We are a little strict about limiting Carson's pacifier use. We used to make him go to sleep at night without it but I'd sneak in at 10 pm and sprinkle binkies around him so if he woke up too early in the morning, he'd find one and go back to sleep. It worked wonderfully for several months but then, just like Pavlov's dogs, Carson developed ultrasonic hearing and instantly woke up when the Binkie fairy opened the door to sprinkle binkies. He became accustomed to getting his binkie at 10 pm.
That seemed silly so we eliminated the binkie completely. The only time Carson was allowed to have it was for his afternoon nap. Everything was going well, other than he got up at 6:30 instead of 8:00. So we didn't love it but short of inventing a machine (similar to automatic cat and dog feeders) to magically drop a binkie out of a timed door at 6:00 am, we were okay.
Well, the other day Carson woke up after only 1.5 hours during his afternoon nap. That isn't enough for him so I decided to climb into his crib (I swear I'd never done this before!!) and get him to snooze a little longer. What I discovered over the next 1.5 hours, is that his crib mattress must be made out of concrete supported by metal springs. It was horrible!! No wonder the poor kid wasn't sleeping well! I think my head was actually bruised.
I got online and almost purchased him a memory foam pad when we decided it wasn't worth $60! So he got a $9.99 foam eggcrate pad from Target. Yes, it goes against most safety recommendations for kids cribs but he's a year and a half old. Not too worried. The best part, after waking up at 6:15 this morning, he fell back asleep and didn't get up until 8 am. I'm convinced the eggcrate did the trick!! Next, he gets a pillow!