31 answers

Pacifier at Three Years Old!

I have a daughter who is about to turn three. She is addicted to her pacifier. I would love to get rid of the pacifier. However, my significant other does not think she needs to let it go. Could someone please give me a good reason, other than b/c she is too old, why a three year old does not need a pacifier.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all who took the time to respond. I now have some excellent ideas on how to wean my three year old off the pacifer. I can now have a solid discussion with the significant other on toddlers and pacifiers.
Thanks!

Featured Answers

It could ruin teeth, impare speach to start.

What is his reason for keeping it?
Steps to help move toward not having it.
1. Only give to her when she is going to bed, or in the car.
2. Then take away for nap & car
3 Then take away for sleep.

My son bit through his, and Daycare said .. "me me " all gone.. and that was the end of it for him there.. We said the same thing at night.. 2 more nights he looked for it, we kept saying all gone.. and 4th night, I was ready to give it back .. he did not want it :)

Good luck

5 moms found this helpful

Is she speaking in complete sentences? Full paragraphs? Can strangers understand most of what she says? If not, it is interfering with her speech development

4 moms found this helpful

Pacifier use for a child this age can cause speech and language disorders, dental problems and socialization problems.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Sucking on a paci too much can affect the teeth. It can also impede speech. Your significant other should ask the ped what he or she thinks. I'll bet the ped would be happy to explain why a 3 year old doesn't need a paci.

Cut a little bit off the end of the paci. In a few days, cut a little more off. By the end of the month, there should be no more paci left. Make sure ANY pacis in the house are treated the same.

Good luck,
D.

8 moms found this helpful

It's massively bad for her teeth would be the best reason, unless your SO WANTS to pay for braces and corrections to her mouth ...

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articl...

It can also mess with her auditory processing ...

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=c...

Our son never wanted one ... I count myself lucky for that.

7 moms found this helpful

Contact your child's dentist and find out about the cost of correcting an overbite, as well find out the cost of speech therepy then hand him the "bill."

Tell him we get rid of a 3.50 pacifier or fork over 10kplus to correct the problems this 3.50 pacifier brings.

6 moms found this helpful

If she is walking around with it all day, it needs to go. If she has it only to sleep, then I say let it be. If you cut the tip on the pacifier, it will no longer be enjoyable. Of course, make sure you do all. She won't be happy for a few days, but then it s over. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

It could ruin teeth, impare speach to start.

What is his reason for keeping it?
Steps to help move toward not having it.
1. Only give to her when she is going to bed, or in the car.
2. Then take away for nap & car
3 Then take away for sleep.

My son bit through his, and Daycare said .. "me me " all gone.. and that was the end of it for him there.. We said the same thing at night.. 2 more nights he looked for it, we kept saying all gone.. and 4th night, I was ready to give it back .. he did not want it :)

Good luck

5 moms found this helpful

consult your dentist-but you will love this:

http://www.parentsconnect.com/parenting-your-kids/baby/ca...

5 moms found this helpful

Is she speaking in complete sentences? Full paragraphs? Can strangers understand most of what she says? If not, it is interfering with her speech development

4 moms found this helpful

I get what people are saying about the pacifier being bad for teeth etc but ironically, my older one used one and I bet she was over 3 when we finally made her give it up while my younger one never used one. My younger one's overbite is just as bad and SHE'S the one who needed speech therapy. I agree with the steps Maureen outlined. We cut back on when she could use it over time and then eventually the "paci fairy" came and took them all away. It wasn't horrible as at least she'd already cut way back on the use. But like someone else said, don't worry too much. It'll go away and I think it's better than sucking her thumb which I know a 7 year old still does...

4 moms found this helpful

My daughter used hers after 3. Our dentist was fine with it and it didn't affect her teeth. I think at 3 we cut it down to "only at home" then only at night and finally I'd take it away after she fell asleep. One morning she woke up and never asked for it again. Talk to your dentist and find out their opinion. Mind's was that it was better than a thumb, it wasn't affecting her teeth, and they were her baby teeth, anyway. If it was affecting her teeth or she had permanent teeth it would've been different.

4 moms found this helpful

Pacifier use for a child this age can cause speech and language disorders, dental problems and socialization problems.

4 moms found this helpful

wow, grandma T! not just unkind, but gratuitously nasty. what's up your butt today?
what do you mean by 'addicted to'? most kids who use pacifiers *like* them, which is not an addiction.
and good pacifiers do NOT cause dental problems.
if she's just using it to self-soothe when she goes to sleep, i wouldn't worry too much. maybe a pinhole in the end so it becomes less satisfying.
if she's got it stuck in her face 24/7, yeah, i'd have a problem with that.
i LOVE the build-a-bear idea!
khairete
S.

