If you read my post about Rough Nights and Pacifiers you'll know already that I have been really struggling to keep pacifiers out of my house for a variety of reasons.
Today, I have a confession. Last week I broke down, and used a binky. The good news is that after a lot of second-guessing, wondering, and even bashing myself over this, I consider this battle both lost and won.
The battle is lost because I really didn't want to have to go down the binky path again. Aiden was binky OBSESSED and I believe it contributed to his early weening at just 8 months. He had his binky since birth and I overused it. I am a little paranoid about binky use now...it was frustrating to always have with me, to re-bink in the middle of the night, and to have a baby who weened so young. I was afraid of this for Chase. The battle is lost because I also wanted to prove that I could have a comfort-nurser, that I didn't need to substitute a silicone nipple for my breast. It is lost because I was CONVINCED he would settle if I employed a few more calming tactics. The truth is: Chase will not let me put him down, and even when I'm holding him, he needs A LOT of cajoling to calm. He frequently will not take the breast for comfort because I have a forceful letdown and HE has silent reflux...so unless the breast is "empty" he doesn't find it all that comforting...though boy does he try, he desperately wants to be a booby baby.
I had a very bad day last week...actually, a run of THREE very bad days during which both boys were in really bad moods and I was NOT handing it well. I couldn't get out the door to make it to appointments because Chase would not even stop flailing and crying even when I held him so I couldn't get Aiden ready to go, couldn't get Chase in his car seat, couldn't get the diaper bag together...it was ugly, and I had a huge meltdown. A friend told me "Meghan, you have to give the baby a pacifier...because one way or the other you're going to feel like a failure. It's either going to be because you gave chase a pacifier for 15 or 20 minutes so you can get things together and have positive interactions with Aiden or because you never have positive interactions with Aiden on account of CONSTANTLY trying to sooth the baby in other ways." She was right...poor orphan Aiden has been needing much more than I am able to give him with the baby always in my arms. So I did it...I brought his car pacifier into the house for necessary use only.
I consider this battle WON because Chase still greatly prefers the breast, doesn't take the binky except SOMETIMES...even if I really want him to he often won't...but he takes it when I really NEED him to usually. It's use is infrequent...I still try to calm and sooth in other ways, but sometimes he just needs to suck a little and doesn't want milk so I give it to him and hold him close to me as if he's nursing which seems to be the only way he'll take it. Then once he's calm I can put him down, he usually spits out the binky, and he'll sit or sleep peacefully long enough for me to spend some time with Aiden or get something done (like write this blog post). I consider it won because he never takes it at night, still just wants to nurse more often than not, held more often than not, but I can buy myself little tidbits of time. I waited long enough to introduce the pacifier that he doesn't care about it, and I can just use it here and there.
The reality is I CAN'T hold and snuggle and bounce and shush this baby every waking minute and through most of his NON waking minutes either. I have a 2 year old who needs lots of positive attention from me and he was not getting this. I also CAN'T wear Chase in the sling or Moby wrap ALL day, though I do wear him a lot. The other reality is that the binky is not helping with his overall demeanor, he's still a pretty "high maintenance" one-month-old. Even using the binky, I've been interrupted writing this post about 10 times. So instead of trying to make this sound LESS disjointed, I'm going to trust my readers to just take it as it is so I can go and spend the rest of my day rocking and bouncing, and yes, occasionally "binking" the baby.