from that very moment we would be asking ourselves WHY! WHY! WHY! did we let the nuk enter our lives one more time.