3 moms found this helpful

My now 9 year old loved her paci too!! By the time she was 18 months she was really only using it for naps and bedtime. It never came out of the house. So, it didn't bother me too much. But, yeah, 3 seemed to be the magic age for us too. Just before she turned 3 I began talking to her about how when we turn 3 we give the paci fairy all our paci's, and she leaves a small gift. My daughter was hesitant, but she seemed to understand that it was time to let go. So one night I took all the paci's and left a small stuffed animal cat in their place. She still has that cat, and like to tell people "this is the cat the paci fairy brought me!"

Anyway, I don't really have any concrete reasons for wanting to get rid of it, other than I was worried about her teeth and I just felt she was too old. Believe it or not, the whole thing really wasn't a big deal. I hope you have a similar experience!

3 moms found this helpful

Our dentist told us when our daughter was 2 that it was affecting the way her mouth was developing (you could see that her teeth were becoming skewed in the front). Her speech was also very unclear, because she was learning to talk with a pacifier in her mouth. If you are seeing any of those issues with your child, then those could be two good reasons right there.

A very easy way to get her to give up the pacifier is to simply cut the tips off of all her pacifiers. She can still have them, but they won't be so satisfying. I was shocked when my little binky addict simply gave them up without a fuss!

3 moms found this helpful

I didn't have to deal with this myself, but found a good article about making the transition. Some kids do "need" it as a stress reliever, but they can find new ways to deal as they get older. The article says it's no big deal for a child her age to still use it as long as it isn't interfering with talking, dental development, etc. It also mentions that some kiddos give it up when they get to preschool and see other kids not using them. Don't stress about it and don't make it a battle. Don't let other parents make you feel bad that she still uses it. It'll be gone by kindergarten :)

3 moms found this helpful

How is her mouth structure????
In some kids, it will deform their upper and lower teeth/mouth.
and then you will see a circular gap even when their mouth is closed. The "gap" in the shape of where the pacifier is in their mouth.
So then, it IS a problem.
And if this happens, it can take, 6 months to 1 year, for the mouth to revert back to a normal bite.

This happened to my son. But fortunately, his teeth/mouth, corrected itself.

We took away his pacifier, by telling him that Santa needed it to give to other kids. And with him we gathered up all of his binkies, and put it in a bag, to "mail" to Santa.
And he was fine with it. And he transitioned well. And it was fine. Even at bedtime. Of course, he also had a Lovey, that he slept with.
But by 3 years old, we took away the pacifier.

3 moms found this helpful

My first daughter had hers past 3 yo. Our second never used one. And the first one speaks extremely well while our second is difficult to understand. Go figure.

Anyway, our dentist said not to worry as long as she used it only minimally (e.g., naps/sleep). We were at the point where there was only one paci ("lost" the others) and it was used in bed only. We then snipped off the end so it didn't work just right. Every few days we snipped off a little more. We did this until around half of the bulb was gone. Guess what? She still didn't give it up for a while. She'd stick it in her mouth even though she couldn't keep it in for long because of only half the bulb. Lots of times, she just wanted to hold it. She needed it for comfort. Eventually, it was not an item she needed.

Depending on your kiddo, it might be easier to just cold-turkey it and give them to the paci fairy. But, if you have a strong-willed and intense child, I recommend the route we took.

3 moms found this helpful

A great reason to get rid of this habit is that it changes the shape of her jaw and the way her teeth are growing in. More often than not kids that suck their thumbs or pacifiers past the age of 3 need braces and other orthodontic treatments to "re-shape" their jaw and teeth.

One of my friends had trouble with their daughter giving it up, so they went to build a bear and had it put inside the bear. The girl was okay with knowing her pacifier was safe and she could still have it, just not in her mouth.

3 moms found this helpful

Is her addiction merely out of habit / routine or the need to relieve stress?

I view this as an age-appropriate concern, since the facts are fuzzy about physical harm. Our cousin's 4yo daughter still has hers and, in addition to that, seems to be "holding on" to a lot of infantile behaviors. I think part of being a parent is, as Patricia said, helping your children to exit certain stages by giving them the age appropriate skills to deal with what comes next. A 3 and 4yo should be taught to articulate their feelings rather than simply behave like an infant in an attempt to solicit comfort, you know?

We went cold turkey off around 12 mos and he was fine bc there were other things introduced to replace it, whether that be a new bedtime routine, some extra cuddles, his stuffed bear, etc.

I saw a great idea on Super Nanny...the child was told that if she shared her paci with another little one by leaving it for the "paci fairy", the fairy would leave her a big girl surprise. She left her paci and by the next morning, mom and dad had replaced it w/something else and a note from the "fairy" thanking her for sharing her paci. It seemed to work really well!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My son used it til almost 5 only at night. His bottom teeth were starting to move out and his dentist pointed this out. We got our son to throw his last one in the garbage and had a couple of teary nights but no problem after that. His teeth moved back within 4months and his bottom permanentteeth look beautiful.

