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The Pacifier Dilemma

thepacifierdilemma.jpgIn today’s society, many parents believe in and wholeheartedly agree with the use of pacifiers for their children. They are known for helping to soothe a fussy baby, help a baby fall asleep and provide a sense of security, among other things. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics gives their stamp of approval to the use of pacifiers in a baby’s first year. Despite these assurances, most parents try to have their child do away with pacifiers by the time they start to walk, if not earlier.

As a child, I was inexorably attached to my pacifier, which I lovingly called “paci”. I”m afraid this attachment has affected my own son as well. My son just turned 20 months-old and unfortunately, shows no signs of wanting to give up “Mr. Sucker”. Luckily, he does not carry it around with him all day, but mainly uses it when he goes to bed at night. I am still afraid that it will ruin his teeth and maybe delay his speech development so I am currently concocting a plan to gently rid him of his habit.

It is a new situation for me because my first son, who is now 6 years-old, used a pacifier for five or six months at the most and then tossed it out of his crib, never to be seen again. Hopefully with the arrival of Baby #3, due in June, 2008, I”ll have figured out whether to even introduce a pacifier to him or her at all. I probably won’t be able to resist its use, but at least this time I will be better informed about both the pros and cons.

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