How Old is Too Old For a Pacifier?


The great pacifier debate – How old is too old?

Our youngest ‘speedy-bee’ (aka speedy-D) always had a paci hanging from his mouth and,  I do mean always.  It never bothered me but, I was always amazed at the number of people that had an opinion about it {even though the pediatric dentist and our pediatrician said it was fine until the age of four}. I think it is quite common for some people to  get squirrelly  about things like potty training, pacifiers, bed wetting, taking away the bottle, etc. My question is ‘why’? They aren’t going to go to college with it for goodness sake- that is unless they choose to jump on the ‘trendy’ teenage pacifier bandwagon {ummm, serious side note – why do teens do this again?}

Everyone is different and everyone has a different need. Let them be little! Don’t worry about the ‘nay-sayers’ and the overly opinionated world we live in.  I truly think Speedy-bee having a ‘plug’ hanging out of his mouth made some people crazy but, I could care less. {after four kids you care about these things less} I knew K-bear used to do the same {Ha, and here is proof! She did!} And, guess what worried momma’s there is no prize taking away the paci before they’re ready. Let them keep it. Ignore the judgement.

Here’s proof we had 2 paci loving kids – that gave it up on their own without ever looking back! Both were just a little over the age of three – they threw them in the trash on their own terms {I of coarse dug them out to save them..haha} but, the key was they chose to do it. The pacifier was gone; neither of them asked for it again, and the once pacifier debate was now a thing of our past. {To be totally honest, I think I missed the darn thing more than they did – I’m a sucker for a cute kid and a paci.}

So how old is too old for a pacifier?

According to our professional health care team ‘four’. But, does that mean a four year old who still requires a bit of comfort at night should be traumatized by taking it away? Absolutely not! At four years of age the ability to reason and know consequences is starting to develop – take baby steps. Your speed doesn’t matter forward is forward – there is no prize for getting rid of your baby’s pacifier before they are one, two, or three all children have comfort items; whether it is a blanket, stuffed animal , or _____. These are the items that help them develop the necessary skill of self soothing – after all we all like to feel secure and validated in our environment.

So, the next time you are tempted to fight the ‘battle of wills’ {I did the force method with Pumpkin, our oldest} let me tell you, from a mother to a mother; fight the urge to conform to the nay-sayers and rest knowing they will give it up when they are ready!