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The GEM Debate: How Old Is Too Old For A Binky?


It’s hard enough growing up a normal kid, even more difficult when your parents are famous and your every move is photographed then scrutinized by the public. That’s precisely what’s happening today with Suri Cruise.

The almost five-year-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes was photographed recently with a pacifier in her mouth. It’s ignited debate in the blogosphere among parents, experts and everyone with an opinion on how old is too old for a kid to still be using a pacifier.

I was quite lucky with my kids. Casey had a passing fancy with binkies, but not a real strong attachment; Cole wasn’t interested in them at all. Not so for one of my girlfriends, whose daughter had a hardcore addiction. I’ll never forget a story she told me about a trip to visit family across county.  As soon as they got on board, well, you guessed it, the baby asked for her binky. Not only had Marjorie forgotten it, there was no back up in the diaper bag. That sent the incredulous toddler into a tailspin where she alternated between crying inconsolably and screaming “YOU ‘TOOPID MOMMY!”  She finally fell asleep but it goes without saying it was a LONG flight from Alabama to California, for them and surrounding passengers.

So when should we wrest the pacifier from between the lips of our kids? It’s a tough call. If you’ve ever dealt with the steely resolve of a single-minded two-year-old, you know, it’s probably less painful to endure bamboo shoots under your fingernails.  The official position of The American Academy of Pediatrics is that parents shouldn’t worry too much as most kids give it up between the ages of two and four. But doctors warn, prolonged sucking can become a problem, affecting the way teeth grow.

Okay so let’s debate:

How old is too old for a child to use a pacifier?  Did your kids use them? When did they give them up and was it harder for them or YOU?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!




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