March 8, 2011 at 12:20 PM ET
How old is too old for a pacifier?
Suri Cruise was photographed recently with a pacifier in her mouth, raising eyebrows given that she's a month shy of her 5th birthday.
Setting aside for a moment the creepiness of paparazzi stalking a preschooler, what do you think? Pacifiers are one of those topics that everyone seems to have an opinion on -- even if the only thing they've been parent to is a houseplant.
E! Online, noted bastion of child-rearing wisdom, writes:
While we thought the stuffed bear she carried was a nice little touch and effectively complemented her peacoat, we were nevertheless distracted by a certain accessory lodged between her lips. After all, with Suri turning 5 next month, it seems a bit odd that she would still be using a pacifier.
One anonymous commenter, no doubt a Ph.D. in child development taking a break from the research lab, chimes in on Celebrity Baby Scoop:
A child who starts preschool (let alone kindergarten next year) should not have a binky....end of story! It's called lazy parenting....omg *gasp* that's right I said it....Lazy Parenting!!!
Deep breath, everyone. It's just a pacifier. While many experts recommend phasing out the binky around age 1, that's not a hard-and-fast rule. Plenty hang onto pacifiers longer than that, and we -- ahem, I mean they -- turn out just fine. (OK, I confess, I was a paci diehard. I was finally persuaded to give it up before kindergarten, but only after my father offered to give up smoking in solidarity. I'm glad to say we both kicked the habit.)
Frankly, if you lived with Tom Cruise and had photographers following you to every play date, you'd probably need a little soothing, too.
Perhaps Suri with a soother seems particularly odd because she often dresses like a mini-adult, a little fashionista. Parents Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were raked over the coals last year for letting her wear heels and lipstick. Too young, too old... they just can't win!
What do you think? Vote in our poll here, and sound off in the comments. When did your kid quit the binky? If you have any brilliant ideas for how to wean your child off the pacifier, please, this is the place to share.