The Pacifier Dilemma

Like many other mothers, I debated on whether to give my son a pacifier.  The nurses at the hospital never really discussed its uses with me or when it would be best to first introduce it.   I’m not a moron, and I understand what a pacifier is and what it’s purpose is, but I spent 9 months getting so much unsolicited advice from mothers, wanna be mothers, and even men who’d heard from their wives, sisters, mothers, and girlfriends about what to do and not to do that I was a little overwhelmed about the pros and cons of a pacifier.

My mother-in-law told me that she didn’t use a pacifier, that my husband sucked his thumb.   I used a pacifier briefly as a child, but never sucked my thumb.   My brother, on the other hand, spent years with a pacifier.  He wouldn’t go to sleep at night without one in his mouth and one in each hand.  I’m hoping Davey doesn’t get to that point.

Here’s the problem, though.  I’m worried that Davey is becoming too attached to the pacifier.   And here’s where this concern comes from…Davey’s playgroup.   All of the other babies are perfectly content without one.  It’s even my understanding that most of them NEVER used a pacifier or have been rid of it since they were only a few months old.   Am I being a slacker at raising my son by relying on the pacifier too much?  I know, let’s just add this to the list of worries I have as a mother.

The reason I decided to attack this subject is because the use of a pacifier has been an age-old controversy that has recently seen new light thanks to a new study by the AAP and use of the pacifier while breastfeeding.

I purposely held off from giving Davey a pacifier for at least 4 weeks, although my mother was encouraging it sooner.   Like every breastfeeding momma, I’d heard that introducing the pacifier too soon could cause nipple confusion and that it was possible Davey would not be able to latch on again.  Here’s the new kicker, though, it may not affect breastfeeding at all!   Thanks a lot, AAP, for telling me this NOW!

And of course, Davey now appreciates his pacifier, perhaps too much.   So, I’m trying to wean him off it.  He doesn’t need it all the time, but for some reason my husband and I seem to be eager to pop that little booger in his mouth all the time.

Am I hurting him?   I think so and that’s why I’m trying to stop using it.   When he has the pacifier, he’s not trying to talk.   It’s harder for him to laugh and smile.  It’s seems to be stunting every part of this growth.   I usually pop it in his mouth when we’re going some place because it’s good at soothing him and keeping him calm.  I’m not eager to have a baby that cries all the time.  I’m not eager to drop him off in the nursery at the gym, only to pick him up later and hear that he’s been crying incessantly the entire time.  So, again, I’m using the pacifier as a crutch or maybe the better term is “band-aid”.

The Bump has a great little article on this subject, with a link for some Q & A’s in regards to pacifier use.   If you’re a mom, or a mom to be, check it out.

http://blog.thebump.com/2012/04/30/pacifiers-may-not-affect-breastfeeding-after-all/

And I’m curious about the rest of you mommies out there.  What’s your experience with pacifiers?

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