Meet the Children

Pacifier VS Thumb Sucking

February 5, 2013

The age old question beckons an answer,


When it comes to giving a child a pacifier to use, many parents are hesitant. Worries such as reliance, an unsightly set of teeth and possible speech delay are just some of the reasons why parents often contemplate about the use of pacifier on their children.

For us, Blake was a constant crier when he just arrived. Within the first week of his birth, my grandma had asked me for a pacifier to sooth him. We had not even given it much thought when we gave it to him. All we wanted then was peace for all.

Since then, Blake and his pacifier are almost inseparable. I have to hand it to the little thing. It got Blake through some of the most nerve wrecking situations – first dip in the pool, first day of school, going to new places for the very first time, every single vaccination at the pediatrician, and when he had surgery. It is what calms him down, and helps him sleep through the nights.

Needless to say, I haven’t had the heart to wean him off it completely. Some have suggested going cold turkey – probably the only way it will work for Blake – but I really just cannot bring myself to do it. I actually secretly enjoy buying him new designs of pacifiers! Haha. But slowly, he is using the pacifier less and less, I think. He used to have it in his mouth 24/7, and will kick up a big fuss if we remove it from him and not return it. Recently, however, I could exchange it away with a candy! That’s some improvement, right?

Now, when Nakayla arrived, I thought that maybe this baby will not require a pacifier! I could have one baby free of pacifier, and I would only have to deal with the weaning once! Boy, was I wrong or what?

I had taken Nakayla’s mittens off, and I noticed that she has been putting her hands into her mouth. That is something pretty normal, I guess. But about a week of mittens-off, I noticed that her left thumb looked really red and sore! This girl was starting to suck on her thumb!

I mentioned it to Sean, told him that I was a thumb-sucker till I was about 10 years old, and that I don’t think it would be a good idea for Nakayla to be sucking on her thumb. Not only will it be more difficult to wean off (you can throw the pacifier away, but you cannot throw the thumb away!), but there are other thumb-sucking woes to consider like hygiene (their thumbs are not going to be forever clean), and calluses on the thumb being sucked on.

Now, if you don’t have an itchy finger baby like I was, you will be happy to know that the callus will go away after the thumb sucking stops. But if your child enjoys picking on scabs and dried skin like me, you might want to keep your eyes out for open wounds on the callus. This open wound could risk infection and cause pain and discomfort to your child.

I was definitely not going to take that chance with Nakayla. I would very much rather have her sucking on a pacifier. It is the lesser of two evils, if you ask me.

Still in the process of learning how to keep it in her mouth for long periods of time.

Worries of crooked teeth and speech delay are all out the window for me. After all, with the technology of today, pacifiers are so advanced now that they don’t often cause any problems to teeth arrangements! Blake’s set of baby teeth are all looking good to me, and there isn’t any issue in speech delay – even if there is any, it will be my fault cos I enjoyed baby-talking to him a little too much. Haha.

So to answer the age old question, my own personal answer would be – give, unless you have a super amazing baby that does not require any form of sucking to feel comforted.

Ending this post with a really cute video of Blake baby-talking with his pacifier on!

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