HELP 5 1/2 year old Still Uses Pacifier

Hi All. My 5 1/2 year old daughter still uses her "suckie/pacifier". When she turned 4 we attempted to take it away from her, but weaning her off by limiting times of day she may use it. She somewhat adjusted however she began to put everything that could fit in her mouth in her mouth...shopping cart handles, restaurant tables, rockes...etc... She started getting sick more frequently so I opted to give them back to her. I felt I'd rather have her sucking on a pacifier than things that had no business in her mouth.


She quit gettign sick and has only had 1 cold since then. However, the last time we were at the doctor a few weeks ago, she was terrified, so I let her bring it in and the doctor said I really need to get rid of it. I told her that they were working on it in therapy...she said ok. I talked to the therapist yesterday and explained to her the above and that I actually kept a daily log of when she used it and when she gave it to me and it worked out that she uses it for a total of about 2 hours out of 24 hours a day. To me that is not a big deal. She needs it to calm herself...she uses primarily when she is, scared, upset or tired. That is it. She sometimes says I'm a big girl and don't need it, but then she does when she is ready for sleep. She is SPD and OCD and on the rather immature side. It is my opinion and belief that she will get rid of it when she is ready and able to calm other ways.

I have tried the all the chewy stuff and it does not work for her...she wants nothing to do with it. The therapist did not seem concerned with the pacifier use at this point. I am posting mostly because I was looking for some support, advice or just to know that it is ok that she still has it and that someday she won't need it anymore. I know she is not typical and I think these doctors sometimes forget that. She is perfect in everyway and is such a sweet beautiful child...that to look at her you would never belief that she has these issues. I am open to any advice or support anyone has. Thank you...and hugs to you all.

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May 18, 2017
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Thanks Anon 'I'm 25'
by: Anonymous

Thank you 'I'm 25 Anon',

My daughter is 8 and she just won't let it go. She and I went through some emotional trauma when she was 3-4, so she associates having it with a source of comfort/safety. I personally don't mind if she has it, but getting a hard time from family members. She has full-blown panic attacks when I try to talk to her about getting rid of it.

Thanks for your comment, it's nice that you don't have any dental issues (that was MY only concern). Can I ask your reasons for wanting it? Is it a comfort thing as well, or more of an oral fix? Just curious. Thanks :)

May 18, 2017
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I'm 25
by: Anonymous

Although your child doesn't use it often I am 25 and still use a pacifier. My parents broke me when I was like 5 or 6 from my paci but I picked it back up around 8 years old.

I don't have any behavioral issues that I know of and live a normal life - full time employment, 9 classes away from bachelor degree, married, one child. The funny thing is mt child won't take a paci at all.

Anyways my mom would limit me - only at the house only at bed. But it doesn't matter now and I do it all the time. From the moment I get into my car after work (after driving a few miles away) to first thing when I wake up. It's embarrassing though and I wish I didn't. But I can't stop. If I do I get easily irritated and stressed can't sleep so forth so forth.

So idk if it's better to intervene because if you don't your child may end up like me. But also it's not a big deal it's not hurting anyone also my teeth are fine no buck teeth here and I've never needed braces.

Apr 28, 2017
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pacifier use in older aged children
by: Anonymous

I am a practicing speech pathologist. I want to offer some suggestions that may help with removing the pacifier.

I had a cousin who had surgery to correct a dislocated hip when she was younger. She used a pacifier and the doctor recommended these suggestions after her surgery to help wean her from her pacifier.

It seems like your child is already limiting herself when using it. My cousin's mother allowed my cousin to use her pacifier at first only in their yard, then only in their house, then only in her room, then only at specific times in her room (i.e. bedtime, etc.) and then gradually decreased those until it was no longer an issue. It worked wonderfully for her.

I don't know the special needs your child has; however, maybe this will help. I believe you are a concerned and loving mother, and that you do really want to help your child.

Mar 18, 2017
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You are a great mom
by: Anonymous

It sounds like you are a wonderful caring mother. I think as a society that we force things way to soon based on what we think is socially right - not based on what we think might be best for our children. We have so many rules for children it amazes me - they must sit still all the time, they must sleep thru the night by 1 yr of age, they must not use a bottle after 1 yr of age, they must not use a pacifier after 6 months old.

I think most of these decisions are made from social pressures...and not because it's right for the child. Each child is different. You know your child so do what's right for him/her and don't let anyone else tell you that you are a bad parent because you don't follow their rules. There are things as parents we should control (ie bad behaviour) but controlling when a kid stops using his bottle or pacifier seems silly.

I have yet to know any kid that's in middle school carrying one of those around. My opinion is to let them wean on their own. My son used his bottle until he was 3 or 4...then no longer wanted it. There were no fights, no crying...he just did it on his own terms.

