Binky Break-Up

Experts advise parents to put away the pacifier sooner rather than later.

Those eyes!
The glam outfits!
The always fabulous shoes!
That…. pacifier?

Last weekend, the ever-so-adorable Suri Cruise, daughter of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, was spotted strolling through the streets of Vancouver, teddy bear in hand and pacifier in mouth. The littlest Cruise turns 5 next month and is already the subject of much buzz for her accessories: fashionable footwear, coveted handbags, sophisticated beverages and now, a pacifier.

The buzz we’re hearing is this: is 5 too old for a pacifier?
Turns out, parents really should try to phase out the pacifier by about age one (by six months is even better), according to Dr. Robert Adamenko, a pediatrician in Glastonbury. He says putting away the pacifier is a good opportunity to exercise limit setting. Not to mention, prolonged pacifier use might affect tooth development.

So I have to admit… we still use the paci – as it’s referred to in Casa Donnelly – for soothing and nighttime. But maybe it is time to consider the weaning process.

The Break-Up
Dr. Adamenko says you know your child best, so gear your weaning style to his or her temperament.

“Going cold turkey might work for some children, but for others, you might want to take a more gradual approach,” he said.

For those taking it slowly, he suggests starting with situational use – perhaps using it just as a soother, or only at home. A replacement object might be helpful, too.

And for older toddlers – try talking it out. It’s a good chance to discuss what it means to be a big boy or girl.

So we’ll give it a shot – eliminating it at bedtime and using it only for soothing. Maybe the days of the mid-night “mommy, help me find my pacifier” wakings are numbered, and I can cut back on my own sophisticated beverage consumption.

What do you think? Do your tots use a pacifier? How did you wean?
We want to hear from you!

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This entry was posted in Change, In the News, Pacifiers, Parenting Styles, Pediatrician, Preschoolers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Binky Break-Up

  1. Molly never had one. Best way to wean them off is to never start….

  2. Maggie says:

    My son gave his up at 3 years old only because I did not have the heart to take it away earlier and then wanted him to understand that we were giving it up and never going back. We talked about him being a big boy and then made a production of “sending” it to the binky fairy, we decorated the envelope and ceremoniously walked it to the mail box. The binky fairy gifted him the pirate ship he wanted for so long the next morning, and Dominic only asked for his binky once or twice over the next three days. I have a daughter who is 4 months old and I may take it away at 6 months to avoid the addiction that it could create for the next few years.

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