Are Pacifiers Bad?

Are Pacifiers Bad?

When my first child was born, I was sure I would not have a pacifier.  I didn’t like the idea of something artificial being planted in my son’s mouth all the time, and I figured if women from ages ago raised their babies without pacifiers, so could I.  That all changed after the first overnight nursing marathon.

I think my position on pacifiers lasted about one week, and then my son really began comfort nursing in earnest.  In utter exhaustion, I stuffed that bit of plastic in his mouth and the most amazing thing happened – he drifted off instantly into a peaceful sleep.  So did I, and there began my love affair with binkies.

Unfortunately, four years later, he was still adamant about having that thing in his mouth.  Short of stealing it away and possibly traumatizing him, we tried everything we could think of, including bribery, to get him to give up his pacifier.  What finally worked was trading naps for the pacifier.  He hated taking naps, and at four years old, was old enough to go without them.  I promised him he wouldn’t have to nap anymore if he would throw his binky in the garbage.

He was willing enough until nighttime came and he couldn’t have it, but after a few days, he stopped asking for it and goes to bed without any trouble now.

I think pacifiers have their place, and I certainly don’t regret giving it to him then, but having an exit strategy long before he got as old as he did would have been tremendously helpful to us.  So if you are considering whether or not to use a binky, think of how you wean your child from it when the time comes.