Meet Sawed Off
Sawed Off has been in our family for about a year now. He came upon us because of my irrational fear of having a baby addicted to a pacifier. For 6 months I struggled to get Colby to go to sleep, until I realized that he would find things to suck on to sooth himself, like a burp rag, a sock, or sawed off (by this time he didn't understand a pacifier). It was heavenly, so i gave him Sawed Off as a replacement to the pacifier. This thing is completely disgusting and I also had to keep replacing them because sucking on it gets incredibly gross and he is not cheap. I just couldn't take him away though, because Colby was sleeping SO well and I didn't want to give up my alone time. As time went on and I realized I don't want him dependent on Sawed Off past 2 years old, and I REALLY don't want to deal with a grumpy toddler after I took him away PLUS a newborn baby, I decided that I was going to take him away after our last vacation. I was terrified. Really. I knew Colby would sleep through the night, because he had done it before without Sawed Off, but I didn't know how he would do with little or no nap for days or weeks (I really didn't know how long it would take to get used to being without him). First day: took 45 minutes to fall sleep for a nap (most of the time digging through his crib trying to find his buddy) and he took an hour long nap, nighttime - fell asleep just fine (probably exhausted from not napping as long as he usually does). Second day: Cried for 5-10 minutes but fell asleep fairly easily and took a 2 1/2 - 3 hour nap, night time was just fine again. Third day: Cried for 5 minutes for his nap and fell asleep right away for bed time. By the fourth day there was no more crying for naps and he was sleeping between 2 1/2 - 3 hours again. It's not perfect, sometimes he wakes up really early in the morning, but luckily he'll just hang out in his crib until i get him. I'm not completely cruel, he still has all his stuffed animals in the crib with him (as many as his little arms can carry) so i believe that helped out A LOT. but i CANNOT believe how easy it was to take Sawed Off away! I'll tell you what though, I'm terrified to travel without Sawed Off, he's a great companion in the car, but we'll make it work somehow.
Now that I know that when a baby needs to suck on something to sooth himself, he'll find a way to do it, it's better to just give him what he needs than to deal with the crying for months and months trying to fight him. This next baby will definitely be getting a pacifier if he has the same issues.