Last month we officially said goodbye to Marla's pacifier, aka "nu-nu."
Marla's relationship with her nu-nu has been going strong since the beginning. As a newborn, we kind of forced it on her when, after commenting on how often she was nursing, her pediatrician told me, "If you don't offer her a pacifier, she'll use you as one." After a few months, she was hooked. We always kept the pacifier for naptime and bedtime almost exclusively, thus creating an amazing sleep association tool that I will never ever regret introducing. The pacifier always comforted her and helped put her to sleep when nothing else would. There are a lot of things you can't predict with a baby/toddler, and having just one thing that I could count on time and again was absolutely priceless.
When she turned two, I figured the time had come to part ways with the nu-nu, but I was afraid of the ramifications. Marla has never been a good sleeper even with the pacifier, so we worried that taking away our most trusted ally would lead to disaster, or at the very least a lot of sleepless nights (and we have enough of those already). We made a few half-hearted attempts at taking it away. We told her nu-nu's are for babies, not big girls. We cut a slit in it to change its sensation. But neither logical nor underhanded methods worked... bribery did.
While we were reading books one night, I told Marla that if she gave me her nu-nu and slept the whole night without it, she could have a donut in the morning. She hesitated for a moment and said, "I want a pink donut." I agreed, and with that, she handed it over. She fell asleep without issue and slept through the entire night. The nu-nu has been gone ever since. She's asked for it periodically since, but has only cried for it a couple of times. It's strange, because I thought I'd be a lot happier to see it go... but I really miss being able to rely on it during long car rides. Plus, it's just one more step out of babyhood. But it was time to say goodbye. We'll miss you, nu-nu!