The great pacifier debate continues! On February 1, when Mariah Carey posted an adorable Instagram of herself in bed with her 4-year-old twins, followers were quick to criticize the object in Moroccan’s mouth. “Roc still has a pacifier-at 5 years old. Anyone else notice this?” wrote one user, while another quipped: “Rocky and Mariah, go back like babies and pacifiers?”
Carey’s estranged husband, Nick Cannon, was ready to wean Moroccan more than two years ago. Back in 2013, the mom of Moroccan and Monroe captioned a photo of her sleeping son: “Now listen … Daddy will be quite perturbed when he sees this chile with a binky but he JUST turned 2! why deprive them so soon? I know, I know.. Nick is right .. ‘C’mon! #beautiful #mommycanttakeit!”
Moroccan isn’t the only toddler who is having trouble letting go.
In 2011, Suri Cruise made headlines when she was seen sucking on a pacifier just one month before her 5th birthday. And last summer, soccer pro David Beckham defended his daughter Harper, 4, after The Daily Mail published photos of the little girl sucking a pacifier. In an Instagram post that garnered 23,919 comments, the dad of Brooklyn, 16, Romeo, 13, Cruz, 10, and Harper — with wife Victoria — wrote: “Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts??”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of pacifiers throughout a child’s first year, as they may offer some protection against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But beyond that, “there aren’t any good reasons to have it,” nationally acclaimed pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown tells Us.
“Pacifiers potentially interfere with language development,” says Dr. Brown. “Some speech experts feel that binky-addicted kids do not experiment as much with sounds and putting sounds together to make words. And toddlers start to speak at age 1.”
The author of Baby 411 (Chelsea Clinton is a fan of the book!) also points out that pacifiers are a known risk factor for ear infections, and can impact tooth and mouth structure: “Paci-toting toddlers pick up nasty habits, like tongue thrusting and lip sucking, which can make future orthodontic correction more complex.”
For parents trying to break the binky habit, the Austin-based MD recommends:
1) Just saying goodbye. Kids are more resilient than you think.
2) Have a binky sewn into a Build-A-Bear
3) Cut the tip of the binky off, making it no longer a satisfying sucking experience.
4) Have a party where you send the binky off to the Binky Fairy — who delivers a special treat in return.
Do you think Moroccan is too old for a pacifier?