Since Lu was about 7 months old, we limited nookie access to when she was sleeping (or for the occasional car trip or church when the need for peace overruled the paci limitations). And at 20 months, the nookie was synonymous with bedtime. I mean, she's had it for sleeping her ENTIRE LIFE. Needless to say, there were some very sad nights as Lucy learned to go to sleep without it.
I'm not sure how I figured it was time to say goodbye to them. I mean, she's almost two. She named them. I want to start potty training and I figured that will be a big enough transition for a long enough period of time that maybe getting rid of the nookie addiction first would be beneficial. Well, that and we only have one nookie left - all the others were lost somewhere along the way - and I am NOT going to spend money on any new ones. No way. I'm not sure which of these was the deciding factor, or all of them in combination.
I suppose I could have put it off longer. But then I started the process almost on a whim. And there's no going back, is there?
Those nights? The first ones? Totally blew. There's not a whole lot more heart breaking than listening to your baby cry a very sad cry knowing that you have every power to make it better. And yet you shouldn't/can't.
I started the process at naptime on Friday, and Lucy ended up falling asleep without TOO much fuss. I had to tell her that the "nuh nuhs" were all gone. And then she woke up 25 minutes later crying so sadly that I went in to comfort her and I was met with "Ma-aaama-ma-aaa. Nuh-nuu-uuh Peeeee-eeees" in between sobs. I gave in (because I am a sucker). But then Friday night and the rest of the weekend I had the Bubba to keep me strong.
She still asks for a "nuh-nuh" when I put her down, but I remind her that they're all gone and she's a big girl now, and she seems to accept it.
The suckiest part by far is the "for your own good" part. The part where I'm not punishing, because learning moments make sense to me. It just seemed like I was torturing Lucy for no reason. I can tell that she's still not used to it - she's such a slave to routine. I mean, do you remember the way she reacted to our car? She needs way more bedtime loves and cuddles and wind-down time than before.
But I'll tell you a secret: that side effect is kind of nice. She likes cuddling in a blanket and singing songs and talking about our day and sharing hugs and kisses. And when she lays down in bed (after she asks for a nuh nuh and is shot down) she requests that we tuck Beeire in the same way as she gets tucked in. Beeire says prayers with us and gets a blessing just like Lucy. And then she sings songs and talks to Beeire until she falls asleep. It's really cute.
It's a small price to pay for such a huge hurdle.