The Macs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

goodbye pacis

Levi's pediatrician told us that we should take Levi's pacifiers away by the end of the summer...especially before Baby Brother arrives. Levi's pacis stay in his crib for the most part. He only uses them to sleep. But he loves them. And it is hard to take away something that your baby loves...maybe I am just too much of a pushover. We have been talking about it for weeks now, but putting it off. Mostly because we really like to sleep and a baby crying for his pacis at night didn't sound too appealing. Finally this weekend we decided that if we were going to take them away we had better do it now. We weren't sure if that was a good decision with the baby coming so soon, but we decided to give it a shot.

 We went around the house and collected all the pacis we could find. He usually has three in his bed. One in his mouth and one in each hand. We put them all in a box. Levi had fun packing them all up and then dumping them out again. 

 A few sweet moments with his beloved pacis. The orange one is his favorite.

 We packed them all up one last time. 

 We told Levi that we were going to mail his pacis away because he was a big boy now. When daddy came home from feeding the cows I snuck out to the mailbox and put a box for Levi in it.

 Joel and Levi walked out to the mailbox with the box of pacis.

 He loves getting the mail, so we were just crossing our fingers that this would work.

 Really we had no idea what we were doing. What would we do if he wouldn't leave the pacis in the mailbox? What if he couldn't sleep without them? Parenting is such hard work. 

 Levi got out the box that was in the mailbox and put his box of pacis in.

 Goodbye pacis. So far so tears.

 Daddy helped Levi open his "paci replacement". Again, we had no idea if this would work.

 Thankfully, when he opened the box he loved his little alligator. He thought it was great. We went to Wichita and the alligator came too. That night when we got home he went to bed with the alligator and his blanket. He didn't even ask about his pacis. No tears. Nothing. It was a miracle! I was ready to give myself parent of the year award...just kidding...I know it had nothing to do with my parenting skills.

 In the morning when I went in his room he was holding his alligator and all smiles. It is his new bedtime buddy.

 Levi has been doing awesome at night. I really can hardly believe it. Now, naps have been a different story. I have had to let him cry himself to sleep most days. Sad. But he is already getting better. Yay! We are just praying that this doesn't all backfire on us when Baby Brother arrives.

Goodbye pacis...hello Ally the Alligator.


Blogger Karen said...

what a wonderful idea. good job Mom and Dad! such a sweet story!

September 14, 2011 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had such a hard time with taking the paci away from Lincoln when we did because like you said, it was something he absolutely loved. I hate taking something away that he loved so much, but like Levi it was a fairly easy transition. Hope it continues that way!

September 14, 2011 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Oh my goodness, what a cute post! That was such a sweet idea you guys came up with & I'm glad it worked! Parenting is hard work... flying by the seat of our pants sometimes!

September 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

YAY Levi! (He's soooo stinkin' cute! :) Bravo momma & daddy!

September 14, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

That was so sweet. I'm a sucker for night time stuff too & know I'd be a pushover if I had paci kids. Unfortunately I have thumb suckers. Can't mail them...darn it;). He is precious. He & my little buddy sure would be good friends...he reminds me so much of our little boy:). Sweet!! Way to go Levi!

September 14, 2011 at 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How precious! I'm going to make note of this method for when I have kids. I'm impressed!

Do you have an extra 'Ally' just in case he decides to head back to the swamp? :)

September 14, 2011 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Mindy Harris said...

brilliant idea, jess. levi is too cute for words. i say it all the time. he simply must marry story!

September 14, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are thinking it's time to get rid of our son's paci's also (he's 17 months). This is a good idea! My son sleeps with 3 in his crib also...1 for his mouth and 1 for each hand!

September 14, 2011 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Our oldest was almost three when he finally gave up his pacis and we made a Build A Bear and he put them all inside. We were going to Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend and we said they weren't allowed there. That did the trick for us, but he sure did love his pacis. I hated to take it away too!
Levi is so adorable, his alligator is an awesome sleeping buddy!

September 14, 2011 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Danielle H. said...

Oh, the paci. I'm embarassed to say my little girl threw away her last paci on her 4th bday. She really didn't use it much towards the end but liked to hold it with "blankee". I wasn't so lucky with the paci fairy trick! Your little guy really is adorable!

