Well, by about three weeks in, Bert had the hang of nursing and we discovered he settled very quickly if we gave him one of our pinkies to suck on. Out came the pacifiers, and we never looked back. We also never called them anything but pacifiers. Well, we might have referred to it as the mute button a time or two. The silence was music to our ears. Bert slept better with them and was less fussy through the day.
At about the nine month mark, when Bert was starting to babble a lot more, Keith declared he didn't need them during the day anymore. My first thought was, "Sure, you aren't here with him all day. You don't have to listen to the whining." It only took about a week for him to get used to not having his pacifier, and he definitely started "talking" a lot more.
From that point on, pacifiers have been reserved for naps and bedtime. Every morning and after every nap, I say, "Those are for sleeping babies," and he hands them over. And yes, "them" as in multiple pacifiers. Bert likes to have two: one to suck on and one to play with. We found if he only had one, he was pulling it out and playing and wouldn't settle down so we started giving him two and it worked like a charm.
Bert has had a total of six pacifiers over his nearly 18-months. And now, through losing a few and chewing through two, we are down to one. (Although I know one is floating around my parents house, because we lost it there this past weekend.)
I guess the days of this little face are over...