Suri Cruise still has a pacifier

Katherine - posted on 07/09/2011 ( 140 moms have responded )

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http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddler/11722...

It's being called "Binkygate" by some as, horror of horrors, Suri Cruise has been spotted recently walking around with a pacifier in her mouth. Yes, she is going to be 5 next month, but really, who cares? Everyone it seems; people are simply aghast.

Some say she's spoiled and coddled; others worry she has mental problems; and yet others shriek warnings of the orthodontia bills to come, forgetting I guess that Tom Cruise can probably afford them with no problem. Some even blame Scientology. As an insider told PopEater:

Suri just isn't told 'no' very often. Scientology encourages you to make your own decisions and learn lessons as you live your life. She'll know herself when it's time to throw the pacifier away, plain and simple.

I'm no Scientologist, but I've gotta say: I agree.

My son was 4 before he gave his pacifier up, and he's a healthy, happy 7-year-old today with no signs of being worse for the wear for it. It comforted him through a cross-country move, a new house, new preschool, and all the other things his toddlerhood brought. I almost wish he still has that constant source of comfort as new fears and uncertainties come into his mind with age.

My daughter is 2, and going strong on her pacifier. We probably have 40 of them -- in the car, in her crib, in various rooms. She doesn't have one in her mouth all the time, but when she needs it or feels anxious, she gets one. It helps her sleep, which helps everyone in our home sleep. I adore pacifiers come to think of it.


People say children need to find other ways to cope, but why if this works? It certainly doesn't get in the way of her talking, that's for sure, as she never stops; and as for the dental issues -- there may or may not be evidence that it's going to cost us more down the line. I've read both sides (admittedly most say it will), but most kids these days need braces anyway, so I'm banking on that no matter what.

She'll give it up when she's ready, but if she chooses to go to college with one, well then that's fine too -- unlikely, but fine. I have no intention of trying to break this habit anytime soon, and I don't care if Tom and Katie break Suri of her habit either. Why would I?


But I know -- oh I know -- how many people feel differently. I find it fascinating just how opinionated people are about what other parents choose to let their own children do when it comes to things -- like pacifiers -- that aren't hurting anyone else. So step down pacifier police, they're our kids and our dental bills to pay. If you don't like it, don't look.


What do you think of Suri Cruise, or any 5-year-old, still having a pacifier?




Ok, I am guilty of this and this actually makes me feel better. My daughter is 5 and only uses one at night. I feel that she will give it up when ready. Don't judge! I have tried everything. I don't want to traumatize her by just taking it away.....she has been going through a lot and needs the security IMO. She's just always been attached.
Do you think you should let your child self wean or do it cold turkey?

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Jodi - posted on 07/18/2011

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Katherine, my daughter was born with a very weak sucking reflex, which is common for premmie and undersize babies. A pacifier will also help develop the sucking reflex they need to feed, and it is often recommended to provide them with one.



The fact is, some children will suck for longer than others, because eventually it is more than a survival reflex, but a comfort reflex. This need for comfort sucking will develop in some children more than in others, whether or not they HAD a pacifier. Some children give up a pacifier easily. Chances are they wouldn't have continued sucking their thumbs and fingers either. Other children don't, and they probably would have been the ones who continued to suck their thumbs if they didn't have pacifiers. The majority of children will gradually outgrow the need to suck naturally between the ages of 2 and 4 (whether it is thumb, fingers, or pacifier, or even sucking on a blankie or toy or other object....). THERE IS NO HARM DONE TO THE TEETH OR JAW IF IT IS GIVEN UP AT THIS AGE. The issue is when permanent teeth start to come through. A child who is still sucking their thumb well into childhood (6-8 years) WILL have dental problems. It is only when the sucking habit continues to this age that it will be ANY problem at all.



And not all children WILL accept a pacifier. A child who wants to only suck their thumb WILL suck their thumb. But in many cases, it is much better to try and replace this with a pacifier.



It is actually perfectly normal for children to use this sucking as comfort well into childhood, and shouldn't be punished or treated as abnormal. A pacifier is better for this reason because it can be controlled in its use (i.e. only at nighttime), whereas sucking a thumb cannot, which is where things such as damaged teeth and speech issues come into play.

