Monthly Archives: November 2010

Suck on This

My daughter is 19 months old and still uses a pacifier.

This, I have become aware, is a highly controversial situation secondary only to the socialization of our health care system.

We really weren’t going to use a pacifier.  Until, of course (like so many things we weren’t going to do), we had a baby.  We realized, that first day in the hospital (or, at least I think it was the first day, it’s hard to sort through the haze of physical and emotional exhaustion/trauma/happiness/confusion that was that time), that we were spending a ridiculous amount of time with one of our fingers in Naya’s mouth to soothe her, and thus, relented when a seasoned nurse offered us a pacifier.

And no, it didn’t lead to nipple confusion or compromise our breast feeding relationship.  She went strong until she self weaned at 18 months, which is fodder for another entry (or 20), I am sure.

And no, it hasn’t delayed her speech development.  The kid talks all the time.  All. The. Time.

And yeah, there have definitely been people who make an issue of it– however (un)subtly.  Taking it out of her mouth, or making comments like, “She doesn’t want that, she wants the real thing.”  (I realize that some women really will nurse their kids for hours on end to provide this kind of nurturing comfort, and I salute them.  That, however, is not on my personal itinerary.)

For the most part, it has been something she’s only wanted when sleeping, spending time in her car seat, or feeling sick.   Thus, it has become a mostly private thing, and one with which my husband and I haven’t been all that concerned.  We figured that, like most developmental things have so far with Naya, it would work itself out.   Sure, we won’t mind giving up the foraging for “suckers” under the crib each night before bedtime, making sure we have a spare in our pocket before we leave the house, and the obligatory midnight trek to the baby’s room to replace the one she’s dropped in her sleep, but as a whole, it’s really not that big of a deal.

It’s really not that big of a deal.

Naya’s most recent bought of teething (4 at the same time!) has spurred new enthusiasm for her suckers, however, and she now brandishes them wherever she goes.

This, of course, leads to a lot more (very) public scrutiny.

Last week, the woman at the Y nursery tried to take it out of her mouth the minute I handed her over to them.  “You don’t need this, do you?”

Yeah, actually. The screaming when you take it out of her mouth would probably indicate that it’s an issue for her.

Last week another mama helpfully volunteered the information that their pediatrician recommended she take away her child’s pacifier after the first birthday.

Yeah, our pediatrician really hasn’t made a big deal about it, but thanks.

So of course, being the consummate worrier, I have been thinking about this constantly, and mentioning it to my husband.  We weigh the pros and cons.  We know we don’t want her going off to kindergarten with it, but at the same time, it sure is convenient that she has something so simple to comfort her, and it has proved invaluable on our relatively frequent travels by plane for keeping ear pressure in check.  So, we tentatively agreed to table the discussion until she’s at least 2.  We won’t offer it, but we won’t refuse it either.  In the meantime, there’s a very good chance that (like so many things) she will work it out for herself.

But, of course I’m still going to worry.  It’s what I do, right?

Then, on Friday, she started asking for “Beherrrr.”   I figured out that “Beherrrr” was her pacifier, but couldn’t figure out what the association was for days.  Every time she asked for her pacifier, it was, “Beherrrr?”

Then on Sunday morning, during a particularly fragile time of tears (about what, I can no longer recall), it all came together when I placed the beloved pacifier in her mouth.

“Thas Beherrr.”  she said as she instantly stopped crying.

THAT’S BETTER.   Her pacifier is her better.

So yeah, the pacifier stays, and all you naysayers can suck it.

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Get out of my head!

Back in September, Arwyn at Rasing My Boychick shared a list aptly titled 10, No, 40 Things I Never Want to Hear or Read Again (Parenting Judgment Edition).

I think I need to post a copy of this, conspicuously, in every room I frequent. As a reminder to self — and others.


  1. “Why do those other parents look forward to school starting? Do they not like their kids?”
  2. “How can those other parents stand being with their kids all the time? They must be saints!”
  3. “How can those other parents let their kids get so fat?”
  4. “How can those other parents let their kids run unsupervised all over the neighbourhood?”
  5. “If only you’d do cry-it-out, your baby would sleep perfectly!”
  6. “If only you’d cosleep, your baby would sleep perfectly!”
  7. “If your kid doesn’t cry because of you sometimes, you’re not doing it right.”
  8. “If your kid ever cries because of you, you’re not doing it right.”
  9. “He’s never going to learn to walk if you keep carrying him.”
  10. “If you ever put her down, you’ll break her trust in you!”
  11. “What a pretty princess!”
  12. “Oh, that’s a boy? …are you sure?”
  13. “If they don’t go to school, how are they ever going to be socialized?”
  14. “School is just a babysitter so parents don’t have to pay attention to their kids.”
  15. “Well I never yell. When I’m babysitting.”
  16. “You went to New York all by yourself, leaving your kid and your husband behind? Well then who’s watching your kid?”
  17. “Aren’t you lucky to have a husband who’s willing to babysit so you can have a night off!”
  18. “If the child can walk/talk/eat/ask for it, they’re too old to nurse!”
  19. “If she didn’t want to breastfeed, she shouldn’t have had kids!”
  20. “If they’re just going to plop them with a nanny, they shouldn’t have had kids!”
  21. “If they’re just going to plop them in front of the TV, they shouldn’t have had kids!”
  22. “But your kid’s going to be left out if they don’t watch TV!”
  23. “How are they ever going to learn to handle advertising if they’re not exposed to it?”
  24. “How are they ever going to learn to handle bullying if they’re not exposed to it?”
  25. “Talking about race with my kids would only expose them to racism!”
  26. “You’re just making things harder on yourself.”
  27. “It’s child abuse to not have babies on a sleep schedule.”
  28. “It’s child abuse to not respond to baby’s cues immediately.”
  29. “Isn’t he a little old for that?”
  30. “Isn’t she a little young for that?”
  31. “Boys are such a handful!”
  32. “Girls are such a handful!”
  33. “Those are all yours? You must have your hands full!”
  34. “Is that your only so far? When are you going to give him a sibling?”
  35. “If I let my kid do whatever he wanted, he’d never stop playing video games!”
  36. “Forcing your child to stop engaging in their interest is child abuse.”
  37. “You let your child walk to school?? But how could you ever forgive yourself if Something Happened?!”
  38. “Helicopter parents.”
  39. “But I turned out fine!”
  40. “I blame the mother.”

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