Bad Mom,  Bug


This is the “Paci-strosity”. It’s about eleventy-seven of Baby Bug’s pacifiers all looped together with hair elastics to create a creature-like pacifier-blob. It’s not one long elastic string because that would be a dangerous strangulation hazard. (We have to think about these things, we mothers.) It’s a tree branch of sorts with lots of waggly pacifier arms bending every which way. It’s a pacifier monstrosity!

Baby Bug loves it. A whole bunch of pacifiers in one place! It’s baby mouth heaven for her. Obviously, she has an oral fixation and I’m going to have to really watch it when she becomes a teenager wants to start smoking cigarettes. But for now, we are attempting to keep the pacifier usage to “nap time” and “bed time”.

Ha ha ha ha ha hah hah.

This never works very well because we have so many pacifiers. What can I say? I’m a paranoid mom who thought all hell would break lose if I ever got stuck somewhere without one. Because of my spending-like-pacifiers-grow-on-trees habit, we now have a very large collection of them. And they are all over the place! Just as I take one away, Baby Bug will find another one somewhere deep in her toy box or under the couch and pop it in her mouth. It’s an endless battle that I’ve only been fighting half heartedly. It’s just so much work, trying to train your kid out of a bad habit. Am I really ready for three days of crying? No.

However, I’ve been thinking I need to coral them and cut all the nipples off or something because this pacifier business is getting out of control. Not to mention she has the scary rash from her constant teething drool that is only made worse by her preferred brand of pacifiers.

I bought a new kind of pacifier to help with the rash and we are slowly switching over. I only bought two this time so I’m not quite ready to get rid of all the other ones. I’m still a paranoid mom afraid of being stuck somewhere without one. But I need to come up with a plan to keep her from all the old ones without actually getting rid of them completely. This is how I stumbled upon my brilliant “paci-strosity” idea. I came up with it completely by accident.

Last Sunday, while in meeting (church for you new readers), I banded all the pacifiers I could find in the bottom of my purse together with my many many hair elastics (I’m also paranoid of being stuck somewhere without a pony tail). It was just something to keep Baby Bug quiet. I’ll try anything to keep her from squealing and embarrassing me. I had no idea that I would create a magic toy that would entertain her for hours and also lead to my new twelve step fight against pacifier addiction.

It worked like a charm. Baby Bug snuggled into my arms and played pacifier roulette, sticking one pacifier after the other into her mouth, until she fell asleep from pacifier exhaustion. She was so quiet! my mom said after meeting. What a good baby you have. Ha!

Once she had fallen asleep, I snuck out the old bad pacifier and stuck in the new “breathable” pacifier. No problemo. She sucked away in her sleep like nothing ever happened, all the while holding onto a nippily limb of the paci-strosity as if it were a beloved blanket or teddy bear. I think I have finally discovered Baby Bug’s “lovey”. She loves her pacifiers. The more the merrier!

When she woke up, I tossed the paci-strosity into my purse and she was fine. It solved two problems. No more random pacifiers showing up in odd places and now they were all there together and special. So special in fact, it makes our nap time and bedtime routine more pleasant now. She can’t wait to be rocked to sleep because it means she gets to hold her sweet loveable paci-strosity. I think if I had to wean her (which I’m not but if I have to, I have a plan…) I could just let her fall asleep with her paci-strosity. She seems to love it even more than me.

What a funny kid.


  • nila

    It’s so hard to wean them from pacifiers. I dreaded it and it happened when my son was 3 and he smacked his mouth so hard, his poor swollen lip made it painful to hold that pacifier. Poor baby, but it saved me a lot of headaches and stress. He was magically weaned.

    That paci-strosity looks like fun. Whatever works.

    SAJ says: Three seems to be the magic age. That’s what I’ve heard from everyone. I’m not going to stress about it too hard. It’s just one of those things on my list of things to do.

  • DeeJay

    You are such a smart, loving and creative mommy. Baby Bug is lucky to have you in her life.

    SAJ says: And you guys are such smart loving commenters who always say nice things so my head swells up to the size of a beach ball.

  • Amanda

    I love this idea… you may be on to something here!

