My first two girls seemed to get all the oral fix they needed through nursing. Neither Sister nor Bean ever cared for a pacifier. (I did offer one sometimes if all else failed to soothe their screams, but it was always rejected with outrage.) Sweet P is very different. She nurses plenty, but when she doesn't have a booby in her mouth, she also likes her little rubber plug. She's even discovered that I often keep one in her car seat in the dining room so as to never be without one in the car. She'll sometimes get this look in her eyes in the middle of whatever she's doing--today it was me playing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with her--and she'll crawl off to find that spare. She pops it into her mouth and looks so pleased with being able to help herself that I don't have the heart to take it away.
But I think she might be developing a little oral dependency now. For the last week she's been waking up 5 or 6 times a night as if she were a newborn. She doesn't appear to be teething anymore--that was three weeks ago and teeth numbers 5 and 6 finally came in on her upper gums with no more inflammation anywhere in her mouth. I think it's just that in her dimly night-lit room, she can't find her freakin' pacifier. I nurse her to sleep and generally put her down without incident. But when she wakes up a couple of hours later, I give her the bink and it puts her right back to sleep--'til it falls out. Again and again.
At 4:00 this morning, after waking up to retrieve it for her several times, it finally dawned on me that I was being used. Finally, I know, but I was tired as hell, okay? I told Husband--who at last registered that perhaps he should take a turn getting up--to just look in on her but not give her the damn plug anymore. He did just that, but when he left the room Sweet P screamed for quite some time afterwards. I'm not even sure if it was constant or if she dozed off. I was such a zombie at that point that I slept (fitfully) through whatever fuss she might have been making before getting up to nurse her at 4:45 when I heard her yet again.
Do you ever get the feeling that a good night's sleep is the modern holy grail? I'm going to stop giving her the pacifier at night, I think, in the hopes that a cold turkey approach will end this awful new nighttime routine of hers within a few days. I'm so tired of being so tired!