To Pacify or Not To Pacify?

by Kate on March 20, 2021

In our house, we decided that a pacifier was the way to go when at two or three months our daughter was having trouble sleeping.  Well, that is an understatement.  She had a witching hour where she screamed her tiny head off of a full hour, if not longer and the only things that calmed her were the 5 “s”s as advocated by the baby whisperer who wrote Happiest Baby on the Block.  One of those “s”s is sucking and after such termoil with breastfeeding we opted for the pacifier.

Cut to our daughter now at almost 2 years old and what is her most dominant feature?  Her pacifier.  We call it a chewpete (from the spanish word for sucker that I’m certain I’m not spelling correctly).  First off there is absolutely no sleeping without 2 of them - one for her mouth and one for her hand.  She doesn’t keep it in all night long but she needs it right there next to her.  Unfortunately is acts as her lovey as well.

Second is every other time of the day.  It all started innocently enough.  Sophie was allowed her chewpete at night and when she hurt herself.  Then we moved and all of the upheaval surrounding packing and moving affected her so we gave it to her when she was distressed throughout those days.  Then she got really sick and it was one of the only things that calmed her down and, while she was vomitting and so unhappy I didn’t have the heart to take it away.  But now she’s all better and throws a fit when she doesn’t have it unless she is really distracted, like on the playground.

I’m just so unsure of what to do now - do I go through the hassle of weaning her or simply deal with it until she’s ready to part with it?  And, mind you, she does have the personality that leads me to believe that she will one day wake up and be done with it…she’s shown similar fortitude in the past.  Unfortunately I think her father, her grandmother and I have become as addicted to it as she is as the chewpete calms and quiets her.  Not a bad thing when you’re out grocery shopping and the waterworks start to flow.

I never considered I’d be a mom who allowed a pacifier and yet here I am.  Just one more instance in a string of things that I didn’t know that I didn’t know.  Now I know and I’m at a loss as to what to do about it…


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  • elizabeth

    I’m not a mother….yet…..but love your website already.

    I was reading about the pacifier and thought I might include a link to a myofunctional therapist. this may be a mute point…..but is she tongue tied or does she have an attached frenum? I had both and have struggled with migraines until they were cut by using a laser. Even though my mother has no recollection of me having difficulty breast feeding, that is one of the signs that a swallowing problem may be present. I had developed bilateral tongue thrust and sucked my thumb as a toddler. It may be ok for her to use it now to pacify herself, but it may also be a good idea to look into what craniosacral therapists and osteopaths recommend as an appropriate weaning age. somewhere I read that 3 years old is a good time………

    I hope this helps…..the therapist’s name is Joy and she may be able to give you more information about your situation through email.

    http://www.myofunctional-therapy.com/joy-moeller.html

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