September 14, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repeating another commenter - do you have another Ally? It could save you some heartache in the future if you have two (and be sneaky and trade them out every once in a while so they smell the same and have the same amount of wear). An adorable idea!

September 14, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger The Moffats said...

Oh man. This post almost made me cry. Tanner is EXACTLY the same. 3 paci's at bed time - one in mouth and one in each hand. I am DREADING the day we have to get rid of them. If it works I will be doing exactly the same thing :) I loved all the pictures. SOOOOOO cute. You captured it all perfectly. He will love to look back at it some day. Our walk to the community mailbox would not be nearly as exciting though! haha.

September 14, 2011 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

We had a equally hard time making the decision to toake my daughter's pacifier away. And she reacted the same way at night - didn't care at all. But just like Levi, during the day it was a completely different story. Being a momma is hard!!

September 14, 2011 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I absolutely love that big smile and him holding onto his alligator in his bed. I love all the pictures, will be so great to look back at this day later on. And I adore the alligator.

Had wanted to do something like that with Kenzie a few years ago when we felt like it was time to start thinking about getting rid of them (I saw something similar on super nanny)
But she finally lost her last one and after searching for a little while, we told her it was all gone and we had no more. She went to sleep without so much as a tear. She asked for it at nap the next day and then again at bedtime... and that was the end of it. We completely lucked out!

September 14, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Way to go! Ugh, I don't want to have to think about taking the paci away, but I know I should!! We waited until our first two were a little older, and it was very tough on them! I feel like it would be an easier transition if we did it with our "baby" now... He is just so sweet when he asks for his paci and blankie at bedtime and naptime. Ah! The joys of motherhood. Glad you guys had such a fun and easy transition for Levi! :-)

September 14, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Regina said...

This is such a great post- he is so cute, and what a great idea about putting them in the mailbox and fetching out his new replacement. I am glad it is working so well for you!

September 14, 2011 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh, this made me so sad! I even showed the post to my husband and he was like, "I'm not ready to do that yet! It will be a sad day for me!!" Our little guy is a few months younger than Levi and we are also expecting a little brother around New Years. I know that we need to take away Bennett's paci very soon ... but, oh, my heart!

Where do you find your pacis? Are they Nuks?

September 14, 2011 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Jaclyn said...

such a cute little alligator, and SUCH a cute little Levi :)
My son was also obsessed with his paci, and when we took them away this year I could not believe how great he did. But the naps, oh the naps...they got worse for sure :( At least now at night he is super worn out and goes to bed really well!!

I love your package exchange idea. SO fun!!

September 14, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous lona said...

great picture documentation and great idea!!....just get another alligator for back up!! i learned the hard way ;)

September 14, 2011 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger The Boccias said...

So, so cute. And yea, Levi! This makes me think I need to get on the ball with Talia saying bye bye to binkies, especially since she's a little older than Levi! Nathan said she had like 5 binkies in her crib the other night...he said she was probably rolling around in them, just enjoying the good life. :) I'm so scared...she's a good sleeper now and already has a stuffed cat that she sleeps with and ADORES.

September 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job, mom! I'm in love with Ally!

September 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Miss Jordan said...

Levi is almost the exact same age as my son, Brayden.. I am also struggling with the pacifier! Brayden usually only has it for naps & bedtime but he just loves it so much I feel mean taking it away! Might have to try "sending them away"! :)

September 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger deut306 said...

What a great idea! I may have to try this with my lil guy when it's time for paci to go away.

Try a different brand paci for the new baby - it may help Levi realize they're not his. This worked for us.

September 14, 2011 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'll give you the parent of the year award! Seriously - where do you come up with this stuff? Your boys are super-d-duper blessed to have you as their mama. And so was Cora!

September 14, 2011 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

What a good job he did (and what a great idea)! Pacis were the last thing we made Diego give up right before Eliana was born. It was hard... I loved that little pacifier face! Neither of my other two babies have been pacifier babies, although, Cruz thinks it's really funny to take Finley's on occasion. Praying for you this week!

