Pacifier Torture - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-30-2014, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pacifier Torture

Clearly, I have screwed this up...

My 3 y o (yes, I know, I know) was still using a pacifier until about a week ago, when she told me that it hurt her mouth and she didn't want it anymore. She wanted me to take it out of her room, and she expressed no sadness at all about it. I was so relieved (and surprised) that it was that easy. For a week she never said a word about it, and had no trouble sleeping without it.

Well, yesterday she asked for it back. I distracted her for a bit, then told her that we could go to the store and buy a special toy to trade for the paci, since she is such a big girl, etc, etc. That worked for one day. Today has been HORRIFIC, she has been screaming, crying, begging for the paci back. It is breaking my heart, she is so sad. I don't know if I can hold out. Clearly, she can do without it, but it's killing me to have her so unhappy when I could so easily give it to her and end this torture. What would be the harm??

Please forgive the melodrama. It's been a really long day, and I'm tired and pregnant and just all around feeling like crap. What would you do??

P.S. I should actually post this in the Babies section as a DIRE WARNING of the folly of introducing a pacifier!!!!
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:10 PM
 
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I'd give it back. This may be her way of weaning from it (letting it go easily one day and then craving for it the next). Or maybe not, maybe she isn't ready. Some children are still nursing at this age, so I can't see why using a pacifier to sooth at three is so outrageous. What really is the harm in her having it?
I think the emotional upset and stress, and the power struggle, of revoking the pacifier is hurting you both more than working with her on child led pacifier weaning will.

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Old 06-01-2014, 11:56 PM
 
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I would give it back to her as well. She might shock you and realize she doesn't really want it. Or she may actually really want it, and personally I see nothing wrong with it.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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Well, one of the issues I'd see giving it back is that you made a commitment to take it away, she knew that and clearly "got it" (I have a 3 year old, they are smart) and so if you give it back it sends a conflicting message. I'd say ride it through and stand strong for her sake. It's tough on you, but on her it's a phase that will pass and she'll be stronger on the other side for it, instead of learning if she cries and whines and throws fits she can have what she wants.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:06 PM
 
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I'd give it back. Let her be in control of when and how she gives it up. I personally don't think there's any virtue in standing your ground, but that's a different conversation. Lots of 3 year olds still nurse, so I don't see why using a paci at 3 would be an issue. If you make it a "thing" it will just make it harder for both of you. My 3.5 year old weaned a few weeks ago, and has started sucking on his fingers when he's upset or going to sleep, and chewing on straws and walking around with a sippy cup in his mouth constantly, none of which he did before weaning. Totally normal to need to soothe orally at this age.



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Old 06-02-2014, 11:59 PM
 
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You haven't screwed anything up, and everything you've done sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Your daughter said she wanted to give up the paci, you went with her wishes, and now out of the blue she's changed her mind, which isn't anything you could have anticipated. (Also, I don't think this is a 'dire warning against the folly of introducing a pacifier' at all, any more than the experience of parents whose children don't want to give up bedsharing is an argument against bedsharing! I think it's pretty silly just to shove a paci in a baby's mouth willy-nilly, but if a baby is hard to settle or clearly wants more sucking time than you can give them otherwise then I think it's completely reasonable to try a paci. Sometimes we try so hard to avoid potential problems down the line that we end up causing more difficulty for ourselves in the short term.)

It's interesting that she said it was hurting her mouth - haven't heard of a child complaining of that before, and it makes me wonder whether perhaps she had a mouth ulcer or some such that was bothering her, and blamed it on the paci? If that's cleared up, it would explain why she suddenly wants the paci back.

As to what to do about it... Years back, when my own son was three and I was looking for an excuse not to have to give up his dummy (the British term), I looked on Pubmed and found a paper saying that continued use of dummies after 3 was associated with more malformations of the teeth later on (whereas using them before 3 seemed to be fine for teeth). So 3 is actually a good age to be giving up, from the dental point of view (and it's not actually correct to say that there's no reason to give up).

From your daughter's point of view, however, I can see it would be rough to think you'd just relinquished something important to you temporarily and to find suddenly that you weren't being allowed to have it again at all. So perhaps the way to go would be to agree that she can have it now, but, at the same time, to insist that she has to set a date to give it up in the future, and then to work actively towards preparing for that.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegal View Post
Well, one of the issues I'd see giving it back is that you made a commitment to take it away, she knew that and clearly "got it" (I have a 3 year old, they are smart) and so if you give it back it sends a conflicting message.
I think that would be the case if it was the OP who instigated taking it away. However, in this case it was the daughter who chose to have it removed, so there's nothing conflicting in the mother going along with the daughter's wishes regarding the paci on both occasions. The OP may of course decide it's time to stop the paci anyway, either now or in the near future, but that's a separate issue from the question of whether it sends conflicting messages to her daughter.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:19 PM
 
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yes,that's a separate issue from the question of whether it sends conflicting messages to her daughter.thanks

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Old 06-04-2014, 08:50 PM
 
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I would give it back to her, wait and see what transpires. She trusted you enough to give you her beloved pacifier, that was quite a statement for her. I agree also about perhaps examining her mouth or figuring out what caused pain.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:08 PM
 
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I wouldn't give it back, but I DO believe there's virtue in standing your ground.

If you think it's time for her to be done with it, this is a great opportunity. Yes, she will probably be horrific to live with for a few days, but then it will be done. If you give it back at this point, you'll probably just get to go through the same thing later on. And, as a PP mentioned, she IS getting to an age where it could potentially cause dental problems.

My son is younger than your DD (and never took a pacifier, due more to oral motor issues than any sort of crunchy virtue on my part - but that is a different story!), so I'm obviously not someone who's BTDT. But if you want some empathy for the insanity that comes with being pregnant and dealing with a child being difficult, you've got that. You are doing okay, and you can live through this without caving (if that's what you choose to do). This, too, shall pass!

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