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2011

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Actually virtually ALL babies are born with a need to suck. It's a survival reflex. So for that reason, many babies end up finding their thumbs or fingers to suck. It isn't solely a reflex developed in-utero at all. It is developed AFTER they are born too.

All studies I have ever read suggest that it is actually beneficial to give babies a pacifier as an alternative comfort item, as it transfers the attachment so that by the time they lose the pacifier, the thumb sucking habit is broken. Those who don't replace the thumb sucking with a pacifier will tend to have a harder time breaking the habit.

Vegemite - posted on 07/10/2011

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For all the years I've worked and all the dentists I've worked with as a dental nurse I've never heard that dummies will affect a child's jaw growth or teeth alignment. However I do know that thumb and finger sucking will. Thumb to a greater extent because the thumb pushes up and out against the upper jaw and down and inwards on the lower jaw as the child sucks. I have even heard dentist recommend parents of persistent suckers to try a pacifier if the child must suck something.

Mrs. - posted on 07/10/2011

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Not my MIL and her boss, who is a fine dentist. They said it is waaay better than sucking a thumb - which is what happens when some kids can't handle getting the bink taken away.

There are probably some shrinks out there who might caution about the damage extended breastfeeding to an advanced age might do.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Suri can afford braces if need be.

I know if my daughter doesn't ditch hers, I get a big fat discount on those same braces.

Bottomline though, it is such a small thing. Why would that be worth beating up on a parent for making the choice to let the kid have it? I'm not sure doing that is as much for the kid, you don't even know, but to make the person looking down feel they "won" on this particular childhood issue.

[deleted account]

But here's the thing. A pacifier could prevent the thumb sucking. Some people prefer thumb sucking, but I do not. I prefer the pacifier. My oldest would still be sucking one had I not taken it away (she was ready when I took it away so it wasn't an ordeal, she was sucking from habit). Had she not had the pacifier, she would have taken to her fingers, which she sucked before I gave her the pacifier. It's a habit, like the pacifier, and you can't cut off their fingers. Well, I guess I can, but then I'd have another problem on my hands.

140 Comments

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Maggie - posted on 08/17/2011

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I think I really don't care about Suri Cruise or any other "famous" kid. I think it is no one's business if a child has a pacifier, a teddy bear, a blankie, or any other comfort object. I think if we all minded our own business the world would be a better place.

That being said, I did limit my two year old to the pacifier only when extremely upset or at bedtime until he decided he was done with it.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/13/2011

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Congrats Lotte. Oh man I don't know how long I had my plug for. All I know is that my parents had to make me mail mine to Santa so I could get presents.

Lotte - posted on 08/13/2011

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OMG i think i got my first thumbsucker! His 20 wk ultrasound picture is him sucking his thumb; soooooooo cute. I saw him at 11 weeks too and he was scratching his head lol clearly, a very active baby :D

Lotte - posted on 08/13/2011

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I breast fed for a year with my eldest and bottle fed my youngest from about 4 months due to stressors that pretty much killed my milk supply...my daughter has been able to sit at a chair at a table since about a year (took some practice, but she learned to listen), they've each been without a crib from 16 months (took some training but she eventually learned it's not very comfortable to pass out on the floor with her toys..). I took the bottle from my youngest as soon as i could I think before one - I simply did not want her dependent on it, we only used it until she no longer needed formula. they've been drinking from a cup fully from about 18 months.
The pacifier was something I was worried about my kids becoming dependent on, and I came to realize that unless I introduced it to them they'd never know such a thing existed anyway! I was worried about speech, focusing on .other things, and of course dental as I have horrible gappy teeth that for now I can only hope are not hereditary.
what I'm getting at is EVERY parent has their own way. I like to teach my kids independence, and I like to challenge them with what they're ready for. Of course I'll always be there if they're not ready. I'll always put them back into bed if they fall whilst practicing sleeping without side bars. But when they turn six months, I would like to give them a spoon and just see what they do with it. Can't hurt, right?
ps. they've each onlY EVER used a pacifier like 1 maybe two times due to major gas or pain, inconsolable..and were younger than two months..but I didnt force it on them and call it 'sleeping' just so i could get a few to myself lol. I know people who use them for things like that too. I just never saw a reason to make it an important part of their lives.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/13/2011

