Let's get it out of the way: Andrew still uses his pacifier. But he's not the kid you see at Target or Costco (I would use other places but those are the only ones we go to now.) who is being pushed around in a shopping cart with a binky attached to his mouth. Andrew's pacifier is only used in the crib when he sleeps. And once a month, it is used outside of the crib as the designated belly button cleaner for the Ichikawa family.
From the reading I've done, doctors and experts don't condone kids using pacifiers all day long past the age of one. As for the way Andrew uses his pacifier which is only when he sleeps, the main concern is to make sure they are weaned off it before it causes damage to their teeth; the recommended age for this is anywhere between four and six. One doctor recommended getting your child off the bedtime pacifier addiction between the ages of two and three. By this age, your child has enough language comprehension and can understand why you're going to be a rat bastard and take away their one nighttime comfort because you hate being woken up in the middle of the night by their crying because their pacifier dropped on the floor.
Lisa and I make sure Andrew does not use his pacifier out of his crib. One of the first things we do when Andrew wakes up is place his pacifier on top of a bookshelf. But Andrew seems to know he shouldn't use his pacifier out of his crib too. When he wakes up, one of the first things he does is pop the pacifier out of his mouth. The second thing he does is pull down his diaper and spray pee all over the floor. Lisa and I really have to work on that second thing...
Last week, Andrew woke up from a nap and while walking around, returned to his crib and uncharacteristically grabbed the pacifier that we forgot to put on the bookshelf. And pop! it went into his mouth. Thankfully, our little Emma went up to Andrew and pulled the pacifier out of his mouth. She walked to the bookshelf and motioned for us to put the pacifier on the bookshelf. After Lisa put the pacifier on the shelf, Emma walked up to Andrew, pointed her right index finger in front of his face, and said, "NO NO NO!"
And what was Andrew's reaction to this? "WAAAAAH!!!!"
I think the next child development topic I'll read about is how to deal with a bossy twin.