An infant pacifier can be a sanity saver. Nonnutritive sucking helps calm your baby down and stop the ear piercing crying! A newborn pacifier not only makes your baby happier, but they help you to relax as well. For me, there’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than a crying baby!
Have you heard of a pacifier wristband? When your baby has an Ingy Bingy pacifier wristband, they can utilize the benefits of an infant pacifier younger than ever before! All pacifiers on the market can attach to this pacifier wristband making it the ultimate sanity saver! This pacifier bracelet velcros around baby’s wrist so if the pacifier keeps falling out, they can easily put it back in their mouth on their own! Babies have been able to use it on their own from as early as 4 months to get the nonnutritive sucking they innately desire! Typically, babies cannot self-soothe on their own until about 8 months!
However, eventually babies/toddlers will need to get rid of their infant pacifier. There are several different methods for doing this, but much like breastfeeding, weaning your child off of their pacifier will make the transition easier.
First things first, when do you know if it’s time to wean your baby off their pacifier? You are the parent and you know your baby best. If you are ready for them to be done with it at 12 months, 18 months, or 2 years that’s your decision, but here’s a little food for thought when helping you decide:
1. SIDS: According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, pacifiers reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Stopping pacifier use earlier than 6 months can increase your baby’s chance of SIDS.
2. Teeth: Many parents are worried about their children’s teeth with prolonged use of pacifiers. Kids still using a pacifier at age 3 or above are more likely to have an anterior open bite. Some kids over the age of 1 may have an anterior open bite, but it should fix on it’s own once pacifier use stops.
Babies and toddlers are going through a lot of developmental leaps so it can be challenging to take away your child’s self-soothing method.
Whether it’s the cost of pacifiers, age, or teeth you might decide it’s time to wean your child from their pacifier. Here’s a few tips:
1. Pay attention to when they are sucking on their infant pacifier. Are they trying to self sooth or just sucking because the pacifier is there?
2. Postpone: If your child cries for their pacifier you can wait an allotted amount of time before giving it to them.
3. Slowly reduce pacifier use: Work towards getting pacifier use down to only bedtime and naptime. One of my friends started allowing pacifiers only at naptime, bedtime, and when they are in the car. As an added bonus this has made car rides much easier for her! Offer a toy to distract your child or offer a teething ring if your baby is really needing to suck on something.
Check out our other blog post on how to get rid of pacifiers to help you come up with a final plan to saying goodbye to the pacifier for good!