View Full Version : Pacifier or thumb?

July 2nd, 2004, 11:28 PM
This is my first poll, I hope I'm doing it right. I want to know what everyone thinks of pacifiers. I have four children. The first got a pacifier because I didn't know how to help her with her hand. The second spit out her pacifier at 3 weeks old and has been sucking her fingers ever since (she's 5 now). The third got a pacifier because I still couldn't figure out how to teach her to suck her hand. The fourth is now 4 months and I didn't want her to have a pacifier because I am tired of dealing with cranky children who have lost their pacifiers. Nothing can console those children. My third is 2 now and only gets it when she goes to sleep, and does she ever get cranky if I forget to get her Nuk before putting her down for her nap. The baby now has officially found her thumb and has happily switched to that from nursing 24/7. So what are your feelings on pacifiers?

Personally, I hate them. They get lost at the most inconvenient times and usually they all decide to get lost at the same time. You can be in for quite a time when you have four lost pacifiers.

As for those who don't approve of thumb sucking for orthodontic reasons, I have never personally seen anyone with dental problems from thumb-sucking. I never had any, my brothers never had any, and neither does my 5-year-old. But then she sucks on her two middle fingers so any pressure is applied to the tongue rather than the roof of the mouth. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying that I've never seen it.

July 2nd, 2004, 11:34 PM
We call it the cork, I like it better because the cork can be left at home and a thumb...well...

Lost corks? I have a number of them hidden here and there for just such an emergency.

July 2nd, 2004, 11:42 PM
Thumb sucking, in my opinion can be harder to break because it is attached!!!
Also thumbsucking can lead to dental probs if they do it for an extended amount of years. Ask a dentist!

In my opinion, a nuk is better!

July 3rd, 2004, 12:02 AM
I agree....thumb sucking is harder to break than a pacifier. Pacifiers saved our lives on a number of occassions. Keep them in your car, in the diaper bag, in your purse, EVERYWHERE!!! Most kids will begin to break themselves of a pacifier on their own.....a thumb can be another story.

July 3rd, 2004, 12:10 AM
None of my 3 children ever wanted anything to do with a pacifier, they'd spit it out. My youngest daughter, who is 2, sucked her thumb for a very short period.

July 3rd, 2004, 12:42 AM
My oldest, now 5, had her "suckies" or her Nuks. She used them until around the age of 2.5 when she demonstrated that she could fit the largest sized pacifier completely into her mouth...guard and all. The "suckies" were then given an honorable goodbye and we haven't looked back since. She still has her blankets and her baby as comfort items, though.

Middle one...had his own set of problems and would have nothing to do with anything in his mouth.

Third one...so far, he won't take the Nuk from me. He would rather suck on fingers (ETA: or a breast) if he's aorund me. My MIL and dh have both had luck with the Nuk when I'm not around though. He's only five months old, so I think it's too early to say yet which way he'll go in the longer term.

But I say whichever they prefer. There are ups and downs to both. I've always disliked the way kids look when they have a pacifier stuck in their mouth 24/7, but I haven't had that problem with my kids because I tend to make the pacifiers a special bedtime/naptime/comfort-in-a-crisis sort of thing.

July 3rd, 2004, 12:55 AM
I started to ask why no "Neither* choice was given for the poll.
Then I realized that the *Whichever the baby seems to prefer* choice was the right vote for me.
Some children never try them, or if they have, you couldn't keep it in it's mouth.

Everyone is different I guess.

We call 'em 'ninnies'.

July 3rd, 2004, 01:31 AM
whatever the baby likes, thats what i think

July 3rd, 2004, 03:21 AM
Which ever baby prefers.... We tryed to keep out daughter off a pacifier, but after 5 months she wanted one. I even tryed before that and she didn't take to it, i didn't think she ever would. We are going to try and keep it from this baby too, just to save some hassle later on when it comes to taking the pacifier off baby.

July 3rd, 2004, 07:05 AM
I'd prefer none of them... but if i had to chose it'd be the pacifier, because when the time comes and you want baby to stop using it, you can take it away/trade it for a teddy bear or however you do it, but a thumb is there and you will have a hard time getting rid of the habbit. I've seen 7-8 year old children still sucking their thumb.

July 3rd, 2004, 07:20 AM
None of my kids wanted anything to do with the pacifiers. Hours old they grabbed them from their mouths and immediately put them under they feet. Drove the nurses nuts. They either wanted their thumbs, which I now regret, or they wanted my hair and their thumb, which I will always treasure.

My only regret is that my middle son sucked his thumb so much that is messed up the allignment in his mouth and now he needs braces badly. He wanted his thumb so badly he sucked through every product on the market to stop him and everythings else that was not.

