At Claire's 9 month well-baby checkup, her pediatrician, whose advice I absolutely respect, suggested that it was the perfect time to get rid of her pacifier. At that time, she was a 24-hour-a-day addict, and I was well accustomed to a full night's sleep and daily nap, so the thought of taking away this sleeping crutch terrified me. We decided to compromise and keep "sassy" (we call it a "paci", Claire calls it "sassy") in bed. She was far from getting teeth so it seemed like a perfectly harmless plan.
Fast forward to the present day, and Claire was a two-year-old with a serious sassy addiction. She never used it during the daytime (except when she was sick), but all we had to do at bedtime was say "Claire, do you want to go to bed? Sassy's in there!" and she would go running upstairs. She came down with a mystery fever last week, so I took her (and sassy) to the pediatrician to check for an ear infection. Her ears were OK, but her doctor gave me a hard time about the paci. He said he would like to see it gone by her 2-year-old checkup...already scheduled two weeks later!
I took the advice of a friend and cut off the very tip of her paci so that it did not provide the same sensation when she put it in her mouth. I felt quite guilty destroying Claire's favorite possession! At bedtime that night, Claire took one look at her paci and started crying "Sassy broken!". The poor girl cried for 45 minutes before falling asleep. I was worried that we were in for a long night. Surprisingly, she didn't wake again until morning!
The next day, she carried sassy around and often talked about how it was broken, but she never tried to put it in her mouth. Her naps were rough for a couple days but she's been sleeping well at night, and today she took a nap too.
I think it helped that she could still hold onto and play with sassy, even though she's lost the desire to put it in her mouth. I thought I'd share our experience for other mommies with paci addicts! Good luck :).