I have always felt great about letting my children have a pacifier. I think they are perfectly fine while in the house, to calm down or go to sleep. Once Marco became mobile, I did not allow him to leave the house with a pacifier, because I didn't want him crawling around with it, letting it fall on the floor, letting other children have a suck, etc. So, we were very strict about the pacifier staying at home. Then when he turned 1, we adopted a new rule... pacifiers in bed only. We would get him out of his crib in the morning and tell him to put his pacifier down, and he would do it... albeit reluctantly.
Then Jonas was born.
Once Jonas was born and came home, the paci war became harder and harder to win. It wasn't fair to allow Jonas to have his pacifier whenever he wanted, but Marco could only have it in bed... Marco didn't understand why Jonas was allowed but he wasn't. Another problem, and probably the biggest, was pacifier stealing.
This green, ugly, bulky, rubber pacifier was the one Marco came home from the hospital with. Even though we tried other, cuter brands, this was the only one he would take. Marco doesn't just like his "tete"... he has a LOVE affair with it! He loves taking all of his tetes and putting them all over his face while he sleeps. He wants 2 for his mouth, one for each ear, one for under his nose and one in each hand. No joke... he wants as many pacis in his bed as possible.
Note: "Tete" is the Cuban baby word for pacifier. It comes from "Tetera" which literally means "nipple" in Spanish. If you're Cuban, you never had a binky or paci... you had a tete!
So since Jonas came home with the same pacifier, we decided to get him the blue ones, thinking that he would only take these as well. We taught Marco that his were green and Jonas' were blue. Marco knew which were his and which were not, but that didn't stop him from stealing Jonas' tetes... straight from his mouth! Marco would giggle and sneak up to Jonas... snatch his pacifier and RUN! Sometimes we would find him hiding under the table or in a corner sucking on Jonas' tete. Forget hygiene! Marco would NOT allow Jonas to have his pacifier... no matter what we did... no matter how much trouble he got in to... Marco was convinced that those were all HIS!
So for months, poor Jonas could not use a pacifier. I began to realize that he had the desire to suck, so something had to be done. I would allow Jonas to suck on my thumb... until I felt like the nail was going to come off. Then I remembered that I had a different brand that was never used because Marco had no interest in other pacifiers. I had a pack of Mams and the clips to go along with them! He LOVED them! It calmed him and soothed him immediately. But here's the best part... Marco wont steal these! Marco takes his pacifier and says "Bruder Tete" and try to give it to Jonas. I have yet to see Marco put these pacifiers in his mouth. He has no interest in them, as long as he has his! Hallelujah!
These Paci Wars that Marco and I are engaged in are exhausting. He is totally winning. He sucks on his tete most of the day, takes it in the car and has overtaken all soothies... green AND blue. But, honestly, I'm not too worried about it. He still is not allowed to take it out of the car. I refuse to allow him to be playing at the park or mall with a pacifier in his mouth. Pacifiers are for pacifying... and if a child is playing, they don't need to be pacified. Once Jonas turns a year old, we'll get more serious about weaning both of them... or maybe just making it a bed time pleasure. So, although Marco is winning this battle... I WILL win the war in the end.