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Oral Stage

September 30, 2009

I am pro pacifier. In fact, that statement doesn’t go far enough. I am passionately pro pacifier. I advocate pacifiers. For all.

Of course, there are people who feel that pacifiers interfere with proper teeth placement or prevent children from learning how to self-sooth. They have a point. But there is a chance that, in the absence of a pacifier, kids will start sucking their thumbs. Not only will thumb-sucking mess with teeth and self-soothing that doesn’t include human digits, it is infinitely harder to “break” the thumb habit than it is the pacifier habit. Pacifiers can be disappeared. Try that with your kids’ thumbs, and your kids will be disappeared from you too.

While you do see kids who are “too old” to be doing it sucking pacifiers, especially if you live in New York City, becoming “too old” to suck your thumb happens much earlier. Maybe you don’t really love to see two-year-olds with binkys, but it is much more palatable than seeing anyone older than six months with part of their body in their mouth. Once kids are spending significant time on the floor, eating something other than milk, and shoving their hands in YOUR mouth, you really don’t want that kid sticking his thumb in his mouth and sucking the germs off it. It is not cute. It is, in fact, pretty disgusting. OK, maybe you’ll quibble with the 6 months; for some people, I am sure their tolerance is much longer, and mine is actually shorter (never acceptable), so 6 months is my line in the sand.

But wait, you say, what do I do about my baby’s pacifier habit? I’ll tell you.
1–Start when they are young (four months, 6 months, whatever) and pull the pacifier our of their mouths when they are already asleep.
2–Limit pacifiers to specific times or places; maybe their cribs, or just sleeping times, or just for use in the car, or just at home, or just nighttime.
3–As you lose pacifiers, do not replace them. That will help you naturally limit pacifier time.
4–Continue to limit the scope of pacifier use, until there is none.

Ta da.

I have no idea how to wean a child from their thumb. Sorry.

On a related note, look what I saw at the store

Picture 3

Your eyes are not deceiving you; they are rhinestone-encrusted pacifiers. Every baby needs a little bling.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    September 30, 2009 8:29 pm

    I actually hate how crass pacifiers have gotten. We’re doing pretty well weaning Ellie off hers (have her down to nap and bedtime!) . Robbie uses those Mam ones that have to have a picture or saying on them and there have been times I NEEDED to buy one but refused to have some jerky saying splashed across his face. I’d put bling in the same category. Not thet place.

  2. esodhiambo permalink*
    October 2, 2009 8:59 pm

    Good on you–that girl had a powerful addiction and you have cracked it!

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