Social Question

tranquilsea's avatar

How old is too old for pacifier/soother use?

Asked by tranquilsea (17238 points ) March 13th, 2011

Inspired by Suri Cruise who was pictured in an airport with a soother at 4 years old.

At what point would you, or did you, take the pacifier away from your kids?

Me? When my kids were 18 mos. old. I didn’t want their pacifier use to become a giant habit nor mess with their teeth.

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33 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

No older than 2 years old. It can become a habit. If they always have something in their mouth, they are more susceptible to taking up smoking. Having an oral fixation as a child can lead to quite a few problems in the future.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Mine spit hers out at 4 months and never went back. It was a mixed blessing, at that age.

Kardamom's avatar

My brother wouldn’t give his up until one day it flew out of the convertible car my parents were driving. Because he saw it go, he realized it was gone, and he was done with it and ok after that point. Before that point, he would pitch fits (even if they hid it from him) because he knew it was there somewhere. When he saw it fly out of the car, it was final for him.

Cruiser's avatar

Once they hit 30 it is time to take it away.

Seelix's avatar

I’m not sure of an exact age, and as I’m not yet a parent, I don’t have any particular insight on it. But I’ll say that soother use in the first few years of life doesn’t have any effect on how a child’s teeth come in. My dad and I talked about it some years ago, and I can’t remember what his dentist view of a cutoff age was, but it was older than I expected.

Likeradar's avatar

@KatetheGreat I’ve heard that before and wondered how true it is…do you have any studies to back it up?

dubsrayboo's avatar

My first daughter took her soother out at about 6 months and was done. My second daughter sucked her thumb. What a nightmare that was.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Likeradar I haven’t studied it any, but my professor did a lecture on this. I can look into it though. In the first 2 years of life, pacifiers are acceptable because they help develop the muscles. If kids suck on pacifiers until they’re 4 or 5, then they’re inept to finding another oral fixation once the pacifier is gone.

SuperMouse's avatar

I let my kids have theirs a ridiculously long time, until they were nearly five. Once they were ready to give them up it was easy.

josie's avatar

One year.

MacBean's avatar

Some quick googling out of curiosity tells me: “The American Academy of Pediatrics says not to worry about pacifier use until the child is 6 to 8 years old, while the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says not to worry about a pacifier habit until permanent teeth come in.”

So, basically, leave them alone and when they’re ready to give it up, they will. I had mine until I was about four. My sister’s oldest son spit his out the first time she tried to put one in his mouth, so it was never an issue. One of her boys refused to give his up until he started pre-school at age five and saw that nobody else had one. Her other three kids all gave theirs up at more “normal” (wtf is that, when it comes to kids?) ages. None of us have suffered any lasting damage from giving up our pacifiers too early or too late.

john65pennington's avatar

Here is Johns Believe It Or Not…............

I received a call to a high school in my city. The call was to recover some found property left on the school grounds, over the weekend.

I was walking down the hall to the principals office, when I spotted two girls locked arm and arm together, while walking. One girl, which appeared to be about 14 years old, had a pacifier in her mouth. A yellow ribbon was around her neck and attached to the pacifier. I did not say a word, but I did have to manually shut my mouth.

What gives with this student?

To answer your question, when they begin to walk, the pacifier goes.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@john65pennington : There’s a type of candy that looks like a pacifier, and often comes on a ribbon. I’m thinking you may have seen that. They also come in rings.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

What? I still have one!

keobooks's avatar

My daughter stopped using hers while she was still in the hospital at 2 – 3 days old. Once she figured out that no milk was coming out of it, she wanted nothing to do with it. She is six months now and occasionally sucks her thumb or fingers, but she’s not too into it.

JmacOroni's avatar

@john65pennington Pacifiers are also popular among teenagers and young adults doing drugs like ecstasy that may cause a desire to grind teeth or chew. Over the years it has become a fashion trend among certain crowds, to wear a pacifier. The girl you saw may actually be a recreational drug user… or she might be trying to fit in with the “wrong” crowd.

