Baby pacifiers have many nicknames. Just a few are binky, bip, bobo, bubba, button, chupy, fee fee and hushie. But no matter what pacifiers are called, they all have one thing in common: the recommended age at which a child should start and stop using them. Sucking on a binky for too long can result in misaligned teeth, and it escalates the chances of his (or her) getting ear infections. When your baby reaches a year old, consult with his pedodontist for the best time to wean him off of it.
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Parents should wait until their baby is 3 to 4 weeks old before giving him a pacifier. The delay gives him time to learn how to properly feed from a bottle or breast. Looking forward, there’s no flawless time to wean your child from his binky. However, letting him use it up to age 1 is best, and allowing him to continue using it after 3 is highly discouraged. (No worries, though. He probably won’t long for it after he’s reached 3.)
The next task is to make it happen. The longer he uses it, the more he’ll rely on it. One way is for him to go “cold turkey.” Babies are very visual, so if he doesn’t see the binky, he might not think about it. Hide it for a week and see what happens. The initial days may be unpleasant for all of you, but the result will be worth it.
If you’re not into “tough love,” take a milder approach by stretching the termination for seven to 10 days. If he uses it day and night, let him use it only at night. When he asks for it, propose a game, toy or healthy treat instead. And distraction from the pacifier is another good option. Keep him busy by taking him for a drive, having him play with friends and taking him for a stroller walk. If he still won’t budge from his desire for his binky, a pedodontist will be happy to offer you more ideas.
Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA provides unparalleled professional knowledge. When you visit our office, you can be confident that your child will receive the finest and most advanced treatment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
July 25, 2023