You are worried that your toddler is addicted to his binky and gets emotionally attached to it. But in the meanwhile, you want to get this habit put to an end. My close friend is a mother of two little angel baby girls. Her younger daughter habitually sucked on her thumb since she was 2 to 3 weeks old. That girl managed to learn and soothe herself with sucking. We were happy to see her as a happy and healthy kid. Now she is about 2 years old but unlike other kids of the same age, she hardly says a few words. Whereas her elder sister used to say full sentences by the age of 2. So her mother started to pay attention to wean off her child from sucking as it was postponing the speaking of the kid.
Did you know that a 14-month unborn embryo started to learn to suck inside its mother’s womb and was born with a sucking reflex? This sucking habit helps them in nourishing from breast, bottle, or for non-nourishing sucking from binky, thumb, or pacifier. No doubt pacifiers are great at soothing a child. Recent research says that kids who use pacifiers have better health and they gain weight faster than kids who don’t use paci. Moreover, pacifiers help kids to improve sucking patterns on the breast as well as this habit promotes their oral muscles. But limit the use of pacifiers after 14 months as it can cause some health issues.
When and Why stop using pacifiers after the age of 2
A kid gets emotionally ready to wean off the pacifier by 14 to 16 months. As kids who suck and past the age of 2 can have protruding or crossbite teeth. . This condition may persist in permanent teeth. Excessive sucking due to pacifiers in kids after 3 also reported causing more ear infections due to the collection of fluid in the ears. If kids are sucking for real comfort then it will take some time and if they wean as a habit then you can easily distract their attention or delay their sucking desire. Be prepared for more crying sessions and a few troubling nights in starting then things will settle down gradually and your kid will learn to survive without sucking.
Make your kid get agree to say good-bye to his pacifier
Tell them fairy stories
Speak often to your kid that soon you will be a big and strong boy or girl. Plant the idea in their head that it is necessary to wean off their binky if they want to grow fast. Bedtime is best to catch your kid’s attention. Tell them fairy or Santa stories who take away the pacifier and bring new toys for kids. Make them articulate that yes I am ready to grow big. You kid will psychologically think of itself as responsible for suppressing his urge of sucking. Reward him with a small gift and appreciate him when you notice him persisting without a binky.
Alternate pacifier with other games
Kids feel low and lethargic when parents try to wean them from sucking like a thumb, pacifier, or even breast. Sometimes kids become short-tempered and angry so deal with them with a different approach instead of just eliminating the paci. Keep them busy in energetic games to distract their attention from binky. Play-dough holds onto both hands occupied so this game can be good for kids to wean them off from thumb sucking. Sing along with the kid’s favorite poems so they practice speaking more. Spend more time with kids to get over their emotional trauma quickly.
Limit the pacifier use
Do not rush and wean off kids from their favorite paci forcefully. Most kids use pacifiers at naptime so you can limit the use by establishing pacifier-free hours during his sleep. During the day, tell them you can use the binky only in your room and you look more handsome and powerful without a pacifier. Tell them to go without a pacifier for one hour then mommy will give you a big surprise. Reward them with candy or chocolate so they spend this training time cheerfully. When they really need a pacifier try to put off their mind on other activities. Tell them that pacifiers are not allowed in the park or grocery stores so they understand and relate that their pacifier is a hindrance for their outdoor fun and they will happily agree to leave the binky at home.
Discuss and set a special day to set off the binky
Tell them often that you are excited to see them all grown up. If their birthday or Christmas is around then make these events more special by saying good-bye to the paci. That’s how you can tell me that Santa or Fairy took away the binky and gave new toys to the birthday kid.
Weaning of the kids from sucking tools is not easy for some parents as they have to face resistance from kids as extended crying and prickly behavior. So keep your finger crossed and try to implement all suggestions on and on. If you notice that a kid is not ready to break the habit then encourage him by saying that “ I know you are strong and maybe next week you will become stronger to say bye to your binky.”
- Rab Deem was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. After her studies, she joined several saloons and attended many seminars about skin-related issues. She researched chemicals and serums used in beauty products. She began writing her debut article after obsessing over books about the Korean Skincare routines. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop. She currently lives in New York with her husband.
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