July 3rd, 2004, 07:22 AM
I've seen 7-8 year old children still sucking their thumb.
and 16/17 year olds....

July 3rd, 2004, 07:23 AM
I can't imagine *teaching* a child to suck on their hand (fingers, thumb, etc).

My sister sucked on two fingers for the longest time. She'd put her arm up through her shirt and suck on them, and when she fell asleep, her arm would go limp and stretch out the neck of her shirt. It took forever to break her of that. To this day, the knuckles of those fingers are larger than the others.

My hubby also sucked his thumb. He needed braces, and even now, when he gets frustrated, he bites on his thumb automatically. He's 31. His poor thumb is so calloused from the years of biting, and his teeth are not in good shape, even though he did go through having braces.

The issue of germs would be a major thing for me. With a pacifier, you can wash it off and give it to them. While if they suck their thumb/hand/whatever, any germs they've come in contact with are going straight in their mouth, and you have no control over whether they've washed their hands before they do it...

July 3rd, 2004, 08:53 AM
Moira (5) sucks her fingers and neither her doctor nor her dentist have made any comments about it to me. I sucked my thumb until I was 7. I was at my very first sleep over and didn't want them to know I still sucked my thumb, so I quit that night. My teeth are just fine. There was a kid in my first high school who still sucked his thumb in class. At that age, I believe there are underlying psychological security issues that need to be straightened out. Having had children who did both, my personal experience is that when they need to suck, it is much easier to not have to find the Nuk first. Hiding several around the house is great as long as (a) you remember where you hid them, (b) the child doesn't find them first and move them, and (c) you remember to put it back in its hidey-spot later.

As far as hygiene, kids stick their hands in their mouths anyway. What do you think was done before pacifiers were invented? As long as it isn't something known to be toxic (like their diaper contents or lead paint), I let it go. The little amount that they will ingest will just boost their immune system. Obviously, I don't let them randomly eat off the floor, but if they do drop something in the mud and stick it in their mouth before I can get there, no biggie. If that were going to harm a child, our species would have died out long ago.

I'm really surprised that I'm the only advocate so far of no pacifiers. The kids' doctor doesn't have a problem with it so I thought it was more commonly accepted.

Amethyst Rose
July 3rd, 2004, 11:29 AM
I said pacifiers. We actively discourage any sucking of thumbs, (pull his thumb out of his mouth and say "no thumbs") because I sucked my thumb until I was 6, and stopped only when my mom had the dentist put this pokey thing in my mouth that stopped me from being able to put my thumb in my mouth. Anyway, I had extensive dental and jaw damage, and I don't want my son to have that as well.
Besides, you can take a pacifier away, but a thumb is always there. I saw a woman on Dr. Phil who was in her 30's and was still sucking her thumb.
Oh and as to being able to find a pacifier....we have my son's on a tether that clips onto his clothes so we always know where it is. :)

July 4th, 2004, 02:18 AM
mine liked to see just how far they could shoot the Nuk across the room. . . . . .imagine my surprise one night when it came across the room and got me on the head. . .still slobbery, too (ewwww)

soilsigh aingeal
July 4th, 2004, 09:50 AM
whichever the baby wants.

July 4th, 2004, 01:24 PM
My daughter will be 2 in September. She's started on a binky when she stopped breastfeeding at 4 months old. She always wanted to suck her thumb, but we didn't want her to get messed up teeth. Besides, a binky is easier to take away later than a thumb. My huband sucked his thumb when he was a baby until he was 5 or 6--he has messed up teeth because of it. One of his front upper teeth comes forward. We've jsut never had the $$$$ to get him braces or have it otherwise fixed. I tihnk we own more binkies than what you can find in Wal-Mart or anywhere else that sells them!!!

July 6th, 2004, 05:30 PM
Pacifiers. Thumbsucking leads to mouth deformity. :thumbsdow

July 6th, 2004, 05:36 PM
and 16/17 year olds....

I have a sister in her 30s who still sucks her thumb...it's the only way she can fall asleep....

Edited to add: No, that wasn't my sis on Dr. Phil... :lol:

July 6th, 2004, 08:45 PM
I chose whichever. My daughter (now 13 mos) never sucked her fingers or thumb, and I still breastfeed on demand. We have one pacifier that stays in bed at all times, and it's only used for helping me extricate myself after she's nursed to sleep.

With the next baby, I'll try to avoid using one at all.

July 14th, 2004, 08:03 AM
My son was very attached to his pacifier until he started teething at 3 months. If you tried to put the pacifier in his mouth he would just spit it out at that point. We figured he wanted something more substantial to bite on. He only sucks his thumb when he is tired.

