Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Our Love/Hate Relationship with the Paci

Pacifiers. They have the potential to be your best friend and your worst enemy. Sometimes they are great and serve their purpose so well, other times they let you down and disappoint you and you're left wondering why you decided to give them a chance in the first place.

Ahhh, we have most certainly developed a love/hate relationship with the paci. I'll start with the positive and explain why we love the paci and believe in it's potential.

First of all, Garrison was a paci baby and the absolute best baby we could ask for in public. He did great at restaurants, great at the grocery store, great at the mall, etc. But don't misunderstand, we were never those parents who just left the paci in his mouth 24-7. We used it on an as needed basis and it made for a really happy, content baby. It was great. As he got older, we gradually used it less and less and even had a good experience with taking it away. So ultimately we are believers in the paci (or pie pie as Garrison called it).

We also think the paci is great for "holding off" on a feeding. If Garrison (or now Austin) was fussy and wanting to eat sooner than 2 or 3 hours, or just needing to satisfy the sucking reflex, the paci was great for holding him off and keeping him happy until it was time to eat. It was also really helpful when it was time for Garrison to drop a middle of the night feeding. The paci satisfied him and helped him learn to sleep through that feeding. Once Garrison was past the newborn stage it was also great in the car and helped him go to sleep at bedtime and naptime. And a baby who goes to sleep easily makes for a happy mama.

Now for the downside. The paci for a newborn is a big, heavy, foreign "object" in their teeny tiny mouths. Sooo, it falls out quite easily and frequently. Whenever Austin dozes off with it in his mouth and really relaxes and stops working so hard to keep it in, out it comes, and awake he does. Anytime he gets the hiccups or burps with it in his mouth, out it comes. Whenever he lets out a little cry or whimper from having gas, you guessed it, the paci falls out of his mouth.

The paci can also complicate and have a negative effect on breastfeeding. I haven't had any issues with it effecting his latch, so we're safe in that department.

Thankfully we don't use the paci that often and we try really really hard not to use it during the night. But whenever we're desperate for just a little more sleep or we're attempting to eat a meal together as a family, we will use it. This can often lead to us being quite disappointed in the paci and left to deal with a vicious cycle of a happy baby, until it falls out of his mouth, then a happy baby after we give it back to him, and so on. Ugh. Not fun. The good news is that we went through the same thing with Garrison and it didn't last forever. Like I said before, the paci was great for Garrison and made us believers. As for starting over with a newborn who has a hard time keeping it in his mouth for an extended period of time... the love/hate relationship continues.

An example from this afternoon:

Peaceful sleeping baby Austin....

Austin wakes up early from his nap and becomes a little agitated so mama gives in and gives him the paci. It's not time for him eat like he thinks so the paci seems to be the perfect solution...

Until it falls out and it's laying under his cheek...

Which is really frustrating for the little man...

Until he just can't take it anymore....

Which means I eventually give him the paci... and the vicious cycle continues. This time the cycle didn't last for long because the time was approaching for him to eat.

Oh how we love and hate the paci right now. Even though it's frustrating for this mama, I'm trying to remember just how quickly this newborn stage will go by. Before I know it he'll be much bigger and older and these paci issues will be a thing of the past. For now, I'll try to savor all the special and even frustrating moments of having a newborn.

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