Before S arrived, Chris and I agreed that we wouldn't be quick to pop in a pacifier, at least not in the first few weeks as we wanted to avoid nipple confusion and didn't want her to develop an early reliance on it to calm herself. We've also seen what an asspain it can be to constantly contend with lost/misplaced soo-soos, and then there's the whole fun process of weaning a reluctant toddler. That said, we weren't vehemently against the prospect of using them and did register for a couple; we figured it would be wise to have an additional tool in the ol' box in the event we found ourselves with a freaky zeaky infant who couldn't be consoled by (seemingly) any other method.
Fast forward several weeks and what do we learn on a particularly fussy night? Our li'l girl refuses to take a pacifier anyway. Go figure.
But she does suck. Yes, yes she does. She sucks the life out of her li'l fingers and hands! So much so that she has little dry patches on the back of each palm. So much so that we've amended a Hall and Oates song in dedication to her mad suckage: Ohh here she comes. Watch out boy she'll chew you up! Ohh here she comes. She's a hand eater!
She sucks when she's upset; she sucks when she's bored; she sucks when she's amused. For awhile we weren't sure whether to be amused or concerned by this until one day recently her motor skills had advanced to the point where she'd isolated the sucking to her little thumb. Uh oh! A thumb sucker in the making! Should we pull her hand away, we wondered? Try to distract her with toys or games? After all, it's a well known fact that thumb sucking can cause problems with dental development, right?
I did a little research, and it turns out we needn't worry - at least not at this point. According to the majority of sites I checked out, no harm is done to a little one's teeth or jaws until ages 4-6 when permanent teeth begin to come in, and the majority of babies who suck their thumbs or fingers naturally wean themselves off before their first birthdays. So hey - if it brings our girl comfort and feels good to her while she's just a wee thing, then why not? Hey - it's a built in binky; one more thing we don't have to spend any money on! :)