Binky Patrol: Is your four year old sucking on a paci?

If you think your kid is going to be taking their pacifier off to college with them, think again!

Most children give up their pacifiers before they are three years old. As children grow older, peer pressure becomes more of a factor and may actually be all the incentive a child needs to let go of their treasured pacifier. Dentist state that it is only a problem when their 'big kid' teeth come in. So it's a No-no to let any child use a paci after they're big teeth appear which is around age five.

A pacifier provides a serene state of calm for infants and young children -- and The American Academy of Pediatrics states that pacifier use can actually prevent SIDS --sucking on a pacifier forces the airway to stay open. Pacifier use is now recommended at nap time and bedtime throughout the first year of life.

A Binky, or pacifier, is also a transitional object that helps relieve stress as children adjust to new situations.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Policy on Oral Habits, thumb sucking or the sucking on pacifiers is normal in infants and young children.

With my first son I took the paci away when he was nine months old, but he had a very calm temperament. However, I now have a 2 ½ year old who still has his paci. He has a very high-energy temperament and is not easy to console, but once he has his soft blanky and paci he immediately calms down. What mom doesn’t need that kind of help every now and then?☺

If you are concerned about prolonged pacifier use and your child is three years old or older, here are tips on how to slowly decrease pacifier dependency:

• When giving your baby a pacifier always pair it with a satin trimmed blanket or stuffed animal, so that when they give up the pacifier, they still have other comfort objects.

• Limit the use of pacifiers to the bed and car only

• Work out a deal with your child that the pacifier cannot travel or leave the house

• Cut one millimeter off the tip of every pacifier in the house. When he discovers the "broken" pacifier, do not replace it. Instead, simply explain that it's broken. Most toddlers will decide on their own that they no longer want the pacifier

• Have a party to give the pacifier away to a new baby

• Sew it into a favorite stuffed animal

• Tie it to balloons and have a launching ceremony (tell them the balloons will take it to new born baby who needs it now.

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Comment by Christine Grogan Taylor on November 6, 2009 at 2:20pm
I know of a company who just got the Parent Approved Parent tested Award that can wean a baby off of a pacifier gently using the Binky-Fairy:)
Comment by Valerie H. on June 26, 2009 at 7:49am
I feel the same way about letting our kids decide when they are ready to give things up, but my son is turning 6 next month and he STILL has a Binky. He only gets it as he is going to bed for the night, but seriously he is too old. I have tried many of these wonderful ideas, but my family and I always give in to him. He has sensory defensiveness and it seems as though he needs to suck on the Binky to get him to settle down at night and actually sooth him. He is embarrassed about having it and when we have company over at night or in the morning he will go hide somewhere to suck on it or give it back to me to hide. I guess I'm just asking if I am totally nuts for letting him still have his Binky?
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on February 4, 2009 at 3:57pm
Thanks Kristen, our kids are only little for such a short time, right? I've never seen a kid go into high school wearing a diaper, sucking a paci or drinking from a bottle, so yes, I agree, let's let babes be babes for as long as they need to be :-)
Comment by Kristen Andrews: Featured Contributor of Style on February 4, 2009 at 10:43am
My son never used a paci, I tired! I never understand why we have such issues w/ things like paci's as you said they outgrown them in their own time, I try to roll w/ my kiddo and let him have what he needs w/ in reason. The same goes w/ bottles, who cares what others think! This is a great post!
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on February 3, 2009 at 2:22pm
Stressed about paci use? Read this from another Twitter Mommy -- Very touching...
Comment by And Then Crafts on February 3, 2009 at 1:32pm
I'm so glad you liked the story! :)
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on February 3, 2009 at 12:14pm
And Then The Crafts - That was the most touching story. Thank you so very much for sharing it. I'm sure a lot of moms will appreciate hearing it. Those pictures of her holding TWO paci's. My heart was melting because my son has the Big Love Affair with Paci too. OMG. I will share your story with others :-) Yes, naptime can induce PSTD in mommies - I get it!
Comment by And Then Crafts on February 3, 2009 at 11:53am
My 3-year-old just gave up hers: Here's our story: Kicking the Two Binky Habit




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