When Your Child Should Stop Using a Pacifier And Why?
A pacifier is the kind of like the first love for your child, so the breakup won’t be as easy as you would like it to be. Your baby is crying continuously and seems unhappy, and you have tried everything to calm them down, but all of the efforts have unfavorable outcomes.
So, the answer is a pacifier, and your baby will be happy in seconds. According to experts, pacifiers can be good for soothing babies.
Some dentists recommend limiting the use of a pacifier when your child is two years old. To avoid dental problems, eliminate the use of a pacifier when a child is a maximum of 4 years old. There is no hard and fast rule when to say good bye to a pacifier.
Good news is, typically pacifier habits are usually easier to break than stopping thumb sucking. Stay tuned for tips to wean off of a pacifier.
Pros and Cons of Pacifier
Pacifiers can harm the baby’s teeth, so from a medical perspective, it is better to limit the use of a pacifier by the age of 2 and completely eliminate the use by the age of 4. After the age of 4, pacifiers can cause speech problems, chewing, open bite, and appearance. Most of the issues require the involvement of orthodontics to correct the damage.
Pros of a Pacifier
- At the start, a pacifier can help to soothe your baby.
- Babies who start using pacifiers earlier in their age may face fewer health complications.
- It reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS.
Cons of Pacifier
- A pacifier can be the main reason for ear infection in babies who are under the age of 3.
- If you are offering a pacifier to your baby fulltime, then it may keep your child away from the food that he/she needs.
- Excess or prolonged use can lead to dental problems, as well.
When to stop your baby from using a pacifier?
After getting the answer of how to stop your child from using a pacifier, the next question is when to stop your baby from using a pacifier?
There is no particular answer to this question. Some experts say that limit the use of a pacifier by the age of 2 and dentists recommend eliminating the use of pacifiers by the age of 4; otherwise, there can be dental problems. Some experts say when the risks of fall-related injuries are minimized, stop using a pacifier. Think about a few things when weaning pacifier such as:
- First observe when your child uses the pacifier
Check out whether your kid is using all day or for a limited time? Is it just a sleeping aid? Does your baby use it for stress relief? At what time your baby is using it more?
- Set a reasonable time to get rid of a pacifier
Tell your children how to stay away or limit the use of a pacifier. Initially, keep the pacifier at home, and after some time, allows your child to use it just for sleeping. The time will come when you can eliminate the use of a pacifier completely. What you have to do is, just engage your baby in other comfort measures such as rocking, dancing, singing, babywearing, and swaddling.
- Observe the reaction of your child
You don’t want to child to waste years in getting rid of the pacifier. There is no need to rush. Give your child the required time and see his/her reaction. Some children can easily adopt other comfort options, and some may take some time to accept the transition.
- Engaging your child in other distractions can work
Get your child involved in physical activities. Get him involved in such activities in which his whole body is moving. As a substitute object, you can offer a soft blanket or toy.
It is not easy for anyone to give up something they rely on heavily. Even an adult takes time to leave a bad habit. So don’t give the pacifier again to your child as it will start the negative cycle again. It will be harder to break this time. So involve your child in other distractions instead of giving him pacifier again.
- Plan a ceremony
Some children want a special ceremony and award in return for giving up the pacifier. Some children even want to listen that the pacifier will be given them back after sometimes instead of throwing away. So planning a ceremony can help and work.
So whatever approach you select, be passionate and consistent because leaving a pacifier will take time.
How to Stop Use of Pacifier?
If you are tired of picking the pacifier and your kid is continuously tossing it away, or kid is facing ear infections because of a pacifier, then it’s time to say goodbye to a pacifier. But the question is how to stop use of pacifiers? Follow the below-given tips to stop the use of pacifier.
Tips to wean off a pacifier:
- Encourage your kid to use other things like a teddy, blankie, and silky scarves.
- Use slow breathing and patience approach so that the child can calm his worries without sucking a pacifier.
- Tell your child how his favorite animal went all day without a pacifier.
- Limit the use of a pacifier during the times of sleep and when your child needs calming.
- Start to limit the use by adding breaks to pacifier use. Start it by 30 minutes break and then extend it to a half-day, full-day, and finally once a week.
- Never tell your kid that you are giving his pacifier to another baby, as it will create jealousy in your baby.
- On your child’s special day such as a birthday, ask him when he/she is going to stop the pacifier.
- Offer your child something better than a pacifier so that the child can agree to exchange pacifier.
- Finally, be positive; some babies may stop using it, but some will take time. So, patience is the key.
So these are the tips that can help you to limit and eliminate the use of a pacifier.
Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.