Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Pacifier

Photo from Philips' Avent series

Yes, we use a pacifier. Er, I mean my son uses a pacifier. It has saved us from more screaming fits than I can count, and has helped Max fall asleep every naptime and every nighttime. Thank goodness that we got a few pacifiers from the baby shower, because the day we got home from the hospital he started using them.

Why do we use a pacifier? Mostly because it was either that or he’d be a thumb sucker. He was less than two minutes old and sucking on his thumb with his little palm smushed up against his nose, and he just couldn’t figure out how come he couldn’t breathe while sucking his thumb anymore. It worked just a little bit ago! Max had a major sucking instinct, he had to either be sucking on a pacifier or nursing (we called him Hoover for quite a while) or he’d go right back to that thumb. Or he’d be screaming, and no one liked that.

By the by, I really don’t want to have to listen to any more little old ladies in the grocery store tell me everything that I’m doing wrong as a mother based on the circles under my eyes and my infant who, yes, has a pacifier. So far I’ve kept my tongue under control, but I was seriously close to exploding when this one woman was following me on one of those store-provided scooters and she would not leave me alone. Yes, he was crying - his mother was getting royally pissed off and he was in the middle of letting loose a giant crap. No one was happy. But back to the point.

Why not let him just suck his thumb? You can take away a pacifier, but you can’t take away a thumb (without causing a serious amount of damage and going to jail unless you have connections with the mob).  Also, as he gets older it’ll be harder and harder to keep his thumb clean, where I have a dozen clean pacifiers ready and waiting to replace the one that fell in the dirt. If you take away the pacifier early enough teeth won’t come in crooked. I had a pacifier until I was two and I have very straight teeth with no correction. I have a feeling that genetics have more to do with crooked teeth than pacifiers.

The two features of Max’s pacifiers in particular that I like the most: they’re clear except for the button in the middle so I can see him smiling, and they have no up or down so there is no confusion in the middle of the night.

And the part that I like best about pacifiers? They make Max happy. When he’s happy, we’re all happy.

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