We kept it to avoid thumb sucking. In hind sight, we could have worked on it at 4 years. But now he sucks on nothing!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm pretty sure research has proven it does not affect mouth development or teeth alignment. (Pacifiers nowadays are designs with proper dental alignment in mind.) It can affect speech but only if she's using it ALL DAY and not practicing talking. (By now you would have already seen this problem.) So other than that, I think the main reason is simply because she's 3. Letting her to continue a bit longer, however, will probably not hurt her. You could just set limits - naps and bedtime only.

2 moms found this helpful

Ok, I have to say that one comment is sick...Why would you ever say that to someone about their child?! K. A. I am sorry that you had to read that one.

Anyway, you can tell you sig. other that it could affect her teeth, but also that kids her age who don't use one might make her feel awkward...I'm not sure, but I know at age 3 she doesn't need it anymore....it has just become habit.

2 moms found this helpful

Just saw the pediatric dentist yesterday and she told me the thumb sucking was hurting my two year old's teeth. I'm sure a pacifier is in that same category. I asked her for suggestions and she said to pick a spot where my daughter can suck her thumb but don't allow her to do it anywhere else, and don't allow her to have a blanket or any other comfort item while she's doing it since they are associated together.

When we got home I told her that the chair at the kitchen table was her thumb sucking spot. I also told her that the doctor said thumb sucking is bad for her teeth. It has worked very well for the past two days now. I'm sure it will take several weeks (maybe months) to kick the habit. I think a pacifier would have been a little easier because I can't take her thumb away.

2 moms found this helpful

wow Grandma T...feeling a little onery tonight??? :-)

2 moms found this helpful

Because at 3 years old it's beginning to affect her oral development and her teeth, that's why. She needs a new method of self-soothing. When the pacifier is weaned, she's going to need to have it replaced with something else or it will make the transition much more difficult.

It will help if you can make it a right of passage for her and let her feel like she has some choice in the transition process and what she transitions to doing as a replacement. Give her some options. Give her a deadline too, and don't make the transition last too long.

2 moms found this helpful

My pediatrician (and dentist both) told me that my son needed to be off the paci around the age of three, just because it can affect teeth development if the child is still using it when the permanent teeth come in, and kids can begin getting their adult teeth any time after their third birthday (my four year old doesn't have any yet, though). My pediatrician pointed out that many kids give up the paci only to begin sucking their thumbs, and unlike the paci, you can't take a thumb away from them. Something that I personally think is key to stress-free parenting is letting kids move at their own pace, so you might watch for signs that your daughter is ready to give up the paci, and then move when the mood is right.

Some of the questions the others have asked are valid. Is your daughter using the paci to help get herself to sleep, or is she sucking on it all the time? If she's using it even when not trying to sleep, now's a good time to start weaning her off of it. I am a big fan of weaning. I think it is easier on everyone involved.

I began weaning both of my kids at age two, and it works out nicely because they are old enough to understand that the paci just stays in the bed. No arguments, but be understanding about the adjustment. For the first couple of weeks, I let my kids climb into the bed any time they want the paci. This way, they accept that the paci has to stay in bed, and when they feel overwhelmed or need to soothe, they can still use it. Both of my children asked to get in their beds a lot in the beginning, and within a month or two, were not asking to get in their bed (except when sleepy) at all. They slowly learned to soothe in other ways.

Once this has been accomplished, then you can begin weaning off the paci at night as well. I haven't weaned my daughter all the way yet, even though she is signalling that she may not need the paci anymore (she's two and a half, and sick at the moment - I plan to start as soon as she's feeling better, probably next week sometime). My son was an extremely easy experience, despite that he was addicted, as well. We started taking his paci away after he fell asleep at night, so that he didn't have it in the middle of the night. We talked to him about how pacis are for babies, and what a big kid he is now. We started talking about doing things together that only big kids can do. We gave him an altered and unsatisfactory paci at night. After three nights, he didn't need it anymore.

We moved at his pace, which made it a more drawn-out experience, but almost completely stress-free.

Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful

Sorry, I'm with the SO on this one. If you take it away and she wants it as badly as it sounds then she'll find something else to suck.

Maybe she'll start sucking her thumb or fingers. They are MUCH harder to take away.

There are no good reasons to take it away. You could start slowly reducing her times with it. I'd go slowly though.

1 mom found this helpful

Because she'll end up looking like a donkey. I'm not saying that to be mean...it will seriously mess up the alignment of her jaw and teeth.

1 mom found this helpful

Our dentist said they do cause dental problems. He urged us to get rid of them at 1yr. When you take it away, the first few days are miserable, but it gets better! Can you just limit it to just naps/bedtime?

1 mom found this helpful

Ask her dentist if he/she thinks it is necessary. If not, leave it be.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep, get the dentist to talk to your husband ASAP. Unfortunately, many guys don't listen to their wives but will listen to a third-party professional, especially a man. Sad, but true.

After the age of about 2 years old, it can start impact her jaw and the growth pattern of her teeth.

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