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My 5 month old uses 3 of her fingers from time to time. She won't take a binkie of any kind. My older daughter quit when she was 3 because I kinda forgot them back in Rochester when I went to visit a friend of mine in Troy and that's all the way across the state

Hayley - posted on 08/13/2011

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better than thumb sucking. My Mum took my pacifier from me when I was 3 so I started sucking my thumb instead. I did this 'till I was well into my teens and by the time I had started college I had a terrible overbite and to make matters even worse my pallet had collapsed in around where my thumb was constantly jammed. My tongue barely fit in my mouth properly. I had to go through years of painful corrective surgery as well as retainers and braces. I'm now a dental technician so I know what I'm talking about when I say that sucking on dummies and thumbs does cause problems...you cant always see it by looking in the mirror but take a look of a plaster model made from impressions and its very clear to see. Most children who give up the dummy at around 5 will probably have slightly crooked front teeth but they usually return to normal within months of stopping....same with thumb sucking. You have to be doing it a long time to cause the sort of problems I had so really I dont think at such a young age its anything to worry about.

Danielle - posted on 08/08/2011

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everyone has their own way, My son never had a pacifier, he liked his thumb and the day he turned 2, he stopped sucking his thumb all on his own, his teeth are good and he's fine.

Momof1 - posted on 07/26/2011

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For me, personally, my son never took a paci and I'm glad. I would have tossed it a 1, though, along with his weekend bottles, if he had. The same will go for baby 2, even though I'm not sure if I will even try using the paci with our next. I don't care if another kid has a paci. They have been shown as good soothing mechanisms and I don't think that people should look at parents of kids who are 2, 3, 4 as bad or lazy parents.



A paci is pretty much just like a lovey (which my son never had either.) It helps them feel safe. Sure, they may be some kids who are 6, 7, or 8... that don't want to get rid of it or have some adjust/behavioral problems, but that cannot be blamed on paci usage. And some kids can use them and then they decide for themselves they don't want to use them and they are fine. Sure, I think age 5 is a little old for using one, but I don't know her situation or why her parents don't take it away. Of course there are also lazy parents who don't care enough, but that is a whole other issue. My son is 20 months old now and does not suck his thumb either. Although for awhile he loved sucking on his hand.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/20/2011

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Holy crap Patricia! You actually have a functioning crystal ball??? Cool.

Mrs. - posted on 07/20/2011

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Sometimes I wonder if people ever read the seven pages of debate before they post.

Patricia - posted on 07/20/2011

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OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's just downright LAZY parenting I'm sorry!!!!! Her poor teeth are going to need serious work!!! Such a shame!!! :-(

Stifler's - posted on 07/19/2011

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my sister sucked her fingers until like age 12. mum and dad tried everything like gross tasting stuff on her fingers and all that. i can't remember when she gave it up. my brother is 8 and still sucks his thumb.

Sarah - posted on 07/19/2011

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I sucked my thumb until I was 21yrs!
I had to have LOADS of dental work because of it (which was AWFUL especially as it was all done during the "teen years")
So I've always been hyper aware of letting my kids use a dummy or suck their thumb.

My eldest was a non issue, she never did either.
My youngest sucked her thumb pretty much straight away, so I went right out and bought a dummy.
I took it away at night at 5 months and then it was only used at nap time. Once she stopped having naps at about 18 months, the dummy was gone.
As I've said though, that's because I was really aware of them having a dummy because of my experiences.

Do I care that Suri or any other older kid still has a dummy? Nope! I didn't want it for my own kids, but it's not the worse thing in the world........I sucked my thumb til 21, and other than the teeth issue.....it didn't make me a bad kid, or a kid with issues, I was just a kid that sucked her thumb in the privacy of her own home!

I would much rather a kid still have a dummy at 5 than be sucking their thumb.

[deleted account]

Katherine... my completely unprofessional advice is to completely stop worrying about it (if possible) for the next 3-4 months. Let things settle down for a while first. In the meantime, Jodi's idea about looking for/learning another comforting, coping mechanism is a good idea.

