With 3 boys in my house, there are often 3 different ways to approach the same topic.
One likes red, one likes blue, one likes orange. One likes tomatoes, one likes carrots, one likes cucumbers.
The bath/shower water is too hot, too cold, just right. (Yep, stole that one from the 3 bears, but it is true in our house as well.)
You get the idea.
On the plus side, having 3 certainly helps me to not get locked into thinking there’s only one way of doing things. I mean, sometimes it’s refreshing to have the reminder that there are many different ways that can all lead to the same end goal.
What’s the saying? Something like this: there are many paths up the mountain but the view from the top is the same.
At any rate, here’s a real example that I was just discussing with a new mom.
The question: what’s the best way to sooth my baby – binky, thumb, or nothing?
The answer: of course there are great benefits and disadvantages to each.
Believe it or not, I’ve had one of each. So let’s break it on down.
But before we do, let me just say that all 3 of my boys are past this age and *spoiler alert* they all turned out just fine. 😉
Option 1: The Binky.
For: if your kid takes it, it can sooth, comfort, and stop the crying.
Against: Infants can’t put it in themselves, it’s easy to lose, and if you drop it, you’re faced with the agonizing decision of “does the 5 second rule apply?”
Other considerations: “easy to lose” may actually be a plus for the binky, as “losing it” may help when it’s time to say goodbye to the binky for good….
Option 2: The Thumb (or other finger/s)
For: Kid can sooth him/herself, it doesn’t get lost.
Against: 5 second rule always applies and man those thumb-suckers are quick to get their mud-stained thumbs back in their mouth!
Other considerations: “it doesn’t get lost” may actually be a not-so-great thing when it’s time to say goodbye to this one.
Option 3: Nothing
For: No need to worry about 5 second rule at all.
Against: Other means of soothing can be tricky.
Other considerations: No oral soothing can mean another method becomes uber important – blankies, lovies, sound machines, etc.
Now of my 3, the best sleeper overall as an infant was my thumb-sucker. He could sooth himself very early on. On the other hand, not having to wean my “nothing” kid was also a plus, as was being a little more in control of the kid who used the binky (as in as he grew a little older, we were able to use it only at sleep times and then less from there).
Bottomline? They all work for some. They all don’t work for some.
My advice: Use what works for you and your baby. It will all work out in the end. 🙂