Friday, March 4, 2011

The Pacifier Dilemna

I have a confession to make. In the early days, I had hoped A would suck his thumb because it's, in my mind, the easiest way to soothe yourself. I sucked my thumb as a child, I only did it at night and don't think it was a big deal.  Anyway, that secret wish did not come true, A decided he liked pacifiers instead.
Almost two years later, A still relies on his pacifiers at night, at naptime, in the car, and anytime he feels sad or has a booboo. I should mention that he has no other transitional object, I have tried to encourage it, but he has not developed an attachment to any particular stuffed animal, he loves them all the same...
A's pretty good about giving  up his pacifier when we get somewhere, or taking it out of his mouth if we tell him we don't understand what he's saying, but when he wants it, he wants it.

During our doctor's visit Friday afternoon, the nurse practitionner told me in a condenscending tone "he's way too attached to this thing, he's almost two, you really need to take it away."
I know that eventually we'll have to work on the pacifier, but I don't think that now is the time. Here are my reasons:
  •  I checked out dentists' opinions online and it seems that pacifiers are not detrimental to a child's teeth until he is older.
  •  I have heard stories of toddlers who switched to their thumb when the paci was taken away, and although I was a thumb-supporter in the begining, I would rather cut out all sucking at once, not replace one by another.
  • I think that in the year to come, A will probably decide on his own that he is a big boy and doesn't need the pacifier anymore. (Most toddlers apparently give their pacifiers up before they turn three.)
  • To me, it's more important to be potty trained than to be binky-free, so I'd rather work on that first.

Am I making a big mistake? When did your children give their pacifiers up? Was it a struggle?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, one project at a time is good. And potty training was top of my list!
    We took h's pacifier away the week his sister was born; we told him that he is no longer a baby. He was 2 years and 7 months. It was super easy. Don't sweat it, in particular if it helps him to sleep!!!! (though we did not bring pacifier outside home and tried to stay focused on using it to sleep)