I’ve quickly discovered that being a new mom with no owner’s manual means having to do a lot of your own research. But between all the studies, suggestions and well-meaning opinions, it’s hard to know exactly where to turn. The pacifier issue is a great example.
Pacies have received very mixed reviews. Many breastfeeding purists will argue that pacifiers only interfere with a baby’s ability to learn to latch properly in the first few months. Others say it’s a bad habit you’ll eventually have a hard time breaking and that it’s an easy out for parents when the kid is crying, a trick they’ll regret later on when it comes time to replace that ‘mute button’ with something new. On the other hand, some babies can’t seem to settle down without satisfying their sucking instinct. It’s better than chewing on their fingers and with the improvements they’ve made in the pacifier’s design there’s less risk of dental problems if they are used when the baby is young.
Yesterday afternoon, when C was fighting nap time with all her strength, we decided to go for a walk in hopes that the bumpy stroller ride might quiet things down. Since we’ve been wavering on the issue from the start, we challenged ourselves to try quitting cold turkey – no pacifier the entire trip regardless of the noise. We thought the summer scenery would surely serve to distract her. In full disclosure, she hasn’t been a huge paci fan from the start. Some days she seems to need it and others she’ll seem to have more fun just spitting it out and watching us scramble to plug it back in time and time again in fear that she’ll start to fuss. Last night we made it about half way with no problems, so proud of our early parenting skills. Then as we round the corner from the pool boredom must have set in because our precious little angel began one of her best siren impressions. We stood our ground, no pacifier! Well, at least not until we ran across a group of neighbors chatting at the corner. Then for fear that they’d phone child services, we pressed mute, smiled politely and continued on our way. So much for cold turkey.
Any paci stories to pass along? Would you recommend them or should they be shunned? Alternatives for soothing a crying child?