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?
BEST. THING. EVER.
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!
I believe this was the last pacifier. Can it really be that easy?