I commend you for thinking further on this issue instead of letting social pressure affect you and your daughter or son. Goodluck!

Mar 08, 2017
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Suckie
by: Anonymous

It's your job as a parent to help your child to grow into a healthy functional adult. I think parents think its easier to just give their kids what they want and give in because they don't want to deal with it. Big mistake on the parents part.Allowing your child to suck on a soother at the age of 5 is wrong. Think of the child the damage its going to do to their teeth and the expense its going to cost you, what if they have a sleepover and and then get picked on by other kids.Its called tough love throw it away it may be hard for a day or two or maybe weeks. As long as you keep allowing it trust me they will keep sucking on it, they won't stop on their own. I personal think its wrong for a parent to allow their 5 year old to suck on a soother they are for babies!! You as the parent are the only one who can do something about this....Throw the damn thing away!!

Feb 27, 2017
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Love your kids
by: Mike singleton

How about being a parent and telling the kid to stop and take the pacifier away? Maybe a temper tantrum will ensue. Maybe not. The child needs to know that he doesn't dictate how it goes. The parents do.

These kids will be shunned or bullied by their peers if they aren't taught how to behave appropriately.

Love your kids enough to stand up up for them.

Jan 23, 2017
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Pacifiers and older children
by: Anonymous

I believe with all my heart that children who hang on to their pacifiers beyond infancy do so because their neurological systems need to suck. Their primitive reflexes have not yet integrated properly. Thankfully, there is lots of information coming in all the time about the health and development of the sensory and neurological systems.

Apparently, many children today have an unhealthy digestive system which hinders development in many other ways. If you start investigating special diets that help to rebuild probiotic and digestive health, you will be amazed.

Once you clean up a child's diet, you can look into treatments that help to mature and rewire the sensory system. Treatments like GAPS diet, Rhythmic Movement Training and MNRI make so much sense. Personally, I hate that children are being forced to give up sucking before their sucking reflex matures and integrates.

Nov 03, 2016
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Update/Response
by: Heather

Hello. Sadly, she has not given it up completely. Things are pretty similar as before. She is 7 now. She mostly only uses it as a tool to calm her when she is feeling upset or out of control and to fall asleep. We had a big move to anew house which set things back and we were without riding therapy all summer due to the heat. She also has a new friend next door who is very bossy and controlling so she usually can't play with her without needing it at least once or more. She tried to hide it for awhile but her friend found it. Her friend is supportive and will remind her to bring it when she goes next door. Most days we only need it a couple of times but ithers we need more often. Her OT said it is a tool for her and she will give it up when she feels she doesn't need it anymore. We have tried ither things but she doesn't like chewlry and she can't have lollipops because of dyes and she doesn't like the natural ines because they are usually too sour. Those are some things you can try. Lollipops were good but it was the dyes that did us in.

My advice is just hang in there. It gets better with time and use becomes less frequent without even trying. I found my daughter uses it because she needs it. It is how she copes with her emotions and feeling out of control. Hope this helps.

Nov 03, 2016
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Has she had any success giving it up yet?
by: P. Collson

Has she had any success giving it up yet? I'm curious bc my daughter is 4 1/2, & still uses hers. Would like to know if your little one gave it up on her own eventually or bc of an active effort on your part? Heeeelp please?! 😬

Sep 18, 2016
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Pacifier
by: Anonymous

My 4 year old (will be 5 in Feb) still uses his paci but only to sleep at night not for naps. He knows it's not normal because he doesn't even want his grandparents to see him with it only myself and his dad are allowed to see him use it. as soon as he wakes up he takes it out of his mouth and won't ask for it until bedtime.

I'm not too worried about it. I sucked my thumb until I was 6 and I think I would have done less damage to my teeth and palate had I used a pacifier instead of my thumb. It was like magic- I turned 6 and suddenly stopped sucking my thumb completely.

I'm hoping this will be what happens with my son and the pacifier.. He is otherwise a completely normal, active, very witty child who is quite advanced for his age.

Sep 08, 2016
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My 4 yr old still uses a nuk
by: Anonymous

My 4 yr old is still using a nuk. When she was a baby I decided to give it to her because otherwise she would have been sucking on her thumb or other fingers. I also have noticed she has some anxiety, when she gets upset, we're talking screaming tantrums, it helps to have her nuki....and for my own sanity. She is now in 4K and doesn't use it all day, a good 9 hours without it. However once were home she has it right away. I feel like I need to break her from it but we also need to get her tantrums and anger issues under control. I'm curious what are these other soothing necklaces? Where do you find them?

