Pacifiers are kind of controversial. You’ve got people who aren’t into them: on one side people who blame them for nipple confusion and breastfeeding troubles and people who worry about taking them away and their effect on children’s teeth; on the other people who would rather deal with those issues in exchange for a few minutes peace, who believe at least you CAN take away the pacifier, unlike a thumb. Whatever – listen, my parenting philosophy is to do what works for you. If it’s working, it’s working, right?
So, we chose pacifiers. Breastfeeding didn’t really work out for us, and the pacifiers seemed to help them sleep and settle them even when they were awake. I went in eyes wide open, knowing eventually I’d have to take them away and it would probably be terrible. I even had a general plan in mind – first limit them out of the house (phase one, which I started right around 12 months), then limit them to just their bedrooms / laying down time (phase two, I thought I’d start around 18 months), then eventually given away altogehter (hopefully around 2). That was the plan, and having a plan made me feel better about allowing the binkies in our lives.
Then the biting started. Oh God the biting. The Things got teeth early – I think the first one broke through around 4 months? So by the time we got to one year, they had just about all their teeth and had smiles like sharks. And they started chewing the binkies. Not just general gnawing instead of sucking – oh no. They’d grab the binkie between their front teeth and YANK downwards with all their might. I took away 4 of our 6 wubanubs in a week because they were degraded to the point I felt they were a choking hazard – I introduced a few “standard” paciifiers into the mix as well. A week after that we were down to one wubanub and one pacifier. And then, while getting out of the car at a day care tour, I found that Rosy had bitten the entire tip off the wubanub during the drive (seriously, this place is a two minute drive from my house). One binkie basically meant no binkies.
I probably could have gone out and bought more. But the wubanubs are like $12 a pop and the smaller binkies are a huge pain because they get lost so much more easily. So BB and I decided that we were going to take this opportunity to break the habit early. Most recommendations say to do it at 12 months anyway – same time as bottles – to save their teeth, I guess? So we braced ourselves for a few days of terrible naps and bedtimes that went on for hours and general fussiness.
That didn’t really happen. We had maybe one or two naps that they fought – but they fight their naps fairly regularly as it is. And I think one bedtime that seemed to go on for hours (but was really only about 30 minutes). Granted, they don’t go to sleep right away – but as long as they’re just chatting to one another and throwing toys back and forth between their cribs, I count it as a win. The daytime fussiness is probably the only outstanding issue, and that’s just because I realize now how dependant we were on binkies = quiet time. But, like most things that I worry over and stress and fret over, it ended up being a non-issue.