YARNLADY's avatar

If they have an oral fixation, it doesn’t matter when you take it away. They will always find something to put in their mouth and chew on. My son used to stand out in left field and chew on his baseball glove, now he chews on straws and fast food lids. He used to love when I would cut off the edges for my plastic canvas project, because it gave him a lot of pieces to chew on.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When they can walk, they don’t need a pacifier unless they’re trying to sleep – that’s how it’s been with my kids. No more at the age of 1 except for sleeping and no more for sleeping by one and a half.

ucme's avatar

I’d draw the line at 27 definitely. Why a person would just look like a sucker at that age, now come on.

Austinlad's avatar

I have to give mine up?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Austinlad : No, Sweetie, you get a pass cuz you’re special to us.

keobooks's avatar

I think this question jinxed my daughter. We were at story time yesterday, and she yanked a pacifier out of a baby’s mouth and popped it into her own mouth. (Ewww!) At six months, she’s suddenly re-discovered the pacifier and now chews on one. She’s not too great at keeping it in her mouth because she hasn’t had practice. I’m hoping this is just a teething thing and not a longterm lifelong habit.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I was just thinking… what if we all used a pacie off and on, when we felt we needed it? Would that stop the oral fixation many adults have? Chewing on the inside of the cheek, biting nails, smoking, etc… A lot of us have oral habits that seem to “calm” us in times of stress. I wonder what would happen if we used a pacie instead? I’m not saying it wouldn’t look ridiculous, but what if?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Nothing is more disgusting than seeing a 4 or 5-year-old running around with a binkie in their mouth, a bottle, or diapers. The first thing that comes to my mind is that the parents have a mental problem – want to keep the kid a baby for as long as possible. I agree with @KatetheGreat . 2 years old is the absolute maximum.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Please tell me the magic trick I can use to get my four year old grandson to use the toilet instead of going in his diaper. We have tried prizes, gold stickers, and various other tricks, but nothing works on a regular basis.

keobooks's avatar

@YARNLADY get him to hang out with other 4 year olds for a bit. Have him go into the bathroom and see that everyone else is using the toilet. A friend of mine’s 4 year old granddaughter potty trained herself in a few days once she saw that all the other kids were using the toilet. She had ZERO interest in the toilet until then.

YARNLADY's avatar

@keobooks Thank you so much for that advise. I will try that. His favorite character on TV, Calliou, who is his age, does not wear diapers. He knows the names of all the children in the play group Calliou goes to, and none of them wear diapers either. I’m going to work with that.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@YARNLADY We just trained my 2-year-old granddaughter. We didn’t do much, just kept her in pull-ups for about two months, and then on to the tinkerbell panties. She is more than happy to cooperate. My method is just to ask her every half hour if she has to go, and then take her to give it a try whether she says yes or not. The same method broke my kids from wetting the bed. You actually have to get up a couple times a night and take them to the potty. That helps their body figure out what to do, I guess, because it always worked for me.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Thanks. I think they have to want to. Their Dad was easy. I saw him copying the dog out in the yard one day, and I said “Dogs go in the yard, people go in the bathroom, like Daddy does” He used the bathroom from then on, at age two.

keobooks's avatar

@YARNLADY I don’t know if the television characters will be enough to inspire him. The little girl I was talking about was actually hanging out in the bathroom with the other kids, even though she was in diapers. She would watch them go into the bathroom—and I am not sure, but she may have even watched a few kids sit on the toilet and pee.

It wasn’t like a “shame on you! the other kids go potty in the toilet..” it was more of a “oh.. so THAT’s what big kids do..”

creative1's avatar

I say not more than age 2 and I started at about 18mths with much success for my daughter to decide to give hers up. At just under 18mths my daughter was begging for her own computer so I told her that big girls who have a computer don’t use a binky and a few weeks later I am sure after much thought got up one morning and said to me mommy I just threw my binky away not can I have my computer. When she got home from school I set up a older computer of mine for her use and had her help me find all the binky’s she had hidden all over the house and throw them away.

Inspired_2write's avatar

As soon as they grow teeth.
Talk to you dentist, they will tell you the same.

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