Thoughts on a pacifier

My mother told me that, in spite of her best efforts, neither my brother nor I would ever take a pacifier. She offered it for months before finally giving up. Darwin seemed headed in the same direction, taking it for a second or two everyone once in a while before spitting it out, until she turned 4 months old. At 4 months it was like a switch flipped and suddenly the pacifier was her favorite thing to have in order to go to sleep, calm down in the car, or if she was feeling cranky from teething.

In case you haven’t experienced it: being able to give a baby who has been awake way too long and wants nothing more than to bite you if you try to nurse her a pacifier?



I mean, just look at that happy face.

However, along with the new love-of-pacifier-contentment came the other worry: “What will we do now that she’s dependent on this new thing? How will we ever take it away from her?”

I’ve seen videos of kids who are 4 or 5 years old who have binkies that their parents take out of their mouths so that they can be understood. I don’t want to get into any issues about whether that is acceptable or not – my premise when approaching parenting situations has become “every kid is different and every parent is different,” but that was not how I wanted to deal with communicating with my kid by that age. So I worried, because that is what I do. I read some articles about pacifier weening. We started trying to only give it to her when it was a sleep aid rather than all the time.

And then, rather suddenly, she stopped wanting them. Cold turkey. As of about a week (or two?) ago, she started nursing to sleep again. She even has started to fall back asleep on her own sometimes. She spits out the pacifier when I do offer it to her. Or throws it. Or hits it before it gets to her face.

So there you have it, folks. Every kid is different. If your new baby won’t take a pacifier now and you want them to have an option other than the breast? They may latch onto the idea eventually. Or they may not. If your kid is obsessed with the pacifier now, and you can’t leave the room without it? It won’t last forever, there will be a point at which they are done with it, and they will let you know (or not, and it will take you a few days to realize they aren’t using it anymore).

Do you have pacifier/soothing method stories to share? I encourage you to do so, because boy, it would have been useful for me to hear that not every kid has to go through a horrific pacifier weening period!


The last pacifier

I believe this was the last pacifier. Can it really be that easy?


15 thoughts on “Thoughts on a pacifier

  1. Ali would never take a paci either, and we tried for a few months! It would have been nice to have another tool in our toolbox of soothing techniques when she was tiny, but overall I’m glad she never took one. Now it’s one less thing to have to take away

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  2. It can indeed be easy! At nine months, Clementine took the pacifier out of her mouth, threw it at my wife, and never took it again.

    But glad as we were not to fight a toddler battle over the binky, it was tough when self-soothing abilities took a dip as a result. Always trade-offs when it comes to kids! Gotta love ’em…

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  3. Thatcher, at four and a half, still sleeps with a pacifier. He has an orthodontic designed one to keep his front teeth in the appropriate place. It stays in his bed and he’s not allowed to have it unless he’s sleeping. Since he doesn’t nap, that’s only nighttime and since it falls out pretty much as soon as he falls asleep, it’s about ten minutes a day.

    I leave it alone. I’m not interested in taking it away. He doesn’t cry for it at night if he wakes, he just goes back to sleep without it. Taking it away at this point, I fear, would cause an even bigger attachment to it.

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  4. lifeasagaymom says:

    You are most definitely right. Every child is different. Our first son has a good case of colic, he depended on the binky and I couldn’t help but allow it. I was always so adamant about no binky , until I seen him in the nicu and he has a bright blue gummy in his mouth. It’s funny your ideas change when you become a parent. Anyhow, after colic subsided I decided we had to binky wean. He was very dependent on it for sleeping. I recall telling my dentist I was in the process of no more binky, his exact words were that it was barbaric. That it doesn’t effect their palate until they hit four-five. I was astounded he even said that to me. The binky was still on its way out wether he thought it was barbaric or not. Now, with Leo out second. He’s very chill about the binky, he likes it when he sleeps but doesn’t scream when it pops out. He doesn’t need it during the day, I really don’t know when I will wean him. He’s content for now. It’s just a huge difference between the two boys. I say every child/infant is different and must be treated individually. Glad you made it out easy 🙂 I have heard some trauma stories of breaking binky habits later…

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  5. We were pretty sniffy about pacifiers before we had a kid: particularly me. We had a couple gifted to us, but didn’t buy any ourselves. Then Bingo was born and by night three we were both desperately trying to get her to suck on a pacifier. Unfortunately for us, she has complete tongue tie and pacifiers just didn’t/don’t work with her mouth– but if she would have taken a pacifier, I would have been totally on board!

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  6. We were in the mind set to no binkies with Judge but when he went to the NICU after birth we were open to let them do anything that he needed to keep him comfortable. I still remember seeing that binkie being almost bigger than he was. He had it until the babies were born 5 months ago (he is 3) We slowly weaned him from it. First only in the car and bed, then only bed then finally we left it for the binkie fairy in exchange for some really fun new toys. We were afraid when he saw the babies with one he would go backwards but he has never went back.
    The babies are take it or leave it kids. They tend to like them to fall asleep but we often find them just chewing on the side of them during the day. I am hoping that is a sign they will be easy to wean of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AndiePants says:

    Ansel will take one when sleeping (I switch out a boob for a popper) but never sucks on it long, and has no interest unless he’s very sleepy, so I’m not super worried. I sucked my thumb till I was almost 10, and I think my parents wished they would have gone the pacifier route!

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  8. Levi has been a pacifier baby since his NICU days and has never been seen without it. And it’s not just any pacifier! It has to be a Wubbanub! 3 wibbanubs and almost $50 later, he is still a pacifier baby. Noah like Darwin HATED the pacifier until about 6 months. Bye didn’t like the Soothies, but instead the orthodontic ones. Now, he ALWAYS has that thing in his mouth. Callie and I decided that at 1, we rid them of the bottle and the paci. I wish they’d do it on their own though. That would make life much easier!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We were desperate to calm Charlotte one night and tried every pacifier we were gifted until she took one. I promptly ordered two more of that kind. I worry about what we’ll do when it’s time to wean, but for now I’m just grateful that she has something that will soothe her.

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  10. Oh how I loved your story. That reminds me of my own personal story with my first baby. After a month when she was born, I left her to my mom for work and that’s one of the hardest part I did. And the second was that, it became too hard for my mom to nurse her on bottles as she was looking for me to breastfeed her and she was crying non-stop. Then her aunt got an idea of buying her a pacifier. And that’s it! She loves it! And my baby is 3 years old now. And I am also keeping that pacifier until now as a souvenir. 🙂

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