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(8,994 posts)
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:17 PM Sep 2012

Pacifiers negatively affect baby boys, but not girls?

Damn. I'm glad I don't have any sons, for yet another one of many reasons. DAMN. I wouldn't have survived without my girls needing pacifiers as babies. Imagine if they'd been boys, I'd have ruined them.


Popping a binky in a baby's mouth is a quick way to stop them from fussing, but for boys, it may also short-circuit their emotional growth.

Before a baby can talk, he or she relies on non-verbal cues, especially facial expressions, to communicate. Babies also mirror those cues, and in so doing, discover the emotions the cues are attached to. In a recent study published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology researchers from the University of Wisconsin scientists evaluated over 100 kids and found that that six and seven-year-old boys who had heavily used pacifiers were worse at mimicking emotions expressed by faces on a video. They also interviewed more than 600 college students and discovered that college-age men whose parents reported they had relied on pacifiers scored lower on tests measuring empathy and the ability to evaluate the moods of others. For girls and young women, the researchers found there was no difference in emotional maturity based on pacifier use.



(15,472 posts)
1. Let me preface, I don't have Kids
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:22 PM
Sep 2012

Six or Seven year olds with pacifiers ? I am an uncle of 8 and most of my Friends have kids and thats a little long in the tooth for a pacifier, No ?



(8,994 posts)
2. I think they meant 6 or 7 year olds who used pacifiers as infants.
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:24 PM
Sep 2012

Chalk that down to poor wording, I suppose.



(20,729 posts)
12. I actually think as much damage is done by parents worrying there's something wrong with their
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:31 PM
Sep 2012

kids than the things they're worried about.

A cousin sucked her thumb until she was 13. Turned out fine.
A friend's kid pooped his pants until he was 11 or 12. He's fine.
Another cousin's kid was a holy terror until middle school -- wouldn't mind, bullied other kids, sassed back, uncontrollable = now fine.
Another friend's kid didn't speak coherent words until she was two. fine.

I could go on, but in retrospect, the most damaging thing was the criticism/moralizing/unasked-for advice the parents got from friends & family, which strained relationships and made the parents worry more.

The agonies of worry their parents went through, the whispered comments from friends and relatives...all useless wind. The kids are alright.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a kid using a pacifier until they're 6 or 7, and I imagine once they get around more kids who don't use them they'll stop using it by themselves.



(47,675 posts)
3. So THAT'S why we like nipples!!!
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:29 PM
Sep 2012

I've got three daughters. We taught them all basic sign language long before they could speak. It was simple things like "more", "banana", "cracker", "cookie", "muffin", "peas", "bread", and bodily functions like "I have to shit and pee". You know, the stuff that matters to infants. My eldest is 21 now and quite proficient in ASL. Hell, even the dogs know a good deal of sign language. Then again, we can't spell in front of the dogs - they know it all.



(110,159 posts)
5. oldest used one, youngest refused. oldest always very perceptive on what others feel.
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:34 PM
Sep 2012

both are good at not only recognizing others emotions, but their own, and golly gee, can even discuss there emotions.

but, then, i did not know i was not suppose to do all the things with my boys, that others think is only for girls. they were babies, and i treated them as babies, not genders.


(31,893 posts)
6. I'm the mother of two now-adult sons. When babies are fussing what they need is loving attention,
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:48 PM
Sep 2012

not some piece of plastic shoved in their mouths. My sons never had to "rely" on pacifiers, they were always able to "rely" on me to give them the loving attention they needed. It's not the babies who are relying on pacifiers, it's the parents who don't want to be bothered with the kind of intensive physical contact and loving attention that the babies are craving.

My sons are well-adjusted, emotionally empathic adults because - to the best of my ability - I gave them what they really needed, instead of shoving a pacifier into their mouths to shut them up.



(14,337 posts)
7. My 2 daughters
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:57 PM
Sep 2012

My older daughter was bottle fed. She wanted no part of a pacifier. Her THUMB was always available. It took a very long time to break that habit.

My younger daugther was breastfed. She wanted no part of pacifiers, fingers, or bottles. When she weaned (herself), it was to nothing at all.

Comparing the two, it's very easy to see which was better.


(8,253 posts)
10. Interesting research.
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 08:56 PM
Sep 2012

I'm a speech-language pathologist, and I'm against pacifiers used during the day. Night time is a bit different (at night, for infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics states they help prevent SIDS, so I never tell a parent NOT to give a baby a pacifier at night if they so choose.)

When I assess a child, I ask about pacifier use, and I'm generally told, "He only uses it when he sleeps." Invariably, I'll see the parent and kid at the store, or arrive for an early intervention visit, and there it is, smack in the middle of his mouth. Then, they can't get the kid off the pacifier because, "He just keeps finding more in the house! I can't believe that he can keep finding them all over the house."




(8,994 posts)
11. We used to use sleep positioners
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:20 PM
Sep 2012

until we caught our eldest sleeping on her belly anyway. Twice. Back to pacifiers we went.

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