    I’m the same way about pacifiers and ponytail holders. Always have a ponytail holder on my wrist. I feel naked without it. And I’ve got pacifiers stashed all over the place… my purse, the glovebox in the car, little decorative candy bowls of them in the living room (ridiculous, I know), just about everywhere.

    SAJ says: Heh. I used to have a decorative candy bowl (fishbowl/bubble vase) full of pacifiers too. But it turned into a sore spot with me because Baby Bug always ALWAYS wanted the “candy” inside every time her eyes happened to spy it.

  • Valerie

    You are so smart. I’ve had 4 paci babies and one thumb sucker. The thumb sucker is 5 and still sneaks the thumb all the time, it’s going to be much trickier than the paci.

  • Bethany

    My friend’s older son was in love with his pacifiers, too, so she gradually got rid of all but one of them, and told him that when that last paci broke or was lost, that was the end of it. He was about 3.5 at the time, and a bonus to this method was that she didn’t have to keep track of the paci, because it was valuable to him and he was careful to keep it in his bedroom. Eventually the nipple broke down entirely and that was that. I think because she’d been preparing him for so long it wasn’t as traumatic for him.

  • Brenda

    That is such a great idea. I have ‘suckies’ all over the house. I gotta try that. With my first son, he finally got rid of his ‘suckie’ when he was about 2. By that time he only had it at nap time and bed time and he was able to throw it into the garbage himself. Hopefully it’s that easy this time too.

  • Margie

    About the time my last kid was getting weaned from the pacifier (we liked the “Mam” kind that seemed to be better from an orthodontic standpoint), I ran across an invention–can’t remember what it was called–that was essentially a ribbon that tethered the pacifier to baby’s clothing. If the pacifier popped out, it could be easily retrieved (the ribbon wasn’t long enough to go around a neck or anything). I would definitely have loved to have that as a shower gift–but could probably have made one, once I saw one.

    I’d much rather have a pacifer baby than a thumb-sucker (when my kids were that age, though Dr. Brazelton had his “What a Baby Knows” TV show, and he seemed to be a big proponent of thumb-sucking), because you can take away the pacifier. That, and you can choose types that do not wreak havoc on how baby’s teeth grow in (thumbs are not good for that).

    Yes, sooner or later there may be a few days when you’ll get to endure some crankiness because the pacifier is gone (be it because it’s lost or because you decided enough is enough)–and as annoying as that might be, you’ll get over it and the memory will fade. ;) It’s no worse than putting a baby to bed and going through the “let them cry it out” business–which resolves itself pretty quickly, too.

    SAJ says: I’m figuring it’s not that big of a deal. I just worry (cause I’m a self absorbed worry wart) that Bug has the pacifier in her mouth ALL THE TIME and you all must look at the pictures and think, “take the plug out once in a while, won’t ya!” or something like that. I read somewhere that it only takes three hellish days to kick a bad habit so if worse comes to worse, we can always go cold turkey.

  • familymclean

    I only wish my babes would take a soother. I tried and tried when they were new but neither of them wanted it. I think it would sure help with our night wakings and with weaning from the boob some day, oh I dread that day, I have a feeling we will all be miserable! Maybe they never took a pacifier because I had fear about it, taking it away some day and…well at work I saw a lot of really messed up mouthes of kids who sucked to hard to long. Of course they were the extreme cases, kids who were never weaned, and sucked till their secondary teeth came in. Maybe my kids felt a vibe of fear from me and knew I would give them anything to keep them happy, maybe they were just trying to save themselves from the future heartbreak of parting with a beloved suckie. Who knows, but sometimes I sure wish they had a soother, because my boobs get so tired!

    SAJ says: It’s funny this pacifier love affair. Some kids love them, some kids could care less. It seems to be unrelated to what the parent does. I tried and tried and tried to not give Baby Bug a pacifier in the beginning. A lactation nurse scared me that she would develop nipple confusion. Well, in the end she does have nipple confusion. She prefers the pacifier nipple over the boob but it actually saved me because she wouldn’t/couldn’t latch on in the beginning and was starving. It was the pacifier in the end that saved us. I “tricked” her into nursing by pulling a quickie switcheroo with the pacifier and the boob. I should blog about this someday because it was a whole big tramatic affair. Now to this day she alternates between the pacifier and the boob until she falls asleep. It’s very strange and I haven’t come across anyone else who has a story like this.

