Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Down to One

There are several debates that rage around pacifiers: whether to use them, when and how long to use them, and, maybe most of all, what to call them. When Bert was born, I was hesitant to start using one because I had heard if the baby was nursing, it could cause nipple confusion. (Never thought I'd use that word here.) Anyway, when the nurse offered us one right after he was born, I said no. And we held off for a couple weeks, reassured by our doctor that it was best to wait.

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.)

Bert has been informed that when this last one is lost or chewed up, there will be no more pacifiers. I have no idea if he understands or not, but that's the way it goes. I just wonder how many days of fitful naps and restless nights there will be until he gets used to being without one.

I guess the days of this little face are over...

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