Kim Kardashian's photo of son Saint kicks off mommy-shaming debate about pacifiers

When you’re Kim Kardashian, criticism is par for the course. The 37-year-old star picks her battles, and she decided to defend herself on Monday when she became the target of mommy shaming because of a photo she posted on Instagram (below) that showed her 2-year-old son, Saint, with what appeared to be a pacifier.

Kardashian originally captioned the shot, “Missing my babies!!!!!” but updated it to add “P.S. mom shammers [sic] it’s not a pacifier, he’s eating candy!”

The update was in response to critics who scolded her for the perceived pacifier, leaving comments such as “children shouldn’t be using a pacifier past age 1, it’s recommended that they don’t use one even after 6 months…”

Kim Kardashian was the target of mom-shamers for allowing her son to have what they thought was a pacifier but was actually candy. (Photo: Splash)
Kim Kardashian was the target of mom-shamers for allowing her son to have what they thought was a pacifier but was actually candy. (Photo: Splash)

Though the reality star felt the need to defend herself, fans were quick to shower her with words of support.

Oh, so what if it was was a pacifier!” read one comment. “Moms and women should support each other and not tear each other down.”

Others felt she shouldn’t have even acknowledged the mommy shaming.

“It’s a sad day when you have to disclaim that it is indeed candy,” one chimed in.

Things escalated when moms traded judgments about whether or not a pacifier would be damaging to the 2-year-old.

So what if it was a pacifier!? My boy is almost 4 and still has one and my eldest had one until he was 5 so let nobody say anything if the child is happy!” one mom said. “What’s wrong with a pacifier even at his age … it’s better then his thumb or fingers. Let him be a kid. They already grow up too fast,” another wrote.

Another mom pointed out, “If a child has a pacifier it’s not the end of the world, as long as the pacifier is removed by the age of 3 no harm is done.”

The main concern is that pacifiers may be harmful to the healthy development of a child’s bite, and it seems that commenter was actually correct. “Most of the research suggests that a child should stop with the pacifier use by age three,” says Joe Castellano, D.D.S., President of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, to Yahoo Lifestyle. “Prolonged use of the pacifier can cause dental issues such as narrow arches, cross bites, and open bites in the front teeth. The longer they continue past three years of age, the greater the chances of these malocclusions and the more severe they can become.”

So, is age two too old for a binkie? “Parents should work to get their child off the pacifier as soon as possible. 12 to 18 months of age would be a good rule of thumb, although some children may take longer,” says Dr. Castellano.

Even after Kardashian pointed out that the baby’s blue accessory was actually candy (possibly a Ring Pop lollipop), there were some commenters who decided mommy shaming was in order for that too. ‘Candy is worse,” one wrote. Another said, “Stop candy pacifier, instant tooth decay!!”

A few others piled on with yet another shaming topic: the fact that 9-month-old Chicago had bare feet.

“Great that you cleared up he’s eating candy. How about some socks on the baby?!” someone commented. “Everyone’s worried about the pacifier (candy) but no one notices the baby has no socks on!” read another comment.

Kardashian has been mommy-shamed for so many topics in the past — including straightening 5-year-old daughter North’s hair, letting North wear makeup, dressing North in a bikini, and “incorrectly” putting Saint in a car seat — that she has taken to preemptively shutting down trolls on social media. And with 119 million followers on Instagram alone, it’s not likely to end soon.

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