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The Great Pacifier Debate: Will You or Won't You?

Yes, he used a pacifier…until very recently.

When I was expecting my first baby, I bought a couple pacifiers.  I thought I’d offer them to her if she wanted them.  After all, I had them growing up, so why not!

Well, she used them sometimes in the first two months of her life, but pretty soon after I stopped pumping and got her exclusively nursing, she didn’t want anything more to do with them.

Which then led me to say that we were not going to offer them to my son.  At all.  Not even going there, because they were bad and unnecessary and I should be able to satisfy all his needs myself, with nursing.

(Don’t laugh.)  That’s not how it worked out, though….

Yes, I know, ideally, all babies would be exclusively breastfed (which my son was — no bottles) and they would do all their sucking, comfort or feeding, from mom.  I know, I know.

But then what do you do with a baby who latches on, sucks for two seconds, and immediately unlatches and screams because he doesn’t want more milk…he just wants to suck!  That was my son, completely.  And so by the time he was a week old, he had a pacifier in his mouth whenever he was asleep.  I wrote about some our experiences with pacifiers on my blog.

This continued…and he was 18 months and still sucking that thing all the time.  Well, whenever he was tired or upset, anyway.  We had tried to wean him off it around 6 months, when we were also trying to teach him to self-soothe and sleep through the night…neither of which happened at.all, and then he got a bad cold anyway and it all went out the window.  Oh well

Anyway, he finally gave it up over the weekend.  We took it away in the morning (intending to allow him to have it back for sleep), but then he fell asleep at nap without it.  So we didn’t give it to him for bed.  He asked, but didn’t seem very unhappy when we said no.  Since then he asks less and less (only when very tired/upset but sometimes not even then).  My only regret is he doesn’t like to snuggle me as much before bed now. :(  I guess my baby’s growing up!  He’s still shy of 2, so I feel like…well, it’s gone now.  Good enough.

It may have helped that neither of my babies ever had “nipple confusion.”  They did not care what they took — breast, bottle, or pacifier — as long as they got to suck on something.  I’m sure if it had been an issue, I would have felt differently.

So this baby?  I’ll have some around.  I’ll try not to use them, attempting to satisfy him/her first via breastfeeding.  But if I have to…I have to.  Depends on how “sucky” the baby is.  I don’t mind admitting that I might not use them in a ‘perfect’ world, but this isn’t one.  I may try to limit this one more, but that, too, depends on what I can feasibly do.  If the baby likes them and it buys me five minutes to finish serving the older kids lunch…so be it.  You know?  I have to be realistic.

What do you think?  Will you offer your baby a pacifier or not?

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