Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our Little Pacifier Baby

I'm not a big fan of pacifiers.  Well, let me rephrase that.
I'm not a big fan of walking, talking toddlers who still have pacifiers.
It's just one of those things that drives me crazy.  Everyone has something
and that is definitely one of mine.  Always has been.  I'm not all that crazy about babies with 
pacifiers either, but I wouldn't say it bothers me like it does with toddlers.
I would rather see all the beautiful smiles and hear all the sweet coos 
that a pacifier could potentially hide.

With Emma, the husband and I both agreed that we weren't even going to go down
the pacifier road.  We simply weren't going to offer her one.  The main reason for this decision was because we didn't want to go through the fight of taking the pacifier away once she got older.
I've heard plenty of horror stories from parents about when they tried to break their kid from their beloved paci.  Our thought process was how can she want something
she's never had.  Plus, both children and parents survived for hunders of years
without the luxury of a pacifier so surely we could do it too.

And we did.  Emma never took a pacifier.
I will admit that there was one time when we gave in 
and tried to give her one.  We were back home for a few weeks.
We were all extremely tired from the long trip and Emma of course had 
her days and nights mixed up.  That was to be expected from a baby who just
traveled half way across the the world, but we could not get her to sleep for anything.
Nothing worked.  Not rocking.  Not feeding.  Not walking.  Not music.  Not bouncing.
All the tricks that worked here at home were completely useless when we were back in the states.
I think four of five different people tried to get her to sleep and no one was successful.
Joshua and I were just as tired as she was so we finally decided to try a pacifier, 
but Emma wanted nothing to do with it.  She wouldn't even entertain the idea of it.
She immediately spit it out, which now I am thankful for, but at the time
that's not the way I would have described my mood.
Either way, we have made it seventeen and a half months
with Emma never having a pacifier.  

We assumed the case would be the same for Jude Scott.
We didn't buy pacifiers in anticipation for his arrival.  In fact,
the thought never even crossed our minds.  We just figured we would
have another pacifier free baby.  It was never really an issue the first time
around so why would it be any different the second time?
Well come to find out, it is different.  Not because Jude cries 
uncontrollably or is a bad baby (if there even is such a thing), but every
baby is born with the innate ability and need to suck.
It never occurred to me before, but apparently some babies need
to suck is greater than others and it just so happens that Jude is one of these babies.
The lactation consultant I saw in the hospital actually thought this might be the case
after watching Jude nurse for about half an hour.  I didn't think much of it at the time.
I just figured I might be feeding him more frequently than I had originally thought.
No big deal.  Well I tried that approach for the first few weeks and it just
wasn't working.  Jude would cry and the only thing that soothed him was nursing,
only he wasn't really nursing.  He wasn't latching on and getting any milk.
He was barely holding on and sucking with all his might, but he could only stand
to do this for a few seconds because he would suck in so much air causing him 
to have to burp.  So I would burp him and then he would just start to cry again
and the whole cycle would start over.  

After one particularly bad night I heard that lactation consultant's voice in the back of my head
and that's when I realized that maybe Jude really does need a pacifier.
Maybe he is doing this because he truly needs to suck, but he doesn't need to eat
which is why he's not latching on.  So the next day we went to the PX and bought some
pacifiers and it has made a world of difference.  It's almost as if I could see the relief on his face
once I put the pacifier in his mouth for the first ime.  He took right to it.

We no longer have the sucking, burping battle every night.
Instead we have a sweet baby boy who takes a pacifier.
We have a happier baby boy and that's really all that matters.


  1. I originally planned on not giving Eva a pacifier, but after reading Happiest Baby on the Block, my mind changed. Now she only uses it to sleep, and I plan on cutting her off completely on her first birthday. I heard the gradual approach works best, and the moms who have told me they used this approach said they did t even have a problem with it! Good luck! :)

  2. Violet has been a pacifier baby from day 1. Right now she mainly has them in her crib and on car rides. I think when she turns 1.0, I will be more strict with the in her crib only. It comforts her so much that I am glad she has them.

  3. I too can't stand the sight of walking, talking toddlers with huge pacifiers in their mouths. That said, we have used them with our two kids, and basically after 12-18 months only let them use it for sleeping. My big boy gave his up by throwing it away in the trash and that was it, no big fight or anything. :) It was also nice in the beginning months.

  4. Penny took a pacifier for the first 9 months. I was lucky enough that she stopped on her own. I think they are great. Thanks for linking up!