Stifler's - posted on 07/18/2011

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Once she goes to school and sees that other kids don't have one she will probably stop using it. I doubt she'll be taking it with her when she moves out x

Katherine - posted on 07/18/2011

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Tried that too lol. To no avail. I mean the therapy. I know she's going through a hard time and that's why I'm not pushing the issue.
I just don't want her to be 6 or 7 with a pacifier still. I have to find a way....

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2011

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No idea how to help Katherine. Taylah gave hers up at 3 by giving them to Santa for the baby reindeer.......



Just remember she has been through a lot with the family issues, etc. Generally prolonged sucking indicates some sort of need for comfort, and is how a child copes. Perhaps she needs to be taught some other coping mechanisms that provides her with the same level of comfort? Talking to a therapist may help to find that.



Is she only using it to go to sleep at night? Or does she suck on it all night too?

Katherine - posted on 07/18/2011

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Yes, my 5 year old, she won't give it up. No matter what i do. I have tried EVERY method.

Katherine - posted on 07/18/2011

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That's what worries me about my daughter. The permanent teeth coming in and her with the pacifier. I seriously wonder if she has some sensory issues.

Katherine - posted on 07/18/2011

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Sucking on a pacifier for newborns and infants is supposed to reduce the risk of SIDS also...

[deleted account]

Tell that to my oldest daughter. ;)

She sucked her fingers UNTIL I gave her the pacifier. She would still be sucking her fingers out of habit had I not given her one. I was able to take the pacifier when the need for sucking was lost.

I would love to see the studies if you have a link.

Sherri - posted on 07/18/2011

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Any studies I have ever looked at says if you are going to have a thumb sucker it starts before birth usually in utero. A pacifier will not prevent a thumb sucker from becoming one. You either have a thumb sucker or you don't.

Sherri - posted on 07/18/2011

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Sara thumb sucking is not caused and has nothing to do with taking a pacifier away. They would have been a thumb sucker even if they had a pacifier. Totally different debate.

Sherri - posted on 07/18/2011

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Nope I said if you take it away before they become attached you will have one less habit to break meaning the pacifier attachment.

Merry - posted on 07/18/2011

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The boy I babysat for was about 18 months and he would gnaw on chair kegs and the corner of the couch and the edge of the carpet and the stairs railing and outside he would chew sticks and rocks and eat dirt and leaves.
Ug it was awful. His mouth was always disgusting and his whole house was full of slobber. Oh he would also chew the rubber soles of shoes.
He was sick ALL the time.
I assume it's cuz he stuck everything in his mouth!
He sucked his thumb

Esther - posted on 07/18/2011

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Cathy - I just wanted to clarify that obviously in special situations like with your son I definitely think you should continue their use as long as you need to. My post is strictly limited to kids who have no such special needs.

[deleted account]

Cathy... oops!

My kids have ALL been big 'mouthers'. Past early infancy the only thing my son ever really 'mouthed' was my nipple ;) but his sisters would put ANYTHING in their mouths (well... not quite anything, I guess, after that lightbulb story).... up to and past 6 or 7. A 'binky' up til 2 was WAY better and safer than some of the things they put in there when they DIDN'T have the binky. ;)

Merry - posted on 07/18/2011

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I thought you said if you take it away before the habit sets in then they won't get addicted to sucking.

Esther - posted on 07/18/2011

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My son was 2 months shy of 3 by the time I finally worked up the courage to get him off the pacifier completely. I had been trying to loosen the grip those things had on him (he always had one in his mouth and another in his hand) for months already, first refusing to let him use them outside the house, then he could only use them upstairs, then only for nap & bedtime, then only bedtime. In the end it was a spontaneous move of me asking him to give his pacifiers to his best friend's baby sister whom he worships. He gave them to her and he never looked back. Who knew it would be that easy? In all honesty I think it was always more about me than about him. Those things worked like instant valium and it was all too easy to rely on them in certain situations. Lucas was also always a miserable sleeper and we had just settled into a routine that was bearable for me and I was just terrified that we'd slide back into being up all night with a child who would not go to sleep. But none of that happened. Now when I see pictures of him with a pacifier in his mouth (even when he was under 1 I kind of cringe. I don't like seeing him with them anymore at all - even though at the time I was so desensitized to them that I barely noticed. I was really starting to get embarrassed though that he was still using them so I can't imagine letting that go on another 2 years and to have no limits on it at all (including letting them use it out in public). I realize that the PC thing is to not care what anyone thinks and do what you feel right, and in some things I truly don't care what anyone thinks, but on that subject I was getting embarrassed. Probably because I knew that what it stood for was me taking the easy way out.

