Saying Bye Bye to Baba

My kids have sure loved their baba's! Everyone has different names for them; Paci, Baba, Bubba, Bobby, Nubby, to all kinds of words I've never even heard of! I know that it's recommended for kids to not have pacifiers after a certain age, and I know it's much younger than 3.5. There are quite a few reasons I haven't pushed my kids to drop their pacifiers at an earlier age. Let's get down to the history of babas with our kids.

When we moved to Idaho Camryn (my oldest) was about 2.5. Right before our move she got what I thought was poison oak on her face and hands. I've later come to wonder if it was hand, foot, mouth and I had no idea. Anyway, her pacifier would touch her face right where these painful bumps on her cheeks were. At the time she only used her baba for nap time (same as Britton). I had broken Camryn of using her baba at bedtime when she was probably around 4 months old but, that was another story. Once we said no baba at nap time guess what my beautiful daughter did? She stopped napping! Yay....

I was as consistent as I could be with Camryn about not having her baba at nap time and it was A LONG MONTH of no naps. I finally gave in after my 2 year old stopped napping for a month. This pregnant mom needed her kiddo to NAP! Camryn was so happy to have a new baba again when I finally relented that she went right back to napping with ZERO issues. I had told her "these are the last two babas I will buy you". I forget what happened to one but she only had one grey one left. She stopped napping consistently around 3.5 years old and so sometimes she would still have quiet time with her baba even though she wouldn't sleep. By the time she was in Pre-K at 4 years old she was not using her baba anymore at all unless she was home on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and was actually going to nap. So for that last year she rarely had it in her mouth. She knew that by the time she was turning 5 she would not be allowed to have access to baba anymore. We told her we'd save it in her baby box as a memory for her.

This transition was easy for Camryn. She knew the plan for over a year in advance! Camryn still looks back and smiles knowing her old baba is in her baby box. She helped convince Britton that she would do the same with her babas when it was time.

There were many times with Britton we thought she was done with her baba. She went through a stage as a baby where she refused her baba and it killed me! She cried a lot as a baby and wouldn't take a bottle so when she finally started using her baba again around 9 months she was all about it and I couldn't have been happier. Pop the baba in her mouth equaled no more crying. She would have that baba in her mouth ALL THE TIME if we let her. After she started talking she would be so quiet with her baba and wouldn't talk so we would leave her baba in her crib and it would only be for nap time. Again, no baba at bed time. She did great with this but as she got older she always tried to sneak her babas. It became a game to her. Around 2.5 years old she started biting holes in all of her babas! She had none left and I said "Okay, no more babas!" but she also stopped napping and it was horrible. I did the same thing and bought ONE MORE PACK so she has had 2 babas for over a year now. She uses them at nap time but she only naps about half the days of the week. She still tries to sneak them though. If Britton is being too quiet we usually know she went upstairs to be with her baba. She's very sneaky! She would even hide in her closet with it like some sort of addict. Pretty hilarious actually.

I really thought it would be a similar path with Britton as it was for Camryn. I figured it would still be quite a while until she was done with hers. I was so surprised this week when I asked her if she'd like to send her baba away with balloons into the sky. She as all about it! So, after ballet today, David stopped by the store and picked up some balloons for the girls. Britton was giddy with excitement to let it fly off. She believes her baba is going to fly to "the dessert, past the airport, to Hawaii, or California". So ridiculously cute!!

I took some photos of her with baba in her mouth one last time. Camryn helped tie the baba to her balloons. David took a video. We all participated in this celebration for her. Today just happens to be an extremely windy day! She let them go and we thought they would blow away quickly which they did but then a wind gust forced them back towards us and now they are stuck in one of our trees. Luckily she is okay with it and we told her they would fly away tonight. We hope they pop tonight!! We shall see how nap time goes this week. My guess is naps will most likely be a thing of the past without her baba but I'm okay with her working on more independent play during quiet time.

It's funny how babas have such a bad stigma around them but those pacifiers have comforted both my girls so much through their baby and toddler years. I'm thankful for the comfort they provided to them. There isn't much sweeter to me than the memories of each of my girls at 1, 2 or yes, even 3 sleeping with their baba during nap time.