Houston, we have a pacifier problem

by Erin L. on February 20, 2013

Miss E is one month shy of two years old. She’s a happy, well-adjusted child and is, what I considerto be, a pretty normal toddler. We have two modes: adorable or heinous. I obviously prefer the adorable mode.

Last Saturday night, I was sitting at a dinner table with a two editors, another writer and a pediatric dentist and his wife. We were talking about our kids, their dental health and showing off some pictures. The dentist (Dr. Todd from Oregon!) mentioned something in passing about how they took their child’s pacifier away when they realized that their mouth was almost always open (something about the way the soft palate was forming.) When the binky went bye-bye, the child’s mouth closed.

As I was scrolling through my photo gallery on my phone, I noticed two things.

1) In 80% of the pictures, Miss E had a paci in her mouth.
2) In the other 20% (minus ones where she is laughing or yelling), her mouth is open.


Of course, as I go into a semi-freak out at the dinner table, Dr. Todd assured me. “When she ditches the paci, her mouth will close.”┬áBut he did advise me to start trying to wean her sooner rather than later.

I’ve read online that most dentists recommend that pacifier use stop somewhere between 3 and 4 to avoid any dental problems. But after talking with several dentists at this conference, I knew I was going to come home and jump right in.

How did we get here?

I honestly don’t know how we got to a point where the paci goes everywhere with us. She doesn’t USE it constantly but we always have it – the car especially. So that’s where I started.

No more paci in the car.

The first day she screamed most of the way to school. That was super fun. Today was better.

Bug was done with his paci at 18 months and really never used it outside of his crib. E is pretty much addicted to hers. Coupled with her lovey, it’s her “calm me down, life is good” drug.

For now, I’m not trying to go cold turkey. I’m not ready to snip it or poke a hole in it. I just want it to be a crib only thing – naps and bedtime – no daytime.

Maybe we need a song? Yes, yes I think we do.

Stay tuned and send wine.

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