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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Baby Crack

We've been having the debate here, which changes constantly, about when/if to use the pacifier. You read stuff about how it shortens the length of time a child will breastfeed. You read about how you should really try to find out what the baby wants instead of just quieting the kid down. You read so many conflicting things that it's difficult to know if you're ruining your child when you shove the binky in.

It's an interesting effect that the pacifier has. It reminds me of bad movies where a thuggish guy sneaks up on the lady from behind and, with his leather-glove-clad hand, holds a rag soaked in ether over her face. You stick the pacifier in the baby's mouth and he struggles for a moment. He keeps his mouth wide open in defiance, shouting the whole time. Then, if you hold it in there like the thug and his glove, the kid gives in and starts working the binky in a carbon copy of Maggie Simpson.

And you have to wonder whether something that makes a parent's life so much easier (or at least less shriek-filled) can possibly be good for the kid.

In the end, we're deferring to our pediatrician, who dismissed cries of boob-doom and said that we should use the pacifier as needed. Just not all the goddamn time.

Riley never got into his binky...that is, until now. He found it the other day and thinks it's funny to make Mommy put it her mouth and then give her a kiss. Yep, that's a game he made Mommy play for a solid half hour yesterday.
I would not have survived to breast feed my daughter for two years without the pacifier. She wanted to suck. And suck. And suck. She got the pacifier at 3 weeks, weaned herself from it at 6 months and breast fed for two years. Go with what your baby needs and what offers comfort, not what the "experts" say because regardless, no baby is the same. And in ten years, in the grand scheme of things, how much will it have mattered that you gave a pacifier?
File this one under things you won't believe you worried about later. (I have tons of those). Do whatever works for you.

The pediatrician's advice sounds pretty good.
FYI? From a mom of three grown ones? It'll turn into "all the goddamn time" and you SHOULD EMBRACE THE BINKY. LOVE THE BINKY. LEAN ON THE BINKY.
I've found that if the baby wants and loves the binky, you can discuss it again when he wants to bring it to school.

PS: all three of mine are relatively well adjusted guys.
We're raising our own little Maggie Simpson.

You guys have gone this long without the binky? I'm impressed - you're either Baby Whisperers or masochists. : )

We actually snagged like 6 NICU binkies when we were leaving the hospital because they comforted him so much. Of course, we were dealing with the heart condition diagnosis and instructions to keep him calm and happy, so we didn't think twice about the binky or anything else that would prevent crying (formula and Kahlua, perhaps?). But had he not had a heart issue, I probably would have agonized over it, too.

Good luck with your decision.
I loathed the paci and would've done without it, had we had another chance. We had a "going away party" for it when our daughter turned 2. It wasn't too difficult for her to give it up, but it was HELLACIOUS for me as a father, while she had it. As an infant, it would drop out of her mouth while she slept and I'd have to run in and get it a few times / night, as she cried and looked for it herself. I was a SLAVE to the paci. My advice: don't use the goddamn thing.
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