Sherri - posted on 07/18/2011

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Laura just because you took his pacifier away doesn't mean that was why he sucked his thumb. That isn't true in the least. Most likely he would have been a thumb sucker anyways. Heck my niece has always had a pacifier and is still a huge thumb sucker. One has nothing to do with the other.

Merry - posted on 07/18/2011

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Sherri, I took Erics pacifier away at 3 months. My mil said that at 3 months the need to suck is gone and it's going to turn into a habit. So I took it away. By 4 months he was an avid thumb sucker and he still sucks it now at 2.

Fierna has a pacifier for now, she doesn't take to it like Eric did. But sometimes it works to comfort her when she wants to suck but doesn't want to eat.

I will take hers away sometime in a few months because I don't want to have a paci baby. I'd rather she suck her thumb.

I won't be forcing Eric to stop sucking his thumb or to stop breastfeeding. I'll encourage it if need be, but everything i readsays it's not harmful until at least 4 years.

I'd rather have a thumb sucker then a paci sucker because thumbs are free and always there and either way I wouldn't be forcing my kids to grow up sooner then they're ready"

They can smile when they're ready, crawl, walk, talk, color, toilet train etc.

When they're ready. I'm here to raise them not force them to grow up.

Katherine I dislike pacifiers, I dislike seeing kids at the park with them. But your daughter uses it in bed. That's NO ONEs business except hers. It's not going to hurt her teeth or jaw if it's just used at night time and it's not bothering anyone. It's her comfort and that's ok.



Now when I see kids at the park sucking pacifiers I don't get it be it 1yr, 2yr or 5. It's the park! It's fun! You don't need a pacifier at the park. In the car, in bed, watching tv, at least those places it makes sense to have a pacifier but when a kid is actively running around having fun there's no need for a paci hanging out of their mouth.

Eric sucks his thumb in the car, at bedtime, and when he's tired bored or hungry.

He sucks it loosely which makes a big difference if they are strong suckers. So I don't worry about it.

I believe he will stop when he's ready.

Now he has a 'rag' which is prefold cloth diapers and this goes hand in hand with him sucking his thumb. If he's playing happily and finds a rag he will stop what he's doing and suck his thumb for a minute. So it's a weird partner for his thumb habit.

So I'm inking when he's 3 I'll limit the rags to just in bed or in the car. This might help him not suck his thumb as much and hopefully will lead him towards giving both up on his own.

Only issue is if Fierna gets attached to the rags too then she might have them around and he will take hers.....



Anyways suri can comfort herself anyway she feels like, her life must be crazy and if she needs some soothing time go for it.



Katherines daughter is doing no one any harm and there's nothing I see wrong with her using it at 5 in her bed. What goes on in someone's bed is no one else's business IMO :)



And Sherri, obviously I took erics pacifier away early enough, but he simply switched to the thumb so I don't think it's true that if you take it away before the habit sets in they will be fine. He obviously needed something to suck on beyond three months.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/17/2011

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And I care about this why? It's not my concern that Tom Cruise and his made up religion have decided that telling a child no is a bad thing.

April - posted on 07/17/2011

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hold on a sec...i have only sent one other mom a PM before. trying to figure it out. :P

[deleted account]

You read that right. Sure you can send me a PM. No clue if I can help or not though.... the only reason he's weaned is that he's been w/ his father since July 1 and doesn't come home til the 28th.... ;)

April - posted on 07/17/2011

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Teresa, am I reading this right? C. has very recently weaned? would you mind if i sent you a PM? i wanted to get your thoughts and advice if that is ok!

