Anja perfected the art of sucking before birth. She was even born with the little sucker's blister that breastfed babies get; it's a little callous in the middle of her upper lip. My OB suggested that Anja was probably sucking on her hands when she lived inside of me. And why not? Big baby. Small space. Where else were her hands supposed to go?
Anja first experienced the pacifier on Mother's Day. At that point, the sperm donor and I had endured about a week of Anja being VERY fussy in the evenings. Not as bad as colic was described, though I feared it would turn into that. She would cry, would be almost inconsolable. The only thing that would soothe her was to walk around the house with her, so the sperm donor and I would take turns doing this. Eventually she would fall asleep for the night. On Mother's Day, we tried to go out for some gelato. The little gelato place was crowded with other families doing the same thing, and she fussed the whole time. So we got our gelato to go, and headed home...the long way...because we knew she would fall asleep.
A friend had suggested we try the pacifier, stating from her own experience that it might quiet Anja (the key word, I suppose, being "pacify"). So, when we came home from the gelato place, I pulled out all of the pacifiers I had received from various sources, found one that looked as though it might fit in her mouth, washed it, and stuck it in her mouth.
Silence is golden.
I later read that newborns often become fussy in the evenings because their little brains are trying to process all of the stimuli they have encountered during the day. The pacifier seemed to slow the world down...she would suddenly just relax. Now we use the pacifier mainly as a sleep aid. Anja resists sleep, especially naps, like the plague, so a little pacifier time lets her relax enough to close her little eyes and drift off to sleep. I try to avoid her actually sleeping with it, but she usually takes care of that: I go creeping into her room to pull the pacifier out of her mouth only to find that she has already spit it out and is happily, although somewhat noisily, sleeping.
But it seems the pacifier is going to be replaced.
At night, I sometimes hear Anja sucking on her hands over the baby monitor. She sometimes sounds as if she might be awake, so I go creeping into her room only to find her all squirmy with her hands in her face. And her eyes closed. Usually, she actually wakes up within thirty minutes or so. But this morning I walked in and found her sucking on one little part.
Her thumb. I've got a thumb sucker. She's very cute, sleeping away with her thumb in her mouth. I took a picture of it before I woke her from her nap this morning. And I'm okay with that. I visualize a little girl in her mommy's lap with her thumb in her mouth and that is a vision that is very precious to me.