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Oh, baby: The great pacifier debate

Have a newborn? Here’s some advice from the book “Oh, Baby! Loving (and Surviving!) Your Newborn’s First Year” (Hundreds of Heads Books,, $14.95), straight from people who’ve done it:

“Don’t use pacifiers. First off, a little crying never hurt a child. Second, pacifiers are not good for the gums and teeth.”

— Jeanne Eckman, Lancaster, Pa., mother of three daughters, 11 and 5 year-old-twins

“You are not ‘plugging up the baby’ by using a pacifier. The ones made today are shaped so that they don’t cause dental problems.”

— Kathy Penton, Savannah, Ga., mother of one son, 23

“It was comical that a little piece of plastic and rubber controlled not only my daughter but me, too. One time, I took the kids sightseeing to an old military fort. When it was time to leave, the kids were tired and my daughter started crying. I tore that van apart but no pacifier! I couldn’t face a 30-minute drive with her screaming the whole way, so I packed everyone up and drove straight to the store to buy two pacifiers — one to give her, and one to store in the van.”

— John D’eredita, Syracuse, N.Y., father of a son, 19, and a daughter, 12

“We didn’t want to use a pacifier, but it only took one week of crying for us to give in. From the minute we put it in, he was happy. I prefer the pacifier over the thumb — we can always take the pacifier away.”

— Kristin Kelley, Annandale, Va., mother of a son, 2, and a baby on the way

“I offered a pacifier to each baby because I figured it would be an easier habit to break than a thumb. But guess what? That is really the baby’s decision. All three of mine absolutely refused to use a pacifier.”

— Heide A.W. Kaminski, Tecumseh, Mich., mother of two daughters, 18 and 15, and a son, 6

Hundreds of Heads Books’, survival guides offer the wisdom of the masses by assembling the experiences and advice of hundreds of people who have gone through life’s biggest challenges and have insight to share. Visit to share your advice or get more information.