Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What to Do When Baby Won't Take a Pacifier

Because once upon a time we had a baby who took to the pacifier like a duck to water just hours after birth, the mister and I made sure to have a stash of pacis on hand for H.'s arrival. We opted for Soothies since that's what P. liked. No, loved. Well, no, was practically obsessed with to the point where finally taking them away felt a lot like murdering her best and only friend. Even so, we agreed that binks had their place in infancy.

And then we actually met H., the original Zen baby.

pacifier weaning

Not that he doesn't have his fussy moments, but unlike his big sister, what he wants in those moments is not a piece of silicone or latex. Trust me. I know it's not what he wants because we have literally purchased one each of every size, shape, and style of pacifier on the market today. Oh, if he's tired enough, he might suckle one for a minute or two... before switching to manic chewing that jettisons the offending object from his maw like a piece of aspirated beef on the receiving end of the Heimlich.

Frustrating? Yeah, a little. I work from home so there have been a few times I could have used the services of the rubber baby plug. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few suggestions for what to do when baby can't seem to hold the #$%^ paci in his mouth:
  • Tape it on there, good and tight. Use duct tape - everything is better with duct tape. Replace daily, or until baby has accepted the bink as a trusted friend and confidant.
  • Offer cash. Seriously, who wouldn't love an extra tenner? And just imagine how many gel teethers baby could buy with a Benjamin! (Note: Requires teaching baby to value money.)
  • Paint baby with heather gray chalkboard paint, wax and buff, install drawer pulls from Anthro, blog baby, and submit to Apartment Therapy as a DIY redo. What's that crying sound? Ambiance.
  • Package baby appropriately, affix the proper amount of postage, and drop off any any official USPS location. There's a lot of flexibility here because you choose baby's destination.
  • Write and present an elaborate stage play for baby that extols the virtues of the pacifier. The key to success lies in securing an emotional response, so choose an experienced theater director, preferably British.
  • Request help from the Freakanomics team. Let them present the statistics related to pacifier use and the decreased risk of SIDS directly to your baby.
  • Put baby in a safe place and retire to another room. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Think about how you'll never have to deal with pacifier weaning.
Kidding. I'm kidding. Really. Though feel free to pour yourself that glass of wine!

As it turned out, what H. wants is to be held in the maximum upright position so as not to miss a single moment of either cuddle time and to ensure that he is at all times part of the action of the household. Conference call? Put him in the Bjorn. Need to write? Put him in the Bjorn. Research can be done while he nurses, so no trouble there. And at night, he wants a little snuggle but will generally go to sleep easily. Generally. Not always. This isn't a utopia.

Pacifier failure has been a good lesson for us. What we learned was not to expect H. to be a clone of P. in anything other than looks. He is a different baby in a lot of different ways, from his rapid-fire growth to his nighttime sleeping skills, and so trying to follow the same patterns will lead to frustration for us and for him. So bye bye, binks... just two years earlier than last time and without so many tears.

How have your children surprised you lately?



  1. This sounds like my kids in reverse! My daughter would not, could not ever like the paci. My son did until he started teething then it was like I was offering him hot coals. They are soooooo different!
    My littlest one surprised us this week by walking!

  2. lol! my two boys are like apples and oranges- the only thing they have in common thus far is that they're BOYS- Adam (the first born) fell asleep in the car the minute it took off- Amir (the second one) will not fall asleep in the car unless he's already tired AND i'm holding the pacifier firmly in his mouth. Adam never liked the paci, Amir loves it. But just as with H. wanting to be in all the household action- so is Amir. He must be faced forward and upright and he follows his older brother's EVERY MOVE- it's quite cute :) He's 4 months old and he's already rolling from back to tummy and tummy to back and you can see he's just dying to start crawling! Good times :)

  3. This made me laugh out loud - seriously!!
    My daughter was literally addicted to her paci - she had one until her third birthday.
    My son, on the other hand, wouldn't take one from day one.

    Interestingly enough, my son was the one that was the easiest to potty train! (Some hope for the future :-) )
    Stopping by from SITS! Have a wonderful day!

  4. I could have written this same post a few months ago! Our first was a total paci baby. Oh, how I loved the baby plug. The new baby? Well, she just gets mad when it’s given to her. Only nursing and cuddling would help her quiet down. Thankfully by six months she’s really calming down and I now enjoy my evening glass of wine knowing I don’t have to go in the bedroom to replace a lost pacifier. Your kids are adorable...congrats on having a zen baby!

  5. My girls were both the same! I tried desperately to given them a paci, but they wouldn't accept one. Fortunately, they never took to sucking their thumbs, either.

  6. My first 6 (includes a set of twins) all took the pacifier for about 3 months, but #7 (and last, who will be 29 tomorrow [1/11]) never ONCE took the pacifier. Gagged like I had shoved a banana down her throat. Little shit only took a bottle of breast milk once from her daddy. So, for many months I called her the American Express Baby because I never left home without her! She was a great nurser, and a good sleeper, so we decided to keep her. And she would slumber in the Snugli when her daddy took her for middle of the night walks after nursing. Luckily, I wasn't working outside the home at the time, so I had the good fortune to be the moo-mama. Good luck with Mr. H. He is a doll (so is Miss P) and it looks like he's going to be a ladies man...8-)


Show me some love!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...