At the supermarket the other day, the cashier smiled at Liam in the cart and asked me how old he was. When I responded he was twenty-one months old, she got this horrified, almost disgusted look on her face and exclaimed “And he’s still using a pacifier?!”
I was so taken aback that I could only reply “Well, yes, he loves it,” before I quickly finished loading my bags into the cart and hurried out of there. As I walked out of the store, I thought of some better responses I should have given, such as “Mind your own business,” and “Who asked you, lady?” but I have never been good with on-the-spot comebacks.
Despite the cashier’s obvious rudeness, her comments got me thinking. I know doctors recommend that babies stop using pacifiers and bottles by age one, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t know a single family that has adhered to these rules. Either the child never took to the pacifier in the first place or he or she used it for much longer than the one-year mark.
Dylan was a big fan of the pacifier as well, as were his good buddies. They were all between two and a half to three years old when they finally kicked the habit. Of course, they all had restrictions by then as to where and when they could use their pacifiers (at bedtime, in the bedroom only, etc.), but I remember we didn’t begin imposing these rules until Dylan was a few months past his second birthday.
Was it really so unreasonable for Liam to be using a pacifier at 21 months? Had today’s thinking really changed so much in the past two years that most people didn’t allow their two-year-old to use a pacifier? Is it really that wrong of me to think it’s not a huge deal for Liam to be using one at this age?
I can tell you right now, I am NOT ready to get rid of the pacifier. As you know, we’ve had a lot of trouble with Liam’s sleeping. He is finally once again sleeping through the night, but to get him to fall asleep he has to have one pacifier in his mouth as well as to one more in each hand.
We tried getting him to become attached to a security blanket to no avail. The pacifiers are his security blanket. I know it’s going to be a huge pain getting him to break the pacifier habit, but right now our thinking is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Getting some much-needed sleep is way higher on our list of priorities than weaning Liam off the pacifier.
For now, Liam gets to enjoy his beloved “Soskas” as much as he wants. In a few months, sometime after his second birthday we will begin imposing limits, like we did with Dylan, and then we will see how we will tackle the no-pacifier issue. In the meantime, we are enjoying our eight hours of uninterrupted sleep!
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