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New parents often stress out trying to determine whether they should give their newborn baby a pacifier. It is a parents' choice. Studies show that pacifies can help soothe infants and reduce the rate of SIDS (aka sudden infant death syndrome) during sleep. Then, for older toddlers, the pacifiers could potentially help with the pain associated with teething. However, as children age, the pacifiers need to be thrown out and a new soothing item needs to be brought in to avoid any unnecessary damage to the jawbone. While getting rid of the pacifier can often be viewed as a difficult process and a process that will cause your child to become mad at you, here are three successful ways you can help your child get rid of the binky while providing them with comfort:
1. Take Your Child Shopping
Has your child been wanting a certain treat, book or treat? If so, consider having your child collect all of his or her pacifiers and use them to "pay" for this desired item. When you're at the store, make sure you locate someone who looks like they'll be sensitive to the situation and go to their line. Explain the situation to them and allow your child to put the pacifiers on the counter to "pay" for the items as you actually pay for it. It is an effective way to quickly remove the pacifiers from the home while also providing your child with a brand new item that will distract him or her. It is also a reminder of a huge accomplishment in his or her life.
2. Allow the Pacifier Fairy to Visit
Explain to your child that there is a Pacifier Fairy who is very similar to the Tooth Fairy, except she collects pacifiers instead of teeth, and it's time for her to visit. So, your child needs to collect all of his or her pacifiers from around the house, place them in a small bag or sack and put them underneath his or her pillow or on his or her nightstand. Then, in the morning, when he or she wakes up, she or he will wake to a special gift from the Pacifier Fairy.
3. Take Them to Your Pediatric Doctor
When it is time for your child's two-year-old check-up, consider helping your child collect all of his or her pacifiers and bring them to the doctor's appointment. In addition, get your child a special surprise gift, which you will give to one of the nurses at the office. Then, when the doctor comes into the room, she or he will bring the surprise with him or her to exchange for all of your child's pacifiers. Keep in mind that you may want to talk to your pediatrician about this beforehand to make sure she or he is on board with this, but most of them will probably be more than willing to help you out!
For more information on how to help your child transition off of pacifiers, it may be helpful to also talk with a pediatrician, such as those at Lawrenceville Pediatrics.