Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pacifiers- How old is too old?

Pacifier Tree

    On a trip to the local playground, I came upon a sight too common. There was a little girl(almost school age) running around with a pacifier in her mouth. She was old enough to talk to her brother and sister in full sentences. When she called to her father she would pull out the binky to talk then quickly replace it in her mouth. I remember our doctor telling us to give up the paci by the time our daughter turned two or she could develop issues with her speech and increase the chance of ear infections. I think he brought it up at the 12mo. well baby check. So with-in a few months we were done. Both the older brother and sister of this playground pacifier pupil had noticeable overbites.
Pacifier Tree
   As a military spouse I live in an area overrun with young families all with bundles of kids. This may be why I have noticed a growing trend of older kids still using a pacifier. My wife claims that a majority of the offenders are local(we live in Germany) kids. That may be so and if so may be part of the culture. In fact I believe this might be true. While at a Luisenpark, Mannheim(a great place to take the kids) we ran into a family who was at the park for a special reason. It was time for there 3 1/2 year old to give up the pacifier. the whole family made it into a big deal, they even got all dressed up. Grandma and Grandpa introduced the tot to a special binki tree. Then Mom and Dad stepped in and had him pick a branch and place the binki on the tree for others to enjoy. To my surprise and more over his parents surprise the little boy was excited to comply. They took photos then laughed all the way to get ice cream.
   At what age is useing a pacifier to old? Is the temporary comfort to the child and ease of not dealing with a crying totteler worth the chances of possible health effects? Every parent finds what works best in their situation, but don't just think of yourself keep the possible implications to your child in mind.

Here is a interesting article on this topic. Read the comments. Good Stuff.


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