****One important note a friend of mine learned the hard way******
Her son is addicted to the pacifier, but the type of pacifier she used became discontinued!! After the dog chewed a few and her son lost a few she had all of us checking all the stores in our areas for this certain type of pacifier. Word of advice...If your baby likes a paci or nuk buy extras just in case!!

Mysticism Deity
July 14th, 2004, 11:35 AM
I got off lucky with my twins. they didnt like binkies or the thumb. they did suck on the thumb but that lasted 1 month. the binkie thing though if they find one they will chew on it cus of the teething but they dont suck on it.

I personally think they are both bad habit to break. thumb being bad cus its not good on your teeth and like one of the others said its attached. haha. and the binkie can sometimes be hard to take away.

July 14th, 2004, 01:53 PM
I'd vote for a pacifier (we call them binkies).

My daughter was born with a blister on her index finger. Doc said it was because she was sucking her finger in the womb. So, she got a binkie. It was hard to take away and she probably had it longer than she should have (about 3 years old). But she didn't get anymore blisters on her fingers!

There is a little girl at my mom's daycare that sucks her thumb raw. Literally. And her teeth cause open sores on her thumb....that can't be good. So, for that reason more than the "it's attached and you can't hide it" reason is why I prefer the pacifier.

BTW, my daughter was the only one of 4 kids who would even take a binkie.

July 14th, 2004, 03:27 PM
I had 6 kids.. 2 used a pacifier, 1 used nothing, and 3 sucked their thumb and then their fingers.. One quit sucking her thumb at 12, one "switched" from their thumb to their 2 middle fingers when I tried discouraging their thumb sucking and "taped it up" at 7 years old..My 16 year old quit sucking her fingers at 14 (she'd suck them so much the two middle fingers had huge blister type bubbles on them) My 15 year old went to the 2 middle fingers when I tried taping her thumb.. when I taped THOSE up, she went to her pinky.. At 15 she STILL sucks that pinky whenever she isn't doing something with her hands..(which is often)
I've often wished I discouraged thumb sucking, you can take pacifiers away, not thumbs or fingers ...

Amethyst Rose
July 14th, 2004, 03:41 PM
Heh... my husband stopped sucking his thumb at 6 when a friend of his dads took out his knife and threatened to cut his thumb off. Probably not the best way to go about it, but it worked...... :D

Amethyst Rose
July 14th, 2004, 03:44 PM
I'd vote for a pacifier (we call them binkies).

Why is that? Do you think it might be a cultural or location thing? Cuz to me a "binky" would be a blanket, but I've heard a lot of people call a pacifier that. With us, his pacifier is his "sucky".

July 14th, 2004, 03:49 PM
Why is that? Do you think it might be a cultural or location thing? Cuz to me a "binky" would be a blanket, but I've heard a lot of people call a pacifier that. With us, his pacifier is his "sucky".
I don't know. I've just always called it a binky. But I'm originally from back east (NC)...and now that I think about it, Binky isn't terribly common over here... :huh:

July 15th, 2004, 08:04 AM
When reading up on breast feeding I heard that a pacifier can confuse the kid, so i never offered her one, and she never really has had a substitute.... sometimes she puts her hand/fingers thumb in her mouth... sometimes the end of her special blanket.. but by in large she has never sucked on anything. (16 months now) i guess i've been lucky... she's just never been particularly orallay oriented.... but she DID discover her vagina today.... and in went a finger.... i feared a crayon next.... i figure i will just let her explore and let it be a non-issue... saying 'no' will just make it seem 'naughty and bad." thoughts?

July 15th, 2004, 09:28 AM
Be glad it wasn't more than her finger.. :bigblue:

My oldest (now 20) inserted a small rock when she was 3.5... She came and told me after she tried to get it out and couldn't. We took her to the ER, where a Dr decided his fingers were too big, a nurse with very small fingers was able to get it out..

July 17th, 2004, 10:29 PM
i sucked my thumb till i was 13....my mom was 14 when she stopped....must be a family thing.

my cousin sucked his fingers for a long time, they were usually clutching a blanket....he graduated high school this year and was given his old blanket back for a grad present...it just about melted him, our family is a buncha saps!!!

July 18th, 2004, 03:53 PM
Why is that? Do you think it might be a cultural or location thing? Cuz to me a "binky" would be a blanket, but I've heard a lot of people call a pacifier that. With us, his pacifier is his "sucky".
I believe Binky is a brand name, just like Nuk and Mam.

July 18th, 2004, 03:56 PM
At 15 she STILL sucks that pinky whenever she isn't doing something with her hands..(which is often)
Have you tried teaching her something mindless to do with her hands? I would suggest crochet or knitting. I know that often times when i have nothing for my hands to do, I end up snacking out of boredom (yeah, it's great for my waist), so when I catch myself doing this, I try to find some sewing or knitting or the like to do with my hands.