I have a strong love/hate relationship with the pacifier! In the beginning…long before I even knew Babywise exsisted…Kye had a rough day. I broke down and gave him a Soothie Pacifier because I wanted to help him. And it helped! It also started a trend that could not be stopped, our son sleeps with a pacifier. I felt a lot of guilt for starting him on it because of the many negative connotations that go along with pacifier use (the worst? that lazy parents give their kids a paci b/c they don’t want to “deal with” them crying and respond to their need).
I decided to write about this so that way I’ll better be able to decide what to do with the NEXT baby! I find myself all the time saying “ugh I hate this thing and will never use them again.” But then at times it IS a blessing (crying baby at church anyone?). Here are the pros and cons of the paci so I’ll better be able to make the decision next time:
- He sleeps awesome: It really really does help him sleep. You give him that paci and it’s like a drug. His eyes immediatly roll back and he’s just so relaxed and ready for nite-nite time. Probably the biggest pro of the paci by far!
- Teething: Until I got the RazBaby Teether the paci was awesome to help out with teething issues. When he was hurting I’d give him one from the freezer or even just a regular one and he’d feel better. I don’t know if it actually took away the teething pain but I think because he gets it at night that it soothes him. We don’t use it AT ALL outside of the crib now because the Razbaby works so well!
- In Public: It’s handy to have in the car or in a public place because if he starts acting up we can pop it in! It also is good because if it’s his naptime in the car we can give it to him and it helps him fall asleep since he can’t be swaddled in the car seat.
- “Easier” to get rid of?: Supposedly everyone says it’s easier to get a kid to stop sucking a paci than it is to get them to stop sucking their thumbs, hands, or fingers. I have yet to even attempt at weaning Kye from the paci but plan to do so at 6 months old so I’ll let you know how it goes, but I don’t think it will in any way be EASY.
- SIDS: Sucking on a pacifier is supposed to help reduce the risk of SIDS…but I swear that half the stuff “they” say is just a guess because “they” really don’t even know what causes SIDS so how can they be so sure about what won’t cause it?
- Looks: The paci is UGLY. Sure it may be just as ugly as a kid sucking their thumb or something and you could get ones to match their outfits if you wanted (WHY would I want to do that though seriously?). Ugh it’s just ugly!
- Sleep Prop: It’s a sleep prop. Both Babywise and Baby Whisperer are very anti-sleep props and I agree! I want my baby to put HIMSELF to sleep, not to need something else to help him sleep!
- Falls Out: While helping him sleep is the biggest pro, the falling out is the biggest con. SO ANNOYING. He falls asleep wonderfully with it but then it will fall out and BAM he’s awake (at least for naps, doesn’t seem to apply as much at night) and I spend the rest of his nap putting it back in his mouth. The new thing? He wakes up because it’s out and now he tries to get it so he gets out of his swaddle and squirms all around and then gets frustrated and cries. So I have to go in there and reswaddle AND repaci every 10 min!
- Swaddle Issue: I’m ready for Kye to be done with the swaddle. If he didn’t have the paci, I honestly think he’s be able to sleep without it. But the swaddle helps the paci stay in and when I leave one arm out he will take his paci out of his mouth with it! It’s like he’s sucking on the paci thinking “yummy a paci” then he puts his hand on it and thinks “wow what’s this?” then he pulls it out and is like “where did my paci go?” haha! He’ll get it back into his mouth (eventually) but he hasn’t mastered letting go of the paci once it’s back in so he ends up taking it out again. Bottom line? He has to stay swaddled!
I don’t think paci use is a right or wrong issue. I often say that it’s the one thing I regret so far in parenting, but then again I’m not sure I do. There ARE pros to it as you see and they do kinda at least come even with the cons. While I was writing the pros I was like “aw it’s really not that bad” but then dang I wrote those cons and now I am having evil thoughts about it haha! Even though I’d love to think I’m some Super Mom who won’t use the paci next time, most likely I probably will. …Or maybe not. Who knows! My opinion seriously changes on it everyday…sometimes multiple times a day!
It’s funny b/c I’ve probably told Zach that we’re going to officially get rid of the paci like 20 times but so far I have yet to actually take it away. Kye just really likes it! And I guess I’m not ready to deal with the difficulty of depriving him of it. Babywise says that at 6 months their sucking reflex is gone and they don’t have the “need” to suck like they do as little babies so it’s a good time to take it away. I really do plan to do it then…I swear. I don’t want Kye keeping it until he’s in kindergarten or something!
Neela really likes her paci too! Stevie would sometimes take a paci when she was really, really young (but it wasn't a big deal at all to take it away) I am hoping this is how Neela will be. As of now, when it falls out during her sleep she doesn't seem to mind for naps, but at night she does (last night we only had to go in twice to put it back in her mouth). I don't want to become too reliant upon it though, with having two babies crying I am tending to give Neela her paci because Stevie won't take one. Stevie does suck on her baby bear though which is super gross and much more unclean than a paci. Every baby that I know that DOES take a paci sleeps much better and goes down much easier for naps. So we will see, if Neela does end up keeping the paci around for a while then at least I will know which was easier, but I personally think that you just have to adapt to each baby individually. Also, speech therapist now actually saying that using a paci helps build oral muscles so is good for language development.
I AM SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOO glad you posted about this. I have been meaning to ask you but wasn't sure if I would be sounding too much on the offense. As you know, Macy is a paci baby, while my sister and I were not. When Macy was about 3 days old my mother in law gave her one, and at first I was thinking…. NOOOOOO!!! i don't want a kid with a paci, but I am SERIOUS when I say, I feel so lucky she takes them. A lot of kids won't!I completely agree with all of your pros. Here are my thoughts on the cons:YES it is ugly. I have started to keep them either in her car seat or in the crib only. She rarely has it in public. I think thumb sucking is SO MUCH more unattractive (plus it is cleaner)I swaddled Macy until she was 6 months old, and after that I stopped cold turkey. VERY SOON Kye will be able to put his own paci in his mouth, and YOU WILL LOVE IT for naps/sleeping. They are a new baby when they can start doing that themselves.I plan to take it away when I think she is ready. For now, she isn't but I am not going to have a kid who talks with a paci you can believe that.Rachael 🙂
believe me.. you'll enjoy having a paci when you are in public and he starts fussing! =)