3 1/2 year old with pacifier

by Kristen
(Upstate New York)

Hi there, found this website in my efforts to get guidance on my son and his pacifier use. He is 3 years, 7 months old. Active, jumping since he could walk, loves to run, climb, bounce and play. He is a happy but sometimes anxious and moody kid. We find our selves "tip-toeing" around him at times but try to balance that with rules and not giving in to him. He receives occupational therapy for fine motor and sensory and speech therapy for some sound errors. He is so smart, has such a sense of humor and is in love with his 18 month old sister. He likes things "just so" and thrives on a schedule.

One thing we do give in to in the pacifier. He has loved that thing since he was 3 days in and I finally gave in to his constant need to suck (along with being tightly swaddled and rocked and bounced all at the same time). For whatever the reason it just soothes him and he depends on his "fa-fee" throughout the day. He has never fallen asleep without it. It's the first thing he asks for when I pick him up from school. How can I deny something that is my child's comfort and the tool he uses to soothe himself and regulate himself in stressful situations. I am a special education teacher to works with children his age and I think to myself, "How have I let this go on so far?" Then the teacher side of me says that this sucking is his way of regulating so let it be. It has altered his teeth so he has an open bite. I've already accepted he will most likely need some dental work in the future. He has his first dentist visit this month (thats a while other story preparing him for that challenge!).

I beat myself up for it a lot but I just can't bring my self to take it away from my baby boy. I don't regret my decision to allow him to use the pacifier but I am looking for others who maybe have been in a similar situation before. Open to any suggestions. Thank you!

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