Experts Say Suri Should Ditch the Pacifier

April Peveteaux
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suri with pacifierSuri seems like a very confused little girl. She can't decide between high heels or a teddy bear. Is it a good day for Starbucks or a paci? And the only spawn of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes makes all of these at-odds decisions right out in public where we can see, dissect, and condemn. 

Someday she'll learn. But until then, we can all speculate on what moves are bad for the little girl, what are signs of good parenting from the Holmes-Cruises, and what kind of behavior we can expect from the future head of the Church of Scientology.

So let's talk pacifier, shall we?

My kids never liked pacifiers (which was good, and also bad when you're on an airplane and they don't want food, drink, or to chill out) so I don't know the pain of weaning a kid off the paci. I've heard tales of paci-fairies, tough love, and giving in -- and Suri seems to come from a "give in" kind of family. I'm not judging, because I've never had that particular challenge.

But if you do want to know what the experts say, let's take a look at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for pacifier use -- by age. Uh-oh, it doesn't look good for the almost-5-year-old.

While a pacifier is recommended for everything from soothing pain to helping to prevent SIDS in those early days of life, the AAP, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Dentistry, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all agree that 5 is way too old to be using a pacifier without serious consequences. Which they outline here:

6 months to 2 years

Risk -- Otitis media

AAFP/AAP joint guidelines recommend reducing or stopping pacifier use in the second six months of life to reduce the risk of otitis media. ICSI recommends avoiding pacifier use after 10 months of age.

2 years and older

Risk -- Dental malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth, such as open bite, crossbite, or overjet)

ADA and AAPD recommend actively discouraging pacifier use after 4 years of age.

So there you have it. Suri is at risk for otitis media and dental malocclusion. Katie and Tom -- you've been warned.

Do you think Suri is too old for the pacifier?

 

Image via Splash News

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