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Comfort Foods

Pacifier or thumb; the age-old debate never ends.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), many times the child decides for herself.

Brian and I originally decided to try for the pacifier; we reasoned it would be easier for us to control, and help her to use it for comfort rather than habit.  When Madeleine was just a few weeks old, it became clear she occasionally needed to comfort suck at not always workable times, and my finger just wasn’t cutting it.  We tried several different brands and types of pacifier, and she would have none of them.

She has never had trouble taking a bottle of pumped milk, which we’ve been giving her occasionally since she was four days old, so we knew it wasn’t simply the plastic taste in her mouth that she was rejecting.  When we talked about soothing techniques with other picture_033.jpgparents, they looked at us sympathetically when we revealed Madeleine’s pacifier strike.  And then on her 8-week visit, Maddie’s doctor told us she was definitely pre-teething; apparently teeth can move around, causing discomfort, for months before they show up.  So in desperation, we bought Soothies pacifiers, which claim to be good for teething.  It turns out lots of hospitals use them, and we know why.  She loved them and they worked so well, we bought eight of them for fear of losing one or being stuck someplace without.  They’re made of a thicker silicone, which I suppose is what makes the difference.

At any rate, they worked like a charm for several weeks, until she began to have more muscular control and coordination.  Once she found her thumb, she gradually weaned herself off the pacifier and now uses it only occasionally, and then more as a chew toy.  Seeing my daughter chomping on it like a cigar, a big wet grin on her face, both tickles and mystifies me.  But again, if it makes her happy . . . .  And honestly, I’d prefer the thumb-sucking at this stage as we move on to (cue the horror music) sleep training, since all my girlfriends warn me that babies who use pacifiers to fall asleep rather than their thumb will call you in the middle of the night to come find it again for them.  Many times.


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