September 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I don't know if I've ever commented on your blog before, but I just had to on this post. We are trying to get our daughter to stop sucking her thumb (she just turned seven!) and it's so hard. You can't take it away like a paci. Today is day two and we are so proud of her for quitting cold turkey, especially when the temptation is right there, 24/7. I can't imagine how hard it's been for her to do this. She's been sucking that thumb since she was four months old. It's so hard to watch your baby go through "withdrawals", I know. Good job for getting him off his paci, though. Love the blog!

September 14, 2011 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Such a cute post and love the pictures! Those are definitely ones to put in a book, such a big milestone! Congrats!

September 15, 2011 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Great idea, I love it! When my youngest arrived my niece gave all her paci's to him. She brought all of them over in a little bucket the day after he was born and she never asked for them again. It's amazing how well kids adjust. Sometimes I think it's much harder for us. :)
p.s. I've followed you for a while and have never commented. You have a beautiful family and it's been a joy to watch how God has worked in your life. He is amazing, isn't he?

September 15, 2011 at 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi jess! i really love reading your blog! anyway, i'm so impressed with this post... you're so blessed to have such a cute and good lil' boy. i'm sure that he will grow up a fine young man. i can't wait to see your next bundle of joy! God bless your family always!

September 15, 2011 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Stef said...

good for you guys! Pacis have been the hardes to let go of in our house, for the same reasons you listed - its a nice quiet distraction for baby while Mommy and Daddy sleep :)

I'm glad his transition went well!

September 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Such beautiful photos, your house and surrounds are really stunning. When I was little I was obsessed with the American MidWest (I live in Ireland and our landscape is so different) and I always think its funny that I ended up following so many Kansas blogs, I guess it was just meant to be :-)
Well done on the peaceful paci removal. I'm still breastfeeding my 18mnt old boy and I think it might be a bit harder to remove that though weaning was much easier than I expected with his big sis so hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised too. I'm very very jealous about the night time, my guy is a terrible sleeper.
Lastly, I'm going to give you some advice...go buy two more Ally Alligators, incase Ally One ever decides to take a vacation ;-)

September 15, 2011 at 3:19 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

What a wonderful post! I remember stressing each time we had to stop using pacis at our house. You would think it would get easier when you are doing it for the third time but nope - even child number three was an emotionally difficult experience.... for me! We did the paci exchange, like you, for one, a visit from the "paci fairy" for another and for the first child (when we didn't know any better) we took advice from a friend and had his pacis "pop!" In other words, we cut off the tops and put them back in his crib. I still can't believe we did that - how traumatic! You are so right about parenting being hard. You should pat yourself on the back for getting through such a big hurdle!

September 15, 2011 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger Aubre Rice said...

I admit, I cried at this post for a variety of reasons. We have a boy that loves his pacis too. He's 4 now and I can't imagine not having the pacis around. And bedtime, naptime.....holy cow, I can't even begin to imagine! Thanks for the great idea, it gives me some hope!

September 15, 2011 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger Givinya De Elba said...

Well done! That's awesome, and the alligator is so cute. Our little Joseph has sucked his thumb since he was a baby and now that he's 2, we were wondering if we should try to stop him. All the information we've read says that it's really quite impossible, and it's better to wait until they choose to stop.

Then, after a lot of sickness this (Australian) winter and plenty of antibiotics, the poor little love got quite bad thrush in his mouth. He was so miserable for days, and didn't tolerate food or drink in his mouth. He stopped talking for a few days too, and also stopped sucking his thumb.

Thankfully, he's better now: back on his food and talking even more than before. But ... no thumb-sucking! We are amazed!

September 15, 2011 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger A Long said...

We recently took Carter's beloved paci away, too. He's done great with Avery - he loves "giving" (aka pushing it in her mouth) her paci to her. We talk a lot about how pacis are for babies.

September 15, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger The Harner's said...

Just plain AWESOME!!! You guys got off so easy!! It was easy for Logan too but I know some people have a horrible time of it! Yeah Levi and yeah for Ally!