  • Angie

    My son was addicted to the pacifier, but luckily only at nap and bedtime. He turned 3 in October, then at the end of December we moved into a new house. We used that as the reason to get rid of the pacifiers – we needed to leave them there in case any babies moved in and needed one. He asked for it the first couple of nights in the new house, but he quickly forgot about it without any drama.

  • Amy

    i had a “paci” for a ridiculous amount of time. and i was a smoker. never realized the link.

    SAJ says: I don’t have any scientific evidence of this correlation. It’s just something I heard somewhere. I think it was a common thought back in the 70’s. It could be a total urban myth. I’m just paranoid because Toby’s so badly addicted.

  • BeachMama

    I love your invention! J took a ‘soother’ as we called it, but only for about 6 months. At first it was bedtime and car, but when he kept losing it at night and I was getting up just to stick it back in his mouth, it became just for the car. Then, he kept sucking on the string which was really gross, so I just took it away. All was well. Then, he started sucking his two fingers (which my dentist tells me is fine) and continues today. We are teaching him the ‘no fingers away from home’ rule which seems to be working. And eventually will work on the no more sucking fingers thing all together. I just can’t check on him all night long…

  • jailgy

    Neither of my kids (your cousins) would have anything to do with pacifiers. I tried all kinds. I was desperate. The younger quickly settled for her thumb, though. That was hard to break years later. She asked me how I quit sucking my thumb and I had to tell her I never did. How ’bout Daddy? He never did either. She knew her sister didn’t either. I saw she was getting really worried until I told her her favorite aunt used to suck her thumb and she felt better. As it turns out, her orthodontist said that her thumb sucking actually helped her teeth come in straighter. They were so crowded. Go figure.

    SAJ says: Yeah really! I never had a pacifier and I had the crookedest teeth this side of the mississippi. Every day I’m so thankful my parents somehow managed to afford braces. I would not be who I am today if they had left me with that snaggle toothed smile.

  • aimee/greeblemonkey

    My first comment – to say that the Paci-blob is awesome!

    SAJ says: Yes! That is an even better word. I’m going to try and teach Baby Bug to say that instead. Much easier than “paci-strosity.” Maybe she’ll call it her “blob.” How cute would that be?!

  • ioi

    We let Dolly keep her soother whenever she wanted it until her 2nd birthday. Then we made a big deal about her ‘being a big girl now’ and have restricted the soother to ‘only in bed’. It worked out better than I expected probably because I had HER put her soother on her bed instead of taking it away and doing it for her. It stays on her bed and if she really needs it (or thinks she does) she has to go lie down on her bed until she can cope. I’m not sure how we’re going to go about getting rid of it altogether- especially since PC still has one all the time. Speaking about the thumb suckers and crooked teeth… My brother was the only one of five kids with straight teeth, and he was also the only one that sucked his thumb (or in his case, first two fingers).

  • Oopsy Daisy

    What a great invention. You should patent it. Seriously. I invented putting ice cubes in the potty and telling my son to hit the target. He was potty trained in a week. About 3 years later they came out with targets you stuck in the potty for the boy to hit. That was MY IDEA! I knew I told too many people about it. Copyright it NOW!

  • Jennifer

    Genius! We have so many paci’s over here. I could easily “knit” a paci lovey over here with my endless supply. I can’t figure out when I’m supposed to take the paci’s away. I decided to hold off for a while because when #3 arrives I know Audrey will just steal them from her. Great pictures with the paci strosity. It looks like BB has found true love, hehe.

  • Gretchen

    Of my three, only one took a pacifier. I too was afraid to be without one, and the were everywhere! Finally, I quit buying them and we started to lose them. When we got down to 1, he was about 2 1/2, soon enough, we lost that as well. I told him to go ahead and take a nap and we’d look for one later. It only took a couple times and he was fine without it, didn’t really make much of a fuss either – it was more of a ‘wonder where they all went’ type deal.

    It’s been 2 years since, we’ve moved, and I still find them!