So What If Harper Beckham Still Uses a Pacifier at 4 Years Old? (PHOTO)

People might want to think twice before talking about David Beckham's family. The soccer star and proud papa wasn't too happy when critics tried to question his parenting skills as he and wife Victoria Beckham allow their 4-year-old daughter Harper Beckham to use a pacifier.

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Before this gets filed in the "none of our business" category, we should at least look at what the heck caused all of this commotion.

An article published in The Daily Mail called attention to little Harper's use of a pacifier and whether or not it was appropriate (she was 3 years old at the time, though another photo of her this year still has people shaking their heads). Bringing child experts into the mix, the story warned parents of the negative effects pacifiers can have when used beyond a year old. "If a mother allows her toddler to have a dummy [pacifier] in her mouth for large parts of the day, she will definitely stunt her speech development," mentioned Clare Byam-Cook, a pregnancy expert, in the article. "Most people agree that prolonged use of the dummy can damage the teeth, by pushing them forwards and getting them misaligned."

As a side note, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals also warns of potential risks that come with general pacifier use -- including a negative impact on a mother's milk supply, missed feeding cues, and potential ear infections.

Needless to say, David did not take well to the criticism. "Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts?" the 40-year-old pop wrote on Instagram, in response to a newer Daily Mail article about the issue:

I think we can all agree there's nothing wrong with giving facts and medical recommendations so long as it doesn't use someone's kid as a target. It's important for parents to heed recomendations but also trust their guts in order to make the best decisions for their children.

More from The Stir: 8 Tips for Getting Rid of Your Toddler's Pacifier

Victoria and David Beckham shouldn't have their parenting cards revoked because they allow their daughter to use a binky. Yes, we see pictures of her a couple years ago -- like the one at the beginning of this story -- that show Harper with a pacifier, but does that mean she uses one all the time? Who the heck knows. We aren't in the Beckham household, though that would be really nice (I personally would raid Victoria's closet).

As with co-sleeping and breastfeeding past a certain age, people are going to have something to say, no matter what you do. Yes, there are risks with certain decisions, but I would like to think the Beckhams know what they're doing when it comes to Harper -- especially when you consider they have three other children. Should we lose any sleep over a 4-year-old using a pacifier? Unless you're willing to pay for any related dental bills (assuming things take a turn for the worse), I say no.

 

Image via Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

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