Earlier this week, I decided that I just couldn't take it anymore -- Little Man's dependence on his pacifier was causing more problems than it was solving. So at 3 am, when he'd whacked the pacifier down between the wall and his crib for the third time that night, I didn't retrieve it for him. We went cold turkey on the pacifier.
And to be honest, it wasn't that bad! I thought we were in for a rough patch while he adjusted, but really his behavior never got worse. He stayed about the same, and in the last few days there have been signs of real improvement.
He has started sucking his fingers, which I strongly encourage. Sucking fingers (or thumbs) gives babies the ability to soothe themselves, decide when and for how long they want to be soothed, and learn not to be dependent on a foreign object that could get lost.
I find it very interesting that his preferred method of sucking his fingers is the first two fingers, palm facing outwards. I've never seen a baby do that before!
At a restaurant a few nights ago, he sucked on his fingers and put himself to sleep in his carseat, without any white noise or rocking from us! That's never happened before. And several nights this week, he's gone to bed at night without a peep.
Best of all, since we took the pacifier away, he has slept through the night every night. (Sweet Pea has not, but at least one of us is getting good sleep!).