So, when should you take away a child’s pacifier? The question is quite a big one for the parents whose babies are still hooked on the binky. Firstly, there is no particular age to make your child give up on a pacifier. While some parents stop the pacifier as early as 5 or 6 months, others let their child stick to the habit until the age of 3 or 4 or even 5. Pacifiers are not only soothing for an infant but also act as a natural antiseptic and are good for oral hygiene. Pacifiers also help in preventing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). So, it becomes extremely important for the parents to allow their babies to use one until the age of six months, the age when the risks associated with SIDS largely eliminates.
Having said that, experts usually recommends weaning off the pacifier before 12 months of age.In spite of its benefits, an extended use of a pacifier can cause dental problems, more precisely dental malalignment (open bite). The best thing you can do about weaning the child off the pacifier— the earlier you do it, the easier it is going to be for you. Let us discuss some of the tips for ending the pacifier habit of your child.
Being Creative is not Necessary for Babies Less than 12 Months
If you are trying to wean your baby, realize less than 12 months off the pacifier, you do not need to be creative. You can end his habit by simply taking away the pacifiers and making yourself ready for a few restless naps and sleepless nights.
Wean Her Off Slowly and Offer Other Alternatives
If you are trying to make it slow and steady, you can slowly make your child give up on a pacifier. Start the habit of giving it only at bedtime and during the naps. Let it go on for a week or two. Then, stop giving it during the naps. You can comfort your baby by rocking, giving him a soft cuddly toy or teaching him other self-soothing techniques. Once he adapts to napping without the pacifier, follow the same at bedtime. Take it away from the crib once your baby spits the pacifier out or is asleep. Now, try to put her down without it.
Make your Baby’s Pacifier Unappealing
Making the pacifier tastes bad and unappealing is one of the effective ways weaning off the pacifier. You can dip the pacifier in lemon juice. The terrible taste might make your baby avoid the pacifier. Many moms disable the sucking power of a pacifier by cutting off its tip. However, you should understand that altering a pacifier could make its pieces fall apart and lead to a choking hazard.
Ending the Pacifier Habit by Gifting or Trading In
It is best if you can explain to your child that he has grown up and no longer need a pacifier. But there is a baby who needs his pacifier to stop crying. In return, promise your baby that you will offer a lot of goodies and toys for showing such kindness. In addition, you can take your baby to a toy store and let him choose the new toys. These new toys can act as a substitute to the pacifier. Trade in the pacifier for the new toys at the checkout counter.
Pacifiers are lifesavers for the mothers having fussy babies. It is very important for you as a mother to realize that even you have to wean yourself off the pacifier before you do the same for your child. So, next time when your baby needs a pacifier, offer him some mom-comfort. Try to distract him and get his mind off it. Ending the pacifier habit is no cakewalk. You need to make yourself patient, determined and prepared.