My baby sister was about two years old when my mom took her to see a doctor. Lennore was a pretty baby, with curly dark locks and eyes so brown you couldn’t see the pupil. The doctor sniffed disdainfully, and told mom to “take that thing out of her mouth”. Mom did. Lennore screamed with lungs worthy of an opera performance. The doctor shook his head and told her to go ahead and put it back in.
Pacifiers Do Not Cause Crooked Teeth
Nowadays pacifiers are usually made out of silicone, since so many children are developing allergies to latex. Most pacifiers are “orthodontically” shaped, even if they don’t have the ADA (American Dental Assosciation) label on them. You can buy them in a variety of colors, to coordinate them with your child’s wardrobe. You can even find pacifiers for various holidays and special occasions, or get them stamped with your child’s name or a cute saying, such as “mute button”. But are they good, or bad for you child?
The old belief that pacifiers will cause crooked teeth is not really true. Maybe the old-style ones that were round and shaped more like a breast nipple might have, but genetics and other factors play an important role in whether your child will one day need braces on his teeth. Just the fact that you can buy a pacifier with an ADA stamp on it should be somewhat reassuring.
Pacifier Use May Prevent SIDS in First Six Months
Now there is research to suggest that pacifier use may actually help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome!
You can read this article if you want the word straight from the Pediatricics Researchers mouth – but skip all the way through the technical jargon down to the bottom of the article, where it says “conclusion”. There is a significant reduction of SIDS in infants who use a pacifier. The article suggests offering a pacifier to the infant for naps and bedtime, up through one year of age.
My granddaughter is nearly two and a half years old, and still has temper tantrums. They are not as explosive as they used to be. Her mother and I have been working hard to help her develop the language skills she needs to be able to express herself before frustration pushes her over the edge into total meltdown. She has a set routine to her day – when to eat, when to sleep, and even when we take her to the bathroom. She goes down for nap pretty well, and rarely cries at that time. But you just never know when something is going to set her off. She is very strong-willed. She wants what she wants, and she does not like to hear the word “no”.
But tantrums aside, my daughter and I both noticed that she suddenly seems to crave anything baby. She wants to be rocked. She wants her cup with a sippy lid on it again, although she is perfectly capable of drinking from a glass. She started laying down, like she wanted us to put her underwear on her as though we were diapering her. And she wants to be carried everywhere. The more we tried to force her to grow up, (Big girls don’t need sippy lids. Big girls don’t need to lie down to pull on their underwear.) the more she fought us. My daughter struggles with feelings of inadequacy anyway, but having a two-year-old revert to previous baby ways even though there is NOT another baby on the horizon was something neither of us has ever encountered before.
One day I suggested to my daughter that she have a “baby day”. It was her day off, anyway. I said she could tell her daughter that that day she could have a lid on her cup, and a pacifier at nap time. She got lots of cuddling and babying, but that when the day was over, then she could be a big girl again. Well, it worked. Sort of. That day was very nice. My granddaughter didn’t go in to meltdown, and my daughter enjoyed some special bonding time. But the next day nothing had changed. Kay Lee still wasn’t ready to be a big girl.
And I did something so totally out of character for me. I told my daughter to go ahead and give her back the pacifier.
Kay Lee how has about a dozen of them in varying colors, shapes, and sizes. She keeps one under her pillow for bedtime. There is one in the silverware drawer at Grandma’s House (Me) that she can help herself to when she needs it. We have one in each car, and in our purses. My granddaughter has given up all her other baby behaviors except this need to suck. She seems happier. I know I am. And I apologize to all those parents in the past, of whom I silently – but inappropriately – disapproved.
Don’t forget to subscribe, and never miss another post!