A pacifier is a quick fix for a crying baby. However, parents should know when and how to break their child’s pacifier habits.
When Should You Take The Pacifier Away?
Some experts say parents should take the pacifier away when their child turns one, while others suggest that children can use it up to the age of four without negative consequences.
You should be aware that the longer a pacifier is a part of your child’s daily routine, the more difficult it will be to separate them from it. Take it away sooner rather than later to minimize difficulty.
Here are some techniques for easing your child away from the pacifier:
The Gradual Approach:
Remove the pacifier when your child is in a non-stressful situation, such as when they are playing at home. Once your child has adapted to being without the pacifier at home, you can encourage them not to use the pacifier outside of the house. From then on, only allow the pacifier in the crib or around bedtime. If your child is old enough you can explain to them that they no longer need the pacifier for bedtime, as they are too old to sleep with it.
Be prepared to deal with nights of crying and tantrums if you suddenly take away your child’s soother. Remember to be persistent and not to give in. If you hand your child the pacifier after they’ve thrown a tantrum, they will learn that they can get what they want by putting up a fight.
Prepare your child by letting them know ahead of time that their pacifier will be taken away on a certain date or event. Using a line such as, “Your birthday will be your last day with your binky”, will prepare them and minimize kickback.
Make It Taste Bad:
Sprinkling a safe but bad tasting food (not hot sauce) on your child’s pacifier will deter them from reaching for it next time. After a while, you will find that they don’t want their soother anymore.
Assist your child in the process of removing their pacifier by reading to them about other children doing the same. There are a number of books on the market that are written for this purpose.
The most popular books include:
Bye-Bye Binky by Maria van Lieshout
Binky by Leslie Patricelli
Pacifiers are not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen
If these techniques do not work for your child, please contact our office to book a consultation with a Kids Dental Group pediatric specialist.