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The End is Nigh for the Pacifier

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

When does a paci habit go from so-so to so bad?

When I took Peony into the pediatrician for her 15-month well-child visit near the end of last year, I sheepishly told the doctor that she’s very much a paci-girl.

“She loves that thing,” I laughed uncomfortably. “Like, loves loves it. But she’s OK to keep using it, right? When does she need to give it up?”

The pediatrician looked at me squarely in the eye. “Now.”

It was what I already kind of knew but didn’t really want to face. For Peony or, frankly, for me.

My older daughter never really took to the pacifier, so when we took it away when she was 9 or 10 months old, she never even noticed.

This is not the case with Peony.

She often has a pacifier strapped to her shirt, a different one in her mouth and one in each hand. It might be the reason she has never taken to a lovie — she loves all of her pacifiers and would like them all with her at all times. It would be cute if it weren’t for the fact that it’s just not level of adorableness as a stuffed bunny or well-worn blankie.

I know pacifiers are better in some ways than thumbs (you can take away a paci but no one’s cutting off a thumb), but that doesn’t make staring down the barrel of separating her from her lovie(s) any easier.

One friend told me to start cutting off the tips of her pacis. Others have given different advice. I know it’s bad for her teeth. I think maybe it’s not good for her developmentally or emotionally. But is it normal for me not to have the mental fortitude to really take this on?

Peony shares a room with Petunia, and I have no idea how anyone will sleep when the day comes for Peony to go to bed with a paci. I imagine she’ll be angry but just kind of desperate, too. I know it’s what’s best and I know the sooner we do it, the better, but as is the case with so many other things, is thereever a good time? And if the answer is no, where does that leave me?

Fortunately for Peony, that leaves her with her pacis in tact (in mouth) for just a little while longer.

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Babble’s Toddler blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Mom blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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