The pacifier is good for soothing and sucking comfort (also it helps in preserving the parents’ sanity) but there comes a point when it simply must go.
So what’s the best way to do it? Read on to find out…
1. Time It Right
Pacifiers can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so let your baby use it until he/she is 6 months old. Don’t try to wean your baby off his/her pacifier during major life events like starting a new day care or a household move as this may cause emotional confusion or distress.
2. It’s a Must-Do By Age Two
Getting your baby off pacifiers before age 2 will ensure that he/she won’t suffer any long-term damage to his/her teeth – it will self-correct within 6 months of last usage of pacifier. After age 2, problems like slanted teeth and others can start to take hold.
3. Some Experts Say Quit It By 12 Months
Frequent pacifier use could interfere with a child’s language development and speech skills as it may cause the tongue and lip muscles to develop abnormally. So quitting within 12 months will encourage good development of the muscles involved.
4. Going Cold Turkey Might Be Best
It will be a rough couple of days, but then the attachment to the pacifier will be over before you know it.
5. Get Everyone On Board
Ensure all family members and caregivers are aware of your plans to wean off the pacifier. So if you want the pacifier used only at nap-time or bedtime be sure to communicate that to all adults involved.
6. Give Them Away
You could explain to your child that he/she is now a big boy/girl and that there is a baby out there who needs his/her pacifiers to stop crying. If your child agrees with the concept, be sure to acknowledge and reward his/her selflessness.
7. Make Them Unappealing
If your child is severely attached to his/her pacifier, you can try to make it unappealing – dip the pacifiers in lemon juice or vinegar so that the terrible taste could turn him/her off.
In the end, helping you child wean off the pacifier would result in a long-term benefit. Try our tips out! Your child will thank you for it in the future.