Pacifiers For Toddlers: 5 Best Practices
The age that children give up their pacifiers differs from toddler to toddler. While there are so many differing voices on the controversial topic of pacifiers for toddlers, the truth is even the most persistent pacifier users naturally abandon their plugs by age 4 or 5. The majority of children stop sucking long before then.
Despite what others may say, it is perfectly okay for your toddler to use a pacifier, but we have 5 best practices to guide you as you make sure your little one has a healthy relationship with the pacifier and can enter into his or her growing years with optimal health and good habits.
It's important to remember that the longer your child uses a pacifier, the more difficult it will be to eventually take it away. These Using pacifiers for toddlers is perfectly normal and okay, so long as you begin some weaning habits early on. Here are 5 best practices when using pacifiers for toddlers.
1. Set Ground Rules
As your child grows into his or her toddler years, set some ground rules for pacifier use. Only let your child use the pacifier in the house, for example, or only at naptime or bedtime.
2. Offer Supportive Distractions
When your toddler gets fussy or upset, quickly reach for a hug, distract him or her with a story, or cuddle to some quiet music. While these are distractions from the pacifier, they are incredible supportive and loving to your child.
3. Keep The Mouth Busy
Depending on the age of your child, this may look like some advanced babbling engagement or light conversation. Ask your child questions, make funny faces at each other, do something that you know will make your child laugh. Set a rule that your child can only talk when the pacifier is out of his or her mouth.
4. Don't Let Your Child Get Too Hungry Or Sleepy
Be mindful of your child's needs, especially when it comes to hunger or sleepiness. As a child gets hungry or sleepy, he or she tends to lose the ability to cope. This is when children reach for the pacifier. Avoid getting to that point by offering regular healthy snacks and plenty of rest.
5. Prioritize Safety
Make sure to never let your toddler run with the pacifier, wear it around the neck, or have it tied to the crib. These could all cause hazards, and if the pacifier ends up damaged or worn out, