Smartphones No Match for Pacifiers, At Least In Our House

You’ve been there. You’re on a crowded train or in a packed grocery store, and your kid has a complete meltdown. If you’re like me, you dig something out of your bag and hand it to him as quickly as possible to make it stop. OMG, everyone is staring! I usually give Mason a toy or a snack. Chris hands over his Blackberry. Immediately.

According to a report by ABC News, he’s not alone. A new survey by the U.K supermarket chain Asda found that 27 percent of mothers shush unhappy kids with their cellphones, while 25 percent use a bottle, 21 percent offer soft toys, and nine percent proffer pacifiers.

Makes sense. Little kids love all of that stuff. Electronics are bright and shiny, noisy and fun, and sometimes off-limits. But I suspect the percentage of moms who hand over pacifiers and bottles is lower, in part, because of the social stigma of letting your kid have them. At least that’s why I don’t do it. I can just hear the judgment already:

Your kid is drinking a bottle? Why aren’t you breastfeeding?!
He seems too old to be drinking out of a bottle! And is that juice?!
You let your toddler have a pacifier? His teeth will be ruined!

No thanks.

Our dirty little secret is that the paci is boss in our house, even though Mason is  nearly 2. And he gleefully drinks a bottle every morning and every night (sometimes he wakes us up in the morning by yelling BABA! BABA!, his name for the bottle). Although Mason loves gadgets, nothing can compete with his precious baba, or his beloved paci.

Our pediatrician told me to ditch the bottle at 12 months, 18 max, but we’ve missed that boat completely. And I’ve surreptitiously avoided mentioning that Mason takes a pacifier at night. I don’t have the heart to deprive Mason of two things that he loves so much. At least not yet. I mean, nobody ever went to kindergarten with a pacifier or a bottle. Right? Right?

Although I’m passionate about Mason keeping his creature comforts, I’m way too embarrassed to let him take a paci to the playground or (gasp) school. And the bottle is strictly forbidden unless it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night. And we’re home. Just the three of us. Alone.

Anyone else have a tot as bottle- and pacifier-obsessed as mine?

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  1. by Ann

    On June 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    John is a binkie addict at 20 months, but I was until I was three. He is only allowed it when he is on the second floor (where the bedrooms are). I know he will outgrow it in his own time.

  2. by Jill Cordes

    On June 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I share your dirty secret. Fia uses a pacifier if she’s in her crib sleeping (the only time we allow it) and a “Baba” at night. Her dad lets her play on the iphone a few times a week. I have a blackberry so I never hand it over. I am trying to cut down on technology use in our house, especially mine. However, the app Teach Me Toddler has taught Fia most of her alphabet…..so there is something good about it. In moderation, of course.

  3. by Jen

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    We had no problem transitioning from bottle to sippy cups before 1, but at nearly 2 my son is still adamant about keeping his pacifier. Especially while tired or teething. I hope to be rid of them in a few months! If he sees us on our phones he whines, cries and reaches for them. He likes to scroll through photos and videos, and play games. Works wonders to distract him in public!

  4. by Cristina

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    My son finally gave up his bottle a week after turning 2 due to a stomach bug, blessing in disguise I guess because I knew I had to wean him off sooner or later.
    As far as paci’s go he has only ever used one for naps and bedtime so I’m good there but not sure when to remove from his routine. I was thinking when hes either ready or the summer before kindergarten thats when either the paci fairy comes and leaves something in its place or we mail it for another kid who needs it to use. Good luck Mama’s!

  5. by Lori

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Wow, do people honestly say those things out loud to other mothers who are minding their own business parenting their children?! I can’t imagine having someone say any of those things to me about my parenting choices and feeling compelled to alter my decisions based on their potential judgement. That would make me crazy!
    While a snacks or cell phones may not be my go-to “thing”, I wouldn’t judge another parent for doing what they feel is best. In the same vein I hope I wouldn’t be judged for using a pacifier. After all, anyone weighing in my child’s teeth better have a DDS after their name! :)

  6. by Lori

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Wow, do people honestly say those things out loud to other mothers who are minding their own business parenting their children?! I can’t imagine having someone say any of those things to me about my parenting choices and feeling compelled to alter my decisions based on their potential judgement. That would make me crazy!
    While snacks or cell phones may not be my go-to “thing”, I wouldn’t judge another parent for doing what they feel is best. In the same vein I hope I wouldn’t be judged for using a pacifier. After all, anyone weighing in my child’s teeth better have a DDS after their name! :)

  7. by Dian

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    My son off his paci at 11 month cold turkey. The daycare told us that since he is moving to toddler room paci and bottle are not allow, I feel bad in the beginning for not giving him pacifier but I still give him bottle at home for him to drink since he will play with his sippy cup instead of drinking his milk or juice.

