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Weaning Your Baby From The Pacifier
Pacifiers are an awesome tool for little ones to soothe themselves, relieve stress, and get to sleep. They can even help reduce the risk of SIDS and help your baby get more restful sleep. In general, they are recommended for between 3-6 months of age, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. But, once they get closer to 18 months of age, there is a chance that your little one can start running into some developmental issues, as well as a substantially increased risk of ear infections. If you’re ready to ditch the paci, don’t be scared. It can be intimidating, considering how much your baby loves the thing, but it can be done! Keep reading to learn more about weaning your baby from the pacifier, tips for doing it, and some products that can help along the way.
When Should I Wean?
According to Happiest Baby, the easiest time to wean the pacifier is around 6 or 7 months of age because children haven’t developed an emotional attachment to their binky yet. (That attachment usually arrives after 9 months.) But unless your pediatrician recommends stopping, don’t worry if your 7- or 8-month-old still loves the paci! Remember, sucking is wonderfully calming and will help your baby deal with all the crazy, unpredictable new things they encounter every day.
Just know that after your baby reaches 9 months old, they’ll have an emotional attachment to their binky. That doesn't mean you should rush your little one to give it up—simply be prepared for more protests after this age and difficulty in getting rid of the pacifier.
Is your baby already attached to their pacifier and you’re wondering if it’s even worth the fight? Potential complications of pacifier use, particularly with prolonged use, include a negative effect on breastfeeding, dental malocclusion, and otitis media. Adverse dental effects can be evident after two years of age but mainly after four years. (source: American Family Physician )
Tips for Weaning
- Limit pacifier use. The first step toward weaning your baby from the pacifier is to limit use to only before naps, bedtime, or stressful situations. Teach them other ways to get through the day without using the paci, such as breathing techniques or cuddling with a lovey.
- Reward them. Make weaning from the pacifier fun by offering rewards to your little one. Make sure you really hype up your little one when they go for long periods without it, and even offer toys, stickers, or treats for successful days or strings of days in a row.
- Introduce something new. Offer your little one a new comfort object, such as a lovey, a blanket, or oral development toy, to feel comfort and to keep their hands occupied while relieving stress.
- Stay consistent. This is the hardest part, but staying consistent is extremely important while weaning! When you pick a day to do it, go for it and stick to it. Weaning a baby from a pacifier should take anywhere from about three days up to two weeks.
- You got this! Get your Mama heart ready for the tears, the begging, and the temptation—because all of it will happen! Just remember that you’re doing one of the best things possible for your baby’s oral development.
Products to Help
When introducing something new for your baby to use instead of a paci, especially if they are too young to understand rewards, make sure you use something that will give them some benefits to their oral development. Innobaby has an entire line of oral development teethers that are not only extremely beneficial but are adorable and make great gifts, as well!
Teething and weaning are difficult for babies, but Innobaby’s adorable fruit teether is here to help make it easy!
Innobaby’s fruit teethers aren’t just great for teething pain or paci replacement. They’re considered “training teethers,” which means they’re great for a bunch of different reasons:
They stimulate the muscles of the lips, tongue, and cheeks to improve oral motor skills, which aids in nursing, eating solid foods, drinking from cups, and speech development The light and easy-to-grip handle also improves hand-eye coordination Giving two to baby will allow for bilateral movement and stimulation of both sides of the brain
There are a lot of imitations of Innobaby’s Fruit Teethers out there, but none are the original! Innobaby holds its teethers to the very highest standards (Conform to Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963 and EN71) and uses the highest quality TPE available because Innobaby wants the best for your baby, just like you!
With all of the same great oral development benefits of the fruit teether, the EZ Grip Star Teether is another one you can add to your collection!
Winner of The National Parenting Center's 2013 Seal of Approval and named Best of April Box by Citrus Lane & Winner of Best in NY Baby Show 2013, this teether offers a multitude of textures and shapes to give your baby relief from sore gums, as well as plenty for their mouth to do while weaning from a paci!
For more tips, tricks, and awesome products for your baby, visit us at Innobaby.com!