It was actually super easy. We told her all about the "Sucky Fairy". The Sucky Fairy comes and takes suckies from big girls and boys who don't need them anymore so that they can be given to brand new babies, who do. We drew a bunch of pictures of suckys, glued them to a box to put her suckys in (I swear to god, there were about 20 stashed around the house.) and left them for the fairy to take.
We asked her what might help her be more comfortable at night without her sucky, and she said "a cuddly toy", so I took her to the One of a Kind Show and let her pick out her new big girl cuddly. She named her Jenny.
She "wrote" (ie. dictated, and insisted that it be written exactly as said) the fairy a nice note, which I still have, that said:
"Dear Sucky Fairy,I'm still not quite sure what she meant by "remind the babies of the view", but I imagined it to be quite profound.
I love you to remind the babies of the view and I'd like you to give all the babies these suckys. It is good to give babies suckys. I like to cuddle Jenny when I don't have the suckys. I am a big girl now, so I don't need a sucky."
We left it out overnight and woke up the next morning to a note from the fairy, thanking her for all the suckies, telling her that her mummy and daddy must be very proud to have such a generous, grown up girl and a pretty necklace. Because big girls have jewellery. Easy Peasy.
Kee never had a sucky. We tried it a couple of times, but I figure if you have to hold it in there, then you probably shouldn't bother. Kee's comfort item of choice is a blue blankie. She loves her blankie so much that she actually, literally, cannot sleep without it. She also reaches for it whenever she's scared, hurt, shy, tired, angry, or sad. She also pretends it's a horse.
One time, when she was about 8 months old, the girls stayed over at my parents' house and while we were there picking them up the cat got into their room and sprayed her blankie. Freaking disgusting. We didn't notice it until we got home, when we went to put her to bed. No way was I going to put her down with a blanket covered in cat spray.
I put it in the laundry immediately, and we tried putting her down without it. A full hour of screaming later, she and I sat in the laundry room on the floor watching it spin in the dryer until it came out. Presented with warm, spray-free blankie, she fell asleep instantaneously. Really. Like she'd been hit with a brick.
After that event, I realised we needed a back up. We'd had about a thousand suckies, it only made sense to have an emergency extra blanket or two, right? However, since I'd originally purchased the blanket for Beege over two years ago, I'd forgotten where I'd gotten it. A search was mounted, my whole family was involved and eventually, another blanket was found. I was so happy.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Kee was sitting on the couch, snuggling her blankie while I was folding laundry next to her. (You see where this is going, right?) I unthinkingly pulled out... another blankie. "BLANKIE!"
Since that day, she needs two blankies to get to sleep. At this point, we have five of them.
Luckily, when she knocked over the laundry basket this morning and two "blankies" fell out, I managed to body check her before she could focus, then throw them in my bedroom and slam the door.
Because, really? I just don't have the closet space.
*Soother, Pacifier, Dummy, what have you; we called it a sucky.