  8. by olivia

    On June 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    All 3 of my kids never got a paci from beginning to prevent the crap later. As far as juice goes…..they get a splash of it in their sippy cups but no more. Although, people seem to judge me more on that! They think I am being cheap or mean but kids aren’t suppose to get more than 4 oz. a day for their teeth health plus my kids get diaper rash easy when they drink too much juice. As far as the phone goes….heck no! I paid way too much for mine to hand it to a toddler! I….am a snack pacifier lol. My kids love to eat and so do I! Healthy of course,well most of the time :)

  9. by sarah

    On June 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    My daughter is almost 14 months old and we ditched the bottle the day after her first birthday. She was the same way about saying “baba baba baba”, especially right before bedtime, so I was terrified that we would be in for a storm without it, but surprisingly, she hasn’t had any problems! She took to a sippy cup with a straw like a champ. However, she’s a blankie addict (and when I say addict, I mean we seriously can’t go ANYWHERE without her “bubba”). She sucks on it like most use a paci. We have to soak it in a vinegar/water solution at least 3 times a week to keep it from stinking. People definitely look at me strangely in public sometimes because it’s 95 degrees outside and my child is toting this huge knitted blankie. But, it keeps her happy, and that keeps me happy! You know your child better than anyone else, so tell all of those nosy, know-it-all moms to mind their own business :-)

  10. by Nc mommy

    On June 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Dont feel bad about the pacy. My dd just gave up her pacy at age almost 4!! Don’t be in a hurry. I think when they are about 2 or so. They start to understand more.

  11. by SJS

    On July 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I’d be in no rush to force my kids to “grow up”, especially just because some other Nosy Nellie thinks I should. I gave up everything later then “you should”, and I turned out fine. Kids usually stop using their baby items at preschool age when they see their peers aren’t either. I don’t remember when I gave up pacis, but I would much rather give my children sterilized pacis then suck on their grubby thumbs. I used diapers for bowel movements up until about age 5, but I only ever had one accident which was simply due to not having access to a toilet. And I drank from a bottle until about the time I started preschool. No up swing to that really, but nothing bad either. Yes, I had to have braces, but that was because I lost a number of teeth in violent ways that weren’t even loose and they grew in crooked. I can’t day whether a bottle and paci would have made me need them if they hadn’t grow in crooked, but I would have had braces anyway because dentist and orthodontists recommend straightening your teeth because they last long when they are straight. Anyway, I don’t think people should try and tell you what to do when you know what’s best for your own child. And anyone who judges what you do has too much time on their hands

  12. by Jennie

    On July 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    My baby binkie addict at 21 months too!!! But no more bababa…. I couldn’t breastfeed, so we had to go formula, and he stopped that about 13 months. He was on the toddler formula because he’s small, but in a sippy cup. Now he just drinks regular milk and don’t start in on cow’s milk… we all know. Anyways, lol on handing him the smartphone to play with. Mine usually already has the pacifier in his mouth and is still upset… so I might hand him my phone to play with, but I have to watch him to make sure he doesn’t change anything or send my contact list indecipherable texts. Actually usually I just ignore his little whimpers because I know he’s good, and he usually goes back to playing with his feet LOL

  13. by Kris

    On July 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I’m not going to lie, I still have my blankie :D , My hubby doesn’t mind and honestly it’s not like I tote it every where, i stopped that according to my parents by 2. It for sleeping :D

    my son has a bunny that goes everywhere :/ we have extra’s :D He is 15 months and still has his bottle in the morning after breakfast, and if he’s really not wanting to sleep for his nap small one at lunch and one to two at night. but he drinks water and milk out of a sippy cup too, but hey what ever calms him down.

    I don’t let him play with my phone or my husbands, because he broke my last touch screen so bad It didn’t have that “touch” anymore haha. My mom has an old phone that he plays with when she’s watching him, and he’s ordered stuff on it HAHAHA i warned her. :O

    Honestly if my son starts the temper tantrums and the throwing of bunny and paci it’s time to go, I take what I have to the register, most people will let me go before them. haha love screeming babies for that ^^ and i buy what i have and we go home. If were shopping in a store we leave, i give the stuff to a staff person and just walk out :O

    don’t let people judge you, I’m a fine human being and I have a blankie. Who cares if your supposed to have “different” coping methods as an adult? It’s my confort, but so is my husband, a good dish of food, and exercise, you don’t have to give up something that works, just because people “think its wrong”

    oh and I never do food as a paci because he makes a mess :D at home he always eats in his highchair. If we are out and were running a bit late i’ll give him some poofs to hold him over till we get to dinner, but he’s usually not upset he just muches :D

    well, I’m waiting to hear the backlash at my admittance of having a blankie at 24. If my husband doesn’t care, then why should anyone else? I’m still a successful woman, and was every bit a party girl, its just a habbit that brings me happiness :D

  14. [...] 1. Modeling behavior for kids who will think interacting involves constant detaching. Are these the kids who will sit at the table with an iPad all the time? Is that okay? In moderation, probably. All the time? No way. (Read fellow blogger Heather Morgan Shott’s recent blog about Smartphones becoming the new pac… [...]