My LO is 4 months and uses a paci to sooth. He doesn't really love taking one in general when he's happy/awake, but he usually takes it when he's exhausted and can't settle, so he's typically always falling asleep with one. When he goes into a deep sleep, he usually spits it out, but if he's still in a light sleep and loses it, he thrashes a bit until we pop it back in.

I want him to be able to fall asleep on his own, but currently he only does that with the pacifier... so I don't know if that really counts. Does continuing to use the paci mean we'll fall into a trap where he can never fall asleep without one? It's been such a great tool in soothing him so I'm afraid to try to remove it... but also don't want it to be a big issue down the road.

Anyone have experience in this realm? How long did you keep the paci, and did your LO learn to sleep without one... and if so, how?

ETA: we haven't done any formal sleep training yet. Still working up to it. Currently we kind of just hold the paci in until he starts sucking on it and then leave and he puts himself to sleep sucking. If we do CIO at some point (with checks), do we just go cold turkey and forget the pacifier?