For the parents that allow their child to use a pacifier, they often realize it is accompanied with a problem….That binky can come out! So, they get up at night and put the binky back in, 30 minutes later: binky is back out and baby is crying. Parent gets up, pops it back in, baby happy, parent goes back to sleep. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If the parent is patient enough, the child eventually learns to keep it in their mouth..most of the time. They may even use the well known trick of placing 6-10 different pacifiers in the crib so that the child can grab one on their own. Great concept! That pacifier is addictive. It’s in their mouth at almost all times. They can smile with it, and eventually run, play at the park. Parents think, such a great concept, that pacifier!
Erin used to take a pacifier…for about 3 months. I worked with her on learning to keep it in her mouth (there are some tricks you can use to teach them how to do this) and during that period, she decided her thumb was better. I thought, great! Kid can’t lose a thumb! She also had nice cozy bumpers in her crib. Erin would stroke those bumpers to help soothe herself to sleep. Then, she pulled herself up in the crib…so, the bumpers went away. I, a concerned parent, decided to get a “replacement” for the comfort that bumper brought to her. So, I got her a lovey….two to be exact. She took to them right away, but they mainly just stayed in the crib. Eventually, they came out of the crib too. Now, she can’t leave the house without her monkey (which she calls a “ma-followed by a kissing sound). This object has become like an extra limb for Erin. It’s always attached to her. When Erin gave up the pacifier, I thought it was great because to me, it meant no replacing of the pacifier. But never did I think that I would have to replace the lovey! Erin is pretty good about keeping it close to her at night while sleeping. But, a few times a night, she cries in her sleep, and thinks that monkey has gone missing. I, get up, and bring the lovey close to her hand.
Lesson Learned: any object that your child gets attached to, might require the parents’ involvement in keeping it close. It’s not just a pacifier problem!