New baby: Return to the pacifier?

We recently had our four-year-old give up his pacifier. He cried for the first couple of nights but now after three weeks he asks only every couple of nights. He can not fall asleep for hours and gets little sleep. He has also returned to wetting his clothes at night. We have a four-month-old baby girl. Do you think this behavior in the last three weeks is due to the loss of his pacifier, normal four-year-old changes, or because of sibling rivalry?


I would let your son keep his pacifier. He seems to be very upset at its loss. His sister's arrival is also an important event in his life. He could be feeling displaced and may feel that the giving up his pacifier is just another loss, as he lost his position of "baby" in the family.

I would recommend asking your son if he would like his pacifier back. If he says yes, then the rule could be that he uses it only at night in his bed.

More important however, I think that you need to help your son express his negative feelings towards the coming of the baby. All children have negative as well as positive feelings towards a new sibling. They need to be able to express them in order to find out that it's okay to have them. Talk to your son about how difficult it must be to share mom and dad's attention with a baby. The better your son feels about his own feelings the easier it will be for him to accept growing up and eventually giving up the pacifier.

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