Before I became a parent, I had always thought that I would never allow my own child to have a soother after the age of 2.5 years. Everything changed when I had my sweet little baby girl and it just so happened that this little one loved her soother! Her love for her soother helped her sleep so it was a win win for everyone!! In her early days, I used it to help calm her when she was upset and help recreate the womb using Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s. As she approached 8 months of age, I started making the soother something that she only had during sleep times.
I never had to replace it during naps or nights and when she fell into a deep sleep, most of the time she would spit it out anyway. It was not bothering me whatsoever and it was working out great for all of us so I did not see a need to change anything.
When I finally made the decision that she was ready to make the transition she was older than I care to admit, okay okay, she just turned 3 EEEEK!
This is what I did:
First, I started casually mentioning the soother fairy and introduced the idea. For those of you who don’t know who the soother fairy is, she is a wonderful, caring magical fairy who brings soothers graciously handed over from toddlers to the brand new princess babies who are in need of soothers. (Or whatever story you decide to make up!)
After talking about the soother fairy and telling imaginary stories about her, I prepared her to give her soothers away to the princess babies. When we were ready, I had her put her soothers (every last one of them) in a gift bag with a homemade card for the princess babies. We waited all day and when we returned home, there was a lovely thank you note from the soother fairy along with a nice new toy and a new lovey! She couldn’t have been more thrilled. Now I’m not going to say that bedtime was easy. She asked about her soother several times and I would just calmly remind her of where it had gone. After a few nights with me sitting close to her and listening to her feelings while supporting her through the change, she was as good as new.
The important part of this is to find something that will interest your child. This will add some excitement for them which will make the transition so much easier. If your child is not interested in fairies and princesses you could switch that out for another character that they love at the time.
Now, this sweet little toddler boy of mine, he loves his thumb so much and this will be a whole new ballgame as it is attached to him. Stay tuned for part two in approximately 1 to 2 years!