Pacifiers: Not A Big Deal


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.




  1. Heather P. -  September 3, 2012 - 11:26 am

    You are the parent not everyone else. You know what is best for your child, end of story! I really choose my words when saying something to other parents. (As long as baby isn’t in danger.) It’s not my place to say what they should or shouldn’t be doing.

  2. Chels -  September 3, 2012 - 11:52 am

    My oldest son is 5 and he took a soother at night and on long car rides until he was almost 4. He started to get embarrassed about it, then one night I couldn’t find it and no spares left. And that was that. With my youngest, he is almost 3 and is going on almost a year without it. All children are different. No judgement here

  3. Michelle Tafoya -  September 3, 2012 - 12:35 pm

    My kids are grown now. Oldest didn’t need anything, middle needed his blankie which he called his moo-moose, youngest loved her paci. I’ll never forget a story from a lady at work who was a foster mom. She received her very frightened foster baby in the middle of the night after a domestic dispute. She was clutching a used paper towel spool. She let her keep it, it soothed her. Kids need something within their control for comfort when mom and dad are not available.

  4. Erin Melbourne -  September 3, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    I agree that there should be less judging among moms. Every child is different and requires a different response, just like every mother is different and will choose what she feels is best. Q loves his sucky (sorry just the name for it that stuck in our house!) and I am not near feelin like he needs to be weaned from it. He has a 21 word vocab and is doing two word phrases. We are just fine 🙂

  5. Cindy -  September 3, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    My daughter is now 22 years, had a history of ear infections starting at 2 weeks, back then nursing wasn’t the thing I tried but because she had jaundice they told me she shouldn’t nurse so we switched to formula and she had a paci. I wish I had know then what I know now. She probably wouldnt have to have tubes or a tympanoplasty.

  6. Molly -  September 4, 2012 - 8:02 am

    My 18 month old still has her paci. She has never had an ear infection and her speech is great (when she wants to talk.) she usually only gets it at night or if shes having a bad day. Her dr said to take it away at 15 months but oh well. She self weaned from her bottle so I’m sure she will from the pacifier too.

  7. Jessy -  September 4, 2012 - 9:13 am

    All 3of my kids were paci lovers. My oldest gave his up fairly easily when he was just over 2. He only had it at night by about 19 months. I gave in and took my second ones paci away at about 15 months. Really regret that move. We had just moved across the country and she wasn’t ready to give it up, but I gave in to pressure from the doctor. My 3rd baby is 17 months old. He still has his at nap/night (and if he finds one somewhere in the house and I catch him). We are making another cross country move this week and I plan on letting him keep that thing until he is ready to give it up.

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