If you’re a first-time or expectant mom, you might be on the fence as to how you’ll help your little one learn to self-soothe. Which prop will you use? It’s the thumb vs. the pacifier and I’m here to help you weigh the pros and cons.

When I was pregnant for the first time, I was staunchly against pacifiers. I can hardly remember all of the reasons why, but breastfeeding interference surely topped the list. I wanted to be as natural as possible and get everything right, like most first-time moms.

Then the baby actually came out and she was colicky. Very, very colicky. Colicky as in my husband and I didn’t eat dinner together or have a complete conversation for the first five months of her life. I actually gave in and tried to plug her with a binkie, but it was too late.

Sometime during her fifth month, she found her thumb. At about the same time, I sleep trained and broke her of her nipple-to-sleep habit. The thumb worked for her. Her little sister followed suit. I was happy! There was no searching for a lost paci in the middle of the night; they both simply slipped their thumbs right back in their mouths.

It wasn’t until they were toddlers that I began to have a problem with thumb sucking. Mall play areas are a favorite spot during the cold winter, but they’re also a hot-bed of germs and viruses. It seemed like after every visit we were all sick for weeks. “Why are your kids sick all of the time?” my mom would ask. Eventually, I came up with the answer — their thumbs.

I’m vigilant about hand-washing, but with the inability to separate my kids from their thumbs, they had them in their mouths before I could even say, “Wash your…” It only got worse after they started school. A cold a month seemed to be a fact of life for us until I finally got them to wash up before plugging their muzzles.

When my son was born, I decided to take immediate action. It was a pacifier for him. He took to it well and stayed healthier than his sisters. When the time came, the pacifier went bye-bye. He missed it, but once it was gone, it was gone. Yet, his sisters still have their thumbs.

So, go for the pacifier, folks. You might wake up a few more times a night, but in the end, it’s a much easier habit to break.

Published by Eliza Jones

My name is Eliza and I am the mommy of two girls, ages 8 and 4 and an almost one year old son. I want to help people so I am going to become a social worker, get my masters so I can be a licensed therapist. I try and be environmentally sound and eat healthy. Money doesn’t always allow us to eat as good as we’d like but we try our best. I believe in recycling everything I can, respecting all the people of the world and breastfeeding.

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