I Can’t Be Bothered To Care About A Pacifier In My Toddler’s Mouth

My 21 month old still mostly drinks from his favorite bottle, and I’m in no hurry to change that. Honestly, he’s the only baby to ever really use a bottle by choice. My first flat out, 100% refused. I made sure to fully wean the other two from their occasional bottle use by the age of 1, like a good mother.

I wish I could find a damn to give about my nearly 2, 4th baby still drinking his cow’s milk from a cheap stainless steel bottle we picked up at Walmart, but I just can’t. If a bottle of milk helps him sleep for 6 hours before waking and rolling over to me for an early, EARLY morning boob buffet snack, then I’m here for it.

He’s still sucking on that pacifier, too. We are trying to make it a “sleepy time” only thing, except when we’re in places where he’s sticking random disgusting crap in his mouth. A toddler sucking on a pacifier as we glide through Target seems better to me than a toddler picking up the flu from licking the cart handle, and then passing that on to the rest of us.

The fucks are non-existent when it comes to this issue. I overspent my fucks about pacifier use on my daughter, who was nearly inseparable from hers until she was 4.

We weaned her from it, FYI, by going on a cruise and “forgetting” them, except OF COURSE we actually brought them because we weren’t about to be in the middle of an ocean and realize that idea backfired. It didn’t, though, and she came home from the Caribbean without a MAM in her mouth.

Fast forward a few years, she talks all the time, and she inherited my gap-toothed smile, so braces are probably in our future anyway. All that stressing over the freaking pacifier was pointless. I’m just going to book a cruise again a couple years from now. I can not be bothered to care this time.

Maybe some of you are thinking, “Wow. That’s so sad that she’s, like, given up.” And yeah, there are probably some valid reasons why I should totally try to get my toddler to stop doing these things, or to go to bed earlier, or to sleep through the night, or think about potty training him.

(BTW, he’s going to have to come to me with a dissertation on why he’s ready for underwear before I put any effort into potty training this time.)

I know that I recently blogged about him not speaking as much as our others did at this age, so I want to clarify that he’s not walking around with a paci or bottle in his mouth ALL the time. We’ve worked to restrict these things because of his speech.

But also:
My 10 year old needs to really grasp what’s going on with his math lessons, and my 7 year old needs to get over her fear of imperfection and read aloud to me more, and my 5 year old needs many lessons about how he can get into serious danger if he wanders off and doesn’t tell us where he’s going.


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All of my kids need to learn about empathy, inclusivity, racism, sexism and history. They all need us to model healthy emotional coping skills, and they need to learn from us what porn is and why they actually can’t chat with people they don’t know online, even when they think they are “just kids” playing video games.

They need our help navigating friendships and hurt feelings. They need to know we will love them no matter who they love. They need to know why alcohol and drugs could hurt them or kill them, and they need to know that mental illness and suicide run in their family, and that they can always come to us with whatever struggles they have.


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I could look for fucks to give about the bottles, bedtimes, pacifiers, and other toddler challenges, but I’m too busy trying to deal with issues that make sleep training and weaning look as insignificant as teaching a puppy to balance a treat on their nose. Sure, if I had the time, that would be fun. Not much is going to come from worrying about it, though.

Bigger kids, bigger problems indeed.

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  1. Stephanie Fraley on

    So this is just an idea that’s worked for us related to one very small issue you mentioned in this. My 7 year old daughter is a level 1/picture book reader, definitely not a huge fan of reading much on her own or out loud, but she LOVES making storytime videos. If I record her on my phone, she reads for the fake audience so well. Lucky kids you have to get such caring, fun, responsible parents.

  2. Yes, yes and yes. I was a “bad mom” with my first baby because I followed my instinct. I knew she needed certain things. And then she got a big fat diagnosis that rocked our world- PANDAS. I was part sad and part validated that I knew something wasn’t right. My second baby just has to go along, except she likes the boob a lot, which has increased my phone time 1000%. My aunt told me to just make the best decisions for MY family. Best advice ever.

  3. I’ve been super worried that my 3-weeks-away-from-being-a 2 year old is still using a bottle in the evenings and when he gets up. But it honestly the only thing that slows him down to wind down before bedtime and the only thing that occupies him in the morning while I get us ready to leave for the day. So I needed this…thank you! Love your family and your perspective ??

  4. Thank you for this! My youngest of three kids who just turned 3 went from being an awesome sleeper who slept through the night to freaking out at bedtime for the last few months and waking several times at night panicking and getting angry if we don’t sleep with her. Like full on panic mode, we have tried for months to be consistent and get her back to sleeping alone but holy shit the typical strategies will NOT work for her at this stage she is in! So thank you for sharing and making me feel better. I agree when you have older kids there are bigger problems
    to worry about and no time for sleep training or weaning. I’m right there with you on not even bothering to potty train till my now 3 yr old shows interest. Love your honesty 🙂

  5. My third was born just a few days before Wallace and still very attached to her paci. I’m totally there with the zero fucks to give paci policy. Whatevs. I’m too busy also trying to raise kind, compassionate humans to worry about my toddler wanting comfort from a paci.
    Love following your fam! ?

  6. My fourth is 2.5 and still loving the pacifier. We managed to make it for sleep times, and the car when we want him to sleep. And when we are too done to care. And as long as he sleeps easily he can take them to college (Ill even spring for the 18 month plus version)

    We did get him potty trained. If he sat on the potty, he got as much Super Truck on the kids kindle as he wanted. It turns out he wanted lots of Super Truck. And learned all his shapes, colours, a few numbers, and all about sorting. While I ignored him and dealt with the big kids big stuff.

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