A lot of people beat themselves up about the whole pacifier issue. Should we give them one? Will it affect their eating ability or desire? Will it inhibit speech or cause future dental problems? When is the best time to take it away?
We decided pretty early on, I think, to not really take a stance. If the kids wanted it, that was fine, if they didn’t, that was fine too. We bought the orthopedic ones for the sake of dental whatnot, and decided that we would take it away if there seemed to be a problem, but not necessarily at a specific age or anything like that. This is just what we decided.
Now, living the life of public transportation, I have to say that the paci has very often been a lifesaver. Bored, cranky, annoyed, tired Hannah on the bus/ tube/ train/ airplane promptly received her paci and was quickly pacified. Naturally. It definitely hasn’t inhibited her speech, her teeth have been fine, etc. But she was growing increasingly demanding for her paci at random times of the day, not just bed time like we tried to do. Also, the germ factor is pretty high with something that we tote all around town and on the bus, and that goes directly into her mouth. So we decided that it was time.
I didn’t want to give it up until we were back from our trip to the states, since I knew we would need it to help soothe her to sleep in the various different places that we were staying, keep her calm on long car rides that she wasn’t used to, assist her in getting over the jet lag, and assist me in keeping her quiet on those long plane rides. Chris was away for a conference almost as soon as we were back in the UK, but once he was home I decided it was time.
We clipped it on a Sunday night. We had to rock her a bit that night, but overall she was fine about it and would tell you quickly was broken and in the trash. But in true “You’ve got to be kidding me about the timing of this thing” form, Tuesday night she cried all night long, by Wednesday had a very runny nose and temperature, and we discovered on Friday that she had an ear infection. Also, 2 top molars that were just through the skin. And 2 bottom molars that were just below. (You could see them and feel them, but they weren’t out. Yuck.)
Anyway, we contemplated getting her a new paci, just for the week, and then taking it away once the teeth and infection were gone. But then we decided that this is the new normal around here- now if she’s having a rough time settling herself down to sleep because of an ear infection, or teeth, or any other reason, we have to be the ones to help her through it. Chris and I (and the rocking chair) are the new pacifiers.
But now we’re almost on the other side of it, and it wasn’t so bad.