Last summer we switched Lucy to her toddler bed. After she became used to it, we took away the pacifier. It went surprisingly well. Then, after a couple days, it became impossible to get her to sleep without one. I have to admit that we caved and went back to the pacifiers. We thought maybe we just tried to do too much at a time. Over the last several months she became almost more addicted to them than ever, wanting to get it even when she was awake (even though we'd take it away). She had to have them for naps and bedtime, and would start asking for it as soon as she got out of the bath and we were putting her pajamas on.
Then Sunday she didn't nap all afternoon when she was at my parents' house (which allowed me to get a lot of painting done). That night, I figured she was really tired and it might be a good time for the Pacifairy to visit. I explained about how the Pacifairy heard she was such a big girl so she was going to bring Lucy a special treat but Lucy could have no more pacifiers, because they are for babies. She shrieked and cried and eventually I got her to stop screaming long enough to listen to a story - which I made up - involving Princess Lucy and a bunch of other key words such as "beautiful", "magical", "pink", "kitten", "fluffy", "adventure", "forest", and "flying pony", and various combinations thereof. She fell asleep just as I was starting to annoy myself... but I think she enjoyed it. Yeesh. The next morning I let her inhale an entire Hannah Montana candy bracelet right after breakfast, because I had to come up with something and we happened to still have it from Lucy's Christmas stocking from my Grandma. I mean, the Pacifairy brought it. Just like Santa Claus.
Then yesterday she didn't nap (possibly due to the candy bracelet?), as I indicated on my Facebook status. I was so irate trying to get her to stay down, that after an astonishingly wasteful 2 hours I realized it wasn't worth it, and I could have spent that time letting her chill out on the couch watching Noggin while I did just about anything else, which would have been much more productive. I know some peoples' kids nap at age 5, 6, or older, but ours is not one of those kids. I'd rather her go down easier at night, I guess. Last night was a primo example of that, as it only took about 5 minutes of Ron telling her a magical unicorn tale for her to be completely out, by 8:20.
So - the moral of the story was the first time we took the "fires" away she pitched a fit and we got desperate and let her have them again. This time, they literally had to disappear and we had to make the commitment not to go back to them ever again. It has taken a little extra effort but we figured it wasn't going to get any easier, and now is the time to take them away cold-turkey, permanently, no exceptions.