If you have seen a picture of my daughter, chances are, she had a pacifier in her mouth. Unlike her older brother, who never cared for one, she is attached to it. I have no problem with it.
With my son, I wasn’t as willing to give a pacifier like I am now. There are studies that suggest that pacifiers can cause nipple confusion in breastfeeding babies, and they should not be used until after breastfeeding is established. I didn’t want to risk that happening, so I never really offered one. When I did, Jax would suck for a moment and spit it out. Fine by me!
Now I have a little one who loves her pacifier (or nuk as we call it in our home). I am often asked when I plan on taking it away. I have a simple answer: When she is ready.
Who say she has to give it up by 12 months? I have also been told she needs to sleep in her own bed, not take a bottle, face forward in her car seat, and walk by now, but she isn’t doing any of those things. So who sets these “rules” that I must hear about day in and day out?
Pacifiers can cause ear infections, issues with teeth, and can interfere with your milk supply. They also can reduce SIDS, help soothe an upset baby, and enhance babies’ swallowing. Since I am not breast feeding, I am not concerned about my supply. They only interfere with a child’s teeth when the child is over four years old. As far as ear infections, Elliot doesn’t get them.
There are also some studies that show that a pacifier can cause delays in speech. I am not concerned about that as well, since Elliot is 15 months with a 26-word vocabulary and speaks in two-to-three-word sentences. She actually takes her pacifier out to talk. She doesn’t have it all hours of the day, but she does have to have it at night to sleep.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, she will not be five years old with a pacifier. I do think that is a little too old to have one. If she is, well then, I guess that’s my problem to tend to. Babies under two years old do not know how to manage distress. The pacifier is a stress-reliever. When she gets to age two & if she still has one, I will think about weaning her from it.
The point is this: She likes her pacifier. She is 15 months old, not 15 years old. I believe that when she is ready to give it up, she will. Until then, I won’t worry about it. I would really like if others would stop worrying about it as well.