This is my daughter with her soother.....about 3 years ago. She is now 4.5, and yes, still has (had!) a soother. I know, I can hear the gasps now. Trust me when I say this - the timing has never been right. This is a kid who has no other comfort other than her pacifier. She can take or leave any of her stuffed animals, and there is no special "blankie" in the house that is reserved for her. Her only comforts in life have been nursing and "suckie." And since we stopped nursing a while back, suckie took its place. She has been using it only at nighttime for the past year (and very limited daytime use before that).
My husband and I have been talking about removing the pacifier for a couple of years now. It hasn't been done for several reasons:
1. It works! She sleeps well with her pacifier and it means minimal hand-holding at nighttime.
2. Our dentist approved. I know - many other dentists will tell you that it's a problem past the age of 2, but our dentist was ok with us restricting daytime use and trying to encourage her to use it less during sleep.
lazy tired. We have a 15 month old who has not been sleeping well for a long time, and the thought of losing more sleep scared us!
But alas, the day came. Our dentist told us it was time. Our daughter bites down on the soother throughout the night, which has resulted in a big gap in her bite. This needs to be rectified before adult teeth come in. Plus, she's much older now and able to understand reasoning as to why it needs to go.
poking and prodding gentle encouragement from my husband, we came up with a Soother Fairy plan. Just like the tooth fairy, the Soother Fairy comes and takes away the soothers, while leaving a special gift in their place. Hubby went clothes shopping at Carter's and found her some really nice outfits we knew she'd get excited about. He also wrote her a special card, congratulating her on becoming a big girl.
It's now Day 5, and things are going very well. The only problem we've encountered is early morning wake-ups - without the soother in her mouth, she's having a harder time sleeping in!
Did your child use a soother? At what age did you take it away?