May 09, 2016
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baby bottle
by: Emma

My son will be 3 soon and his pacifier / dummy is his tommee tippee baby bottle. I have tried teething rings sometimes he will use when he wants to have a good bite. We have tried vitamins too as read that she children bite they could be lacking vitamins. No joy. I know your little one doesn't bite though just a comfort for her. I think 2 hours isn't a great deal of time all things considered.xx

Apr 19, 2016
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5yr 2 months still using paci
by: Anonymous

My daughter turned 5 in February and still uses the paci along with the blanky. They always go together. She packs them in her handbag when leaving the house (except for school). Puts them in safe keeping when leaving for school, so she knows exactly where to find it when she gets home.

When she's on her tablet or watching TV she has it. Even when doing cartwheels, tumbles and bridges she has it in her mouth. I've tried losing it sometimes, but it is a torture for both of us.

O, did I mention?, she also takes the bottle at nights and when she awakes in the mornings.

She's a very brilliant child, fully normal, involved in much athletics and quite mature for her age...well except for the bottle and paci.

Any advice???

Feb 27, 2016
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5 1/2 year old still uses pacifier UPDATE
by: Anonymous

Hello, I decided to post an update as same situation asked for update or tips etc. My daughter is now 6 1/2. Yes, she still uses her sucky. In addition to SPD she has low muscle tone, OCD, anxiety possibly APD which they will test for when she is 7. I have given up trying to force it away. Conversations with her OT said she uses it as a tool. Ibtried all the chewy stuff as well but it doesnt work for her. OT and I talked and I came to the conclusion that she will stop using it when she feels she doesn't need it anymore.

We were referred to a developmental pediatrician for evaluation. My hope is when anxiety is under control she wont need it anymore.

She has started riding therapy and that has made a world of difference just after 2 classes. Anxiety is not gone but reduced and has much more confidence. She is even attempting to go without it more often.

I believe she/they will outgrow it when they no longer have a need for that particular tool. If yiu have not had her evaluated I would suggest it. OTs are very helpful with the right one. Our first one was not si great but this time around we have the best. Also if you have riding therapy in your area look into it. It is amazing! Please let me know if you need more advice or suggestions or support.

I promise you are not alone.

Feb 26, 2016
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same situation!
by: Anonymous

I am just coming across this now bc my daughter is very similar!

She wasn't even as attached to her "binky" when she was younger but now she is 5 1/2 (going to be 6 in June) and she's attached to it- she bites through it though. She definitely has some sensory disorder type stuff going on-
She does the same exact thing- she will bite on whatever she can get her hands her- metal, handles, ect- so we figured Jr. was safer to just let her have her binky- (we tried the chew tubes, chew necklaces but she doesn't really love them) I try to give her even floss picks (bc I chew on them throughout the day) we were even on vacation & she was chewing on one of her dolls:(

I know this post was written a little while ago, does your daughter still chew on the pacifier? Is it something you think they'll just grow out of?

We debate taking it away but then feel bad bc we know it's helps relax her when she's tired ect-

Dec 05, 2015
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6 YO still uses
by: Anonymous

My adopted daughter watched her entire family and home burn to the ground when she was only 2. She still has nightmares about it now at 6. I let her have it pretty much anytime she's at home. She's had a rough life.

Jul 27, 2015
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for posting this. My daughter is almost six and is still using her pacifier. She has been through some rough times and has extremely high anxiety. Her paci was her calming mechanism and I've never had a problem with it. She's weaned down to mostly night time and when she's tired or upset- at home only now. She gets VERY upset and panics when I try to approach getting rid of it when she turns six next week. Her teeth are perfectly straight. However, I'm getting so much pressure and negativity from other family members I'm at a loss what to do.

Anyway, thank you for posting this. It's just nice to know I'm not alone. :)

Jul 22, 2015
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Pacifiers
by: LornaB

What a brilliant, instinctive mum you sound, you speak such good sense. Your little girl sounds lovely, and deserves to have her own instincts trusted too. She uses it when she needs to, and you love and accept her regardless. Just wonderful mothering. I'm no expert, but I,d say carry on just the way you are! Ps my son had a bottle till eight, doesn't now, no big deal.

Mar 11, 2015
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Do not worry
by: Anonymous

First off I know that we tend to listen to doctors because they are supposed to know everything but the thing is they see them for what 10 minutes every few months? So when it comes to our children we sometimes know more than the doctors. Don't let him bully you especially when the therapist who sees her much more often and spends much more time with her is unconcerned about it. Honestly my daughter who had no special issues was at least 4 maybe even 5 before giving it up completely. It is a source of comfort to some children and at times they need that comfort. Why take that away? I don't think it hurts anything to let her have it the little bit that she needs it. One day she won't need it anymore and it will be her choice and far less traumatizing. Good luck to you and do what YOU feel is best for YOUR child no matter what anyone says

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