When and How Should I Get Rid of the Pacifier?
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Getting rid of the pacifier can be one of the hardest hurdles for parents. For my patients, I recommend weaning the pacifier around one and discontinuing it by age 2.
Let’s first talk about the positives of pacifier usage:
Decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Provides comfort for a crying or fussy infant
You can get rid of a pacifier, but you can’t get rid of a thumb!
Now let’s discuss the negatives of (prolonged) pacifier usage:
Dental Health- pacifiers can change the shape and alignment of teeth over time
Illness- Consider that pacifiers are sometimes dropped on the floor and then put back in a child's mouth (ew). There is also evidence that pacifiers can increase the risk of ear infections in children (>6 months old)
Speech- Back to point #1, if the shape of the palate is altered, this can lead to articulation issues and other negative consequences on speech development
CREATIVE WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE BINKY:
1Trim the pacifier tip daily until there is essentially nothing left
If your child is into trucks, have him/her give her pacifiers to the trash truck or drop them off at the firehouse
My favorite trick is taking the pacifiers to Build-A-Bear and having your child stuff them into their bear for safekeeping
Cold turkey- just get rid of it. It will probably be a few difficult days, but it’ll pay off!
If the above measures are too drastic for you, try weaning the pacifier for naps and bedtime only. After a few weeks, limit the pacifier to naps only. Eventually, you will cut it out completely