[deleted account]

Try not to let it piss you off Katherine. I know, easier said than done. If it's not seriously neglectful or abusive... it's no one's business.

My ex tried to get the court to make me wean my son at a year and a half... just cuz my son never asked to nurse w/ his father (duh, the kid knows a man doesn't have 'baboo'). ;) The court would not get involved cuz it wasn't an issue they care about. So my son nursed til 3.25 years. Granted, that's younger than a 5 year old, but so what. A binky at night for a 5 year old is not going to harm her any. YOU do what you feel is best for her and tell everyone else to shove it!

Katherine - posted on 07/17/2011

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It SHOULDN'T be anyone's business how we choose to parent. Unfortunately people feel the need to make it their business, and that pisses me off.

Laura - posted on 07/17/2011

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Honestly, why is it anyone's business? You're right about people being so opinionated about how other people raise their children. Unless they are hurting or neglecting their child, I think we should mind our own business and raise our kids the way we see fit and let others do the same, celebrity or no celebrity.

Amanda - posted on 07/13/2011

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Im sorry I do judge when I see a older child with a soother in their mouth/boob/bottle, this is a clear sign of a parent not putting their foot down (in many cases, of course not with a child with medical issues). I have seen mothers shove the soothers/boobs/bottles in to their older childrens mouths just to shut them up while out. 3-5 year olds do not have the mental ablities to make good choices for themselves, it is our jobs to make those choices for them, even if it means they are going to cry, throw a fit, or do whatever. Parenting isnt suppose to be easy, children arent suppose to always be happy, they need to learn to cope with life! Co dependence is caused by a parent not a child.

Ella - posted on 07/12/2011

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Rebecca Three - posted 2 days ago
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For a group of moms who are usually so pro-breastfeeding for comfort even if they are like 6 years old...I don't see the difference?

How is some kid sucking a real nipple past the age of 5 any less weird than a kid sucking a fake nipple? Personally, I find a binky way less creepy in a five year old's mouth than the whole extended breastfeeding into kindergarten thing. "

For me Both breast feeding til that age or using a pacifier grose me out. But as much as I am pro breast feeding, I would never allow a child to breast feed to sleep or use me as a comforter - doesn't not teach them good habits IMO.

@ Sherri I have seen on the leaky boob page people saying their dentists recommended not breast feeding at night after 12 months unless your going to brush thier teeth after every feed. But I do think the pacifier is much more harmful then breast feeding at night, I breast feed over night still and dont brush my kid's teeth in the middle of the night.

Ella - posted on 07/12/2011

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I think its pretty bad. It messes up thier teeth that my main reason. They should be used only til about 12 months and if after that just at night times to help them sleep or when they are sick. I would never allow one of my kids to have one past age 3, and they certainly would not be out in a public, with a bottle or pacifier past 6 months of age. I find it raher disturbing to see children and toddlers with dummys or bottles hanging out thier mouth all day when they are perfectly happy

Vegemite - posted on 07/12/2011

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Emma I weened my kids of the bottle at night by turning the lights off, cuddling up to them and feeding them the bottle. They would drift off to sleep. I slowly gave them less until there was only 50ml left then stopped giving it to them. That was it done. I used to clean their tooth when they were in that nice deep sleep because I was paranoid about them getting cavities after so many years of working in dentistry.
Worked with both my kids, might or mightn't work for yours but thought I'd share.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/12/2011

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My daughter has started self weaning from it naturally. I was taking it from her but she started chewing on her fingers and I do NOT want her doing that as an alternative. So now I let her make some of the decisions. Today she had a friend over and she chose to put the soother away for that. She voluntarily hands it over to my husband when he gets home from work because that's part of her routine now. So we're whittling away at it in a way that doesn't make her uncomfortable and doesn't end up with her sucking her thumb and chewing the bejebus out of her fingers. Call me crazy, but I think this is probably better for her.



As with most parenting decisions, I think that everyone just needs to STFU because we don't all have the same kid and we aren't all living the same life.

Jenny - posted on 07/12/2011

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I'm with Joy R-J. I personally don't like them and they were not an option with my kids. If another wishes to use them, big deal. There are bigger fish to fry in this day and age. So I'm on the don't give a shit train now.

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