I recently saw a yahoo lifestyle video about how Kim Kardashian-West was mom shamed over her 2 year old son using a pacifier, she says it wasn’t a pacifier but a piece of candy and then was shamed some more. First let me say no mom should be shamed! Motherhood and all the decisions that come along with it, like how to raise your child, daycare or no daycare, pacifier or not are all personal decisions and no one should be shamed for the decisions they make.
Nonetheless, this video got me thinking about my kids and the age old debate over whether to use a pacifier, thumb or nothing. There are several articles that talk about the pros of using a pacifier like how it may prevent SIDS, serve as a distraction and can help the baby fall asleep. According to https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/pacifiers/art-20048140 “some babies even suck their fingers or thumb before they’re born.” There are articles that also talk about the cons of using a pacifier. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thebump.com/a/pacifier-pro-and-con/amp, states; that a pacifier can cause dental problems and can cause the child to be at risk for ear infections.
With there being pros and cons to using a pacifier, what decision would you make? Did you use a pacifier or not? Below I’ll tell you about the decision my husband and I made and how we came to that decision.
When our daughter was born my husband and I didn’t hesitate to use a pacifier! It was an easy decision to make because, when she was born she was looking for something to put in her mouth and we knew that we didn’t want her sucking her fingers. We chose to use a pacifier because we figured when the time would come to kick the habit it would be easy. Why did we think it would be easy? Well we figured a pacifier can be thrown out and a finger or thumb can not. A finger or thumb goes everywhere with you and is a part of you. A pacifier is just a thing that is clipped to you and can be removed.
Now when our son was born my husband didn’t want to use a pacifier because he felt that our daughter was too hooked on it and so he wanted to try not using one with our son. Now let me just say our daughter was not hooked on it. Did she use it at nap time and bed time... yes! Was it clipped to her clothes... yes! But we were able to get rid of the pacifier by the time she was 15 months old. It wasn’t necessarily easy but we did it! I’ll talk about how in my next post.
So back to my son and his pacifier. When he was born and we were still in the hospital I popped a pacifier in his mouth, just like we did with our daughter. My husband had different plans. He wanted to try not using one because my son would lose the pacifier a lot at night and it would cause him to wake up. So we tried not using one with him, but he cried a lot more without a pacifier than he did when he lost it, and nothing seemed to calm him down or soothe him like the pacifier. Eventually when my husband wasn’t getting enough sleep for work he jumped back on the pacifier bandwagon! And like my daughter, my son kicked the pacifier by the time he was 15 months as well!
I say all this to say Parenting is not easy! You make the best decisions for you, your child and your family. If you choose to use a pacifier, great! If you chose not to, great! And don’t let anyone shame you about the decision you’ve made. For us we didn’t really give it a second thought. Using a pacifier made sense to us and our kids adapted to them quickly. Choosing to use a pacifier doesn’t make you a bad parent and choosing not to use one doesn’t make you a bad parent.