Operation Depacification

By now I have learned that there is a right way and a wrong way to raise a baby. However, what's right or wrong varies depending on the person speaking. They may concede that there are multiple good ways of taking care of one aspect of raising a baby, but on another issue, "x" is right and "y" is wrong. What's really amusing about this is that almost immediately after hearing advice that "y" is wrong - and not only that, "y" is probably the worst thing you can do - I will hear from someone else that what really works best is "y." There is no aspect of baby raising that is safe from this. Even something as inconsequential as whether or not a baby should have a paci.

I know some moms refuse to offer a pacifier because then the baby becomes dependent, addicted, can't sleep without it, and has a hard time giving it up. These are usually quick to mention 4 year olds at WalMart attempting to speak through their "older toddler" size pacis. Other moms insist that, since your baby is going to suck on something for comfort, it might as well be a paci. After all, you can eventually take the paci away, but you can't take their thumb away. I have observed many semi-heated discussions on this subject.

His favorite - a newborn paci that he can hold on one side of his mouth while he's talking

All that to say: we are paci people. Not because it's right but because I really don't think you can go wrong with soothing a baby, because our boys like/liked them, and because they made our lives more peaceful when our babies were small. I would guesstimate that we bought 8 pacis for each of our boys. By the time we decided to take them away, there were only 2 left. Both times. The things are lost so easily, though two of Ben's weren't lost so much as destroyed (by a mouse and a crockpot).

One of Nate's last paci pictures. That one had actually been run over by a car. The ring broke off, but it was otherwise fine.

Now it's time for Ben to give it up. We could make him go cold turkey, and I think a lot of people have success with that. With Nate, we did phases. Phase 1: paci only allowed in the carseat or bed. Phase 2: paci only allowed at night. Phase 3: no more paci. Phase 1b was no more paci in the car, but that wasn't really intentional. It just happened that we either lost the one in the car or stopped carrying it. Phase 2 happened at daycare. They stopped giving him his paci for naps on Monday and told me about it Friday. We moved straight into Phase 3 that weekend. He had just turned 18 months old. I wanted him off the paci before Ben was born so there wouldn't be paci stealing, but I was afraid he would stop sleeping.

Nate would pretend to use that paci after Ben was born, so that he didn't feel left out of the paci club.

With Ben, we're starting on Phase 1b. He's not as fussy in the car as Nate was, maybe because he has built in entertainment in the form of an older brother. This is day 4. He still needs some extra cuddles when he gets out of bed. Even though he's an early riser, he may not be as much of a morning person as the other guys in this house, and I think his paci was helping him be comfortable while waking up. This morning he asked me for coffee. Sorry kid, not yet.

Tiny baby Ben with a paci and a 3" cowlick (see that?)


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