September 15, 2011 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

Good job, Mama! I think it was harder for me than it was for my girls when we said goodbye to their pacifiers shortly before their baby brother was born (they were 2 and 2.5)... it felt like the last bit of 'babyhood'.
Love the alligator - where did you find him? Bedtime pals are so great - my girls both have special stuffed animals and they go EVERYWHERE with us. They are really members of the family!

September 15, 2011 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

So cute!! Way to go Levi! Give it another week and I bet he won't even cry during nap. I really think cold turkey is the way to go with those things, I think I liked them more than my daughter did before we stopped giving them to her. I wasn't ready to take away this one last "baby" object. Love the alligator, where did you get it?

September 15, 2011 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Christy @ MCH PHOTOGRAPHY said...

Good idea, I have been putting this off with my daughter she still has hers and she's 3!!! eek.

September 15, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a sweet story. I love the photos, too! You won't regret this, as I have two kids that will most likely need braces because I did not do this. :)

September 15, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

that is awesome. Ava cried herself to sleep for a month when we took her paci away. hardest thing I've ever had to do. I would leave her room and cry outside the door. still makes me teary eyed just thinking about it!

September 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you get the alligator?

September 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger jennifer rogers said...

too cute! I just really hope that when he sees the new baby with a pacifier he doesn't want his back...... good luck!!!!

September 15, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger waiting said...

So sweet! You are right! Parenting is VERY HARD work! My 10 year old is wearing me out!!!

September 15, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

What a sweet story! It reminded me of when we had to take our little guy's paci away. Luca loved them just like Levi....always had them in his crib. So sweet!

September 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Ceri said...

Oh Jess, I feel your pain! We did not give the paci up till my son was over 3. The paci fairy came. We tied them to balloons and sent them "up up up in the sky to the fairy" Then the fairy left us a double lightsaber... he was excited and never asked for it again. But the lead up for us was hard. He only used it at naps on the weekend (it was the only way we would get him to take a nap!) not even at bed time... and -every- once in a while in the car. We made it. He still even kinda naps on weekends. (He will be 4 next month) so there is hope! And I LOVE those photos!!! Levi is SO SO cute!

September 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger brandonlk said...

I love this. Levi is too cute.

September 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger jbreeden said...

That is absolutely amazing! I am impressed!!!

September 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Mandi said...

I have been reading your blog for ever and never commented but I had to on this one! =)
I have a little girl that is about 2 or 3 days older then Levi (she was born Dec 31). We recently took her paci away about a week ago. It was sooo hard for Momma but she didn't cry either and she was SUPER attached. Naps were a little rough for us as well but now she's completely fine!
Another funny/similar thing is that she has had a blanket since birth but when we took the paci away we tried to get her a stuffed animal and she attached to a green dinosaur that we call Rexie! Hehe
I just thought it was cute how similar our situations were with this whole paci thing and wanted to tell you. =)

September 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you! We took our son's pacis away at 2 1/2 years old and he did very well at night too. He continued to nap for a week after and then, poof, bye-bye naps. That was the only drawback to taking the pacis away but it was time. Hope Levi continues to do well.

September 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger L ~ S said...

Good idea! He is such a cutie!

September 15, 2011 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Cindy@Crayon Wishes and Popsicle Dreams said...

So cute, Jess! And that alligator is adorable!!

September 15, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a super stinkin' sweet idea!! love this post!

September 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

When it was time for my son to ditch the paci, he took them, threw them in the garbage, and that was that. I was in complete and utter shock. I have no idea it could ever be so easy.

Bravo to Levi, and the 2 of you, for having such a smooth transition to a new kind of bedtime lovey. :)


September 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Good for you. Our oldest daughter is 2 years and 4 months and our new one is 2 weeks. I just didn't have the heart to take the pacis away before baby's arrival. I know that they will have to be gone at some point, but like you said, it is just so hard to take something that they love. I love your idea of mailing them. We may have to give that a shot one of these days.

September 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger lalalovely lindsay said...

Seriously, Levi is stinkin' adorable and that alligator is cute too!

September 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Tonya said...

That alligator is darling!!! Way to go, Mom & Dad, getting rid of those pacis!

