pacifiers? — The Bump
Attachment Parenting


Pacifiers yay or nay?

Ds wanted nothing to do with them before a year. Ever since his birthday he "wants" one. One day he just picked one up and started sucking on it. That was about 3 weeks ago. He doesn't need one by any means, but if he sees one he usually chooses to pick it up and use it. It has given him a little more independence and it's nice to sneak in, between boob and bed in occasion. Part of me thinks why not, it's comforting him andnot hurting him, but another part of me doesn't want to have to deal with a serious issue later. Are there any babies out there that used them and didn't have issues taking them away?

Re: pacifiers?

  • That's so interesting! DS kind of did the same thing when he found a friend's on the floor (yuck!), but we had never tried to give him one, really. I avoided false nipples because I wanted him to meet all his sucking needs at the breast.

    If it's making your life easier, he likes it, and you don't mind having something to wean from at some point, I suppose it's no big deal. It's only a problem if it bothers you, like many things in this parenting world. ;)

    I'd ask yourself by what age you would want him to be weaned from the pacifier. If it's right around the corner, I might not offer it.
  • I'm a paci fan.  Both my 26 month old and my 10 month old use them.  Dentist said not to worry at all until age 3, and then start to work on weaning from it.  I don't like him to have it all the time simply because I like to hear him talk to me and want to see his smile, etc.  I just tell him that and tell him it's for bedtime (and sometimes in the car), and he's fine with that (unless he's having a really rough time, tired, or something...which I evaluate and am not always super strict about).
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  • I'm a special situation - we're very pro-pacifer because DH and I were both thumb suckers until the 4th grade.  I only quit because I had an appliance with spikes installed in my mouth, and the years of thumb sucking caused me to need both an expander and braces.  So based on my history, I would much rather encourage a pacifier than deal with that.

    I'm not sure how I feel about introducing the pacifier at a year though, because chances are if he wasn't using it at the time, he wouldn't automatically default to thumb sucking.  At a year, my son was only using a pacifier at naps and bedtime.  At  the same time, we didn't really have a hard time taking it away.  We planned to drop it from naps at 2, but let him keep it for bedtime.  After a couple days of being pacifier-less during naps, he announced that he didn't need it at bedtime because he was a "big boy."
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  • We never intentionally introduced it, they were just laying around and he started. He sees a kid at daycare with one all the time so I wonder if that has something to do with it?!! As for his use now, he will pick them up when he is tired, but doesn't use it to actually fall asleep. I would say he uses one maybe less than an hour a day, if that.
  • I don't think it's a big deal at all. Kids go through weird phases. Chances are he'll get over it pretty soon anyway. And if not, meh. 
  • My nephew started showing interest at about 8months.  He had always refused one but then suddenly wanted them every time he saw another child with one in their mouth.  He would go for it and pop it out to try.  I think it's just an exploratory thing, he's old enough to see other children with one and wants to know what it's all about.

    That said, I haven't heard of children actually starting to use it at such a late age, other than as a toy.

    Not really sure what I would think of letting my child begin at that age.  I pushed it in the early days since it gave me a bit of a break and in hopes of preventing her from becoming a thumb sucker.  But at 7.5 months I already limit it to naps, cars or when she is upset and needs to sooth. 

    I don't think there is any harm in letting him use it...but it may pose more problems down the road with having to phase it out.  That said, if he has the need to suck to sooth (as in, he's been using you) then sure.  If he hasn't been using you and hasn't had the need to suck then I probably wouldn't have him start.


  • @blu-eyedwife That contraption sounds awful! :(
  • =Lee=B
    I never really thought about ds using me much as a pacifier, but I did always Pop a boob in his mouth at any whimper he is older and mobile so he doesn't like to sit long to nurse/suck...that makes sense what you are saying...thanks!
  • My paci story--my son was born with a strong need to suck 24/7 (beyond nursing nonstop in the beginning) so we ended up using one. He was so attached and we dreaded breaking the habit. We cut down to naps and bedtime at 9 months pretty easily. When dd was born we said no paci, we didn't want to break the habit x2. Fast forward a year and ds gave up the paci with hardly any tears at all and dd is a thumb sucker. Team paci. It's a much easier habit to break if you do have a kid with that urge to suck constantly. Some kids don't need either and that's great. I did not get those kids. Lol.
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  • I'll chime in because my kids were wildly different when it came to pacifier use.  DS started with one, but decided at 10 weeks to reject it.

    DD was much more into her pacifier.  There was a window of time a little after her 1st birthday when I knew I could have eased it away from her, but she didn't really have a lovey that she used consistently, and I was reluctant to take away a source of soothing.  By 15 months, she was HOOKED, and she sucked a pacifier at night and nap until she was a little over 4.  Breaking the habit at that age wasn't too bad.  She could read, so we offered her a reading lamp and the opportunity to read until she was drowsy.  It didn't take long for her to switch from sucking to reading.  

    It may be that your DS is at the age when a toddler needs more comfort, like my DD was at 15 months.  In your situation, I would stealthily get rid of all the pacifiers so he doesn't see them around, and I'd point him instead toward another means of self-soothing.  If he is already determined to use a pacifier, I wouldn't be too worried -- it's not impossible to break the habit later.

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  • Blu-eyed wife: interesting to hear your story. My sister is a dentist, and she encourages pacifier use because it's much easier to take away a pacifier at a certain age than your child's thumb, and as you know, sucking into childhood can cause problems for kid's mouths.
    For the other posters: what do you think the downsides to pacifier use are? I'm not really sure, but there must be some to make it a controversial topic!
  • If you can avoid it, I would.  DS used a pacifier for comfort and naps when he was an infant but I would not say he was attached to them.  Then, around 15 months, he learned the word "paci" and now he runs around saying "paci" and frantically looking for them and wakes up reguarly in the middle of the night asking for one.  He's become very attached.  I'm thinking about ways to start weaning him.  I wish we had taken his cues early on when he wasn't really interested and weaned him then.  I think it's going to be much harder now.

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