My 7yr old still sucks his thumb and we've tried just about everything to help him stop...nothing's worked long term. It was awfully cute when he was a baby, but now I wish he'd taken a paci that we could take away.

September 15, 2011 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

That is so cute! Our oldest was 18 months when our second child was born. We told him he needed to give the binky to the nurse at the hospital so they could give it to the baby. :) Worked like a charm! Of course we didn't use the actual binky from him--she got a fresh newborn one! Our third child never liked his binky and found his thumb around 3 months. So cute!

September 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous EricaG said...

I happen to believe that I am the mother of two of the cutest little boys ever, but oh my...your Levi is SO adorable. Love the pictures. Love the post.

September 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger AKK said...

Love little Levi! A "veteran" Mom here, just wanted to tell you to go buy 2 more alligators (noticed quite a few commented the same.) Learned this the hard way. Let each alligator get as worn as the others. Rotate them and Levi will never know.

Good luck with the delivery of little brother, can't wait to see photos of your new little one with Levi!

September 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

loved this post!

September 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Here's a funny story about another "Ally the alligator."

My mom is a teacher at a preschool. She works with 2 year olds. They did a unit study about baby animals. All the baby animals had names. The baby alligator was named "Ally the Alligator".

Now there was a precious little girl in her class who was expecting a baby sister just any day. The baby sister was to be guess it Ally.

One day baby sister finally arrived. Big sister was so excited to go and meet her new baby Ally. When she arrived at the hospital, she was very disappointed to discover that Ally was a baby girl not a baby alligator. In fact she cried quite a bit and said she was expecting "Ally the Alligator".

True story!!!

I'm not sure if this story is funny or sad. Maybe a little of both. I guess considering the name thing, one can see where Big Sis got this idea. Fortunately by the time baby Ally came home from the hospital, big sister had adjusted and was excited.

September 15, 2011 at 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Idea!

September 16, 2011 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Seriously you really might be parents of the year. I've never heard of a story that ended so well (all my kids have been/are paci babies)! Way to be strong. And that alligator is so adorable I can hardly stand it! :) Great job!!!

September 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Toni :O) said...

Terrific idea and what a perfect choice...Ally is adorable, just like Levi! Congrats on it being so successful! Yes, go ahead and give yourself Parent of the Year Award, you two deserve it!

September 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Mary Kaisand said...

I'm a nanny for a family with an almost three-year old sweet little girl and now she's a big sister! Before the baby arrived they had their daughter give her paci to a friend who had a baby as a "gift." However at home she found an old one that was broken and desperately wanted it. She was allowed to use it and a couple times during nap she went with out it (if it was hiding literally). About a month ago I put her down for a nap and she randomly decided to say, "No! You hold this. Set it on the counter for Mommy and Daddy!" That was the last time I ever saw it. She never asks for it again!

September 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Cammie said...

That was a very cute way of giving up the paci. Our daughter stopped using hers a few weeks before the new baby arrived, we were a little worried she would have a problem when she his paci & we haven't had any [we used different brand maybe that helped?]

Someone stated having a second 'Ally' & swapping them out, that is an awesome idea, wish we'd thought about that. We washed our daughters bear 'Hugs' with new sheets & it came out all yucky looking so we bought a new one & told her we gave 'Hugs' a bath. well she knew he was not the same bear & is still upset to this day. [had to give her the old one back]

September 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Care said...

I have a feeling Reese is going to be a pacifier lover, too! Love this idea, and I think I may copy you in a few years!

September 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Caryl @ said...

Oh my gosh - that is the cutest thing ever! New blog follower. Love!! Congratulations on your new little one. Caryl (

October 24, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Jami said...

I am a first time reader - a friend sent me to your blog after I just wrote a paci post myself! I am seriously going to use that idea some point...not ready yet i don't think! My little guy (our foster - soon to be adopted) son adores his paci like your son does too - they remind me of each other. I also read Cora's story and I am just sitting here without words. That is the greatest fear -and yet you can see the beauty from the ashes in your story. I am going to pray for you tonight though for continued grace and peace. Thanks for your blog - I'm a fan now! :) Is it okay to add you to my blog roll?

October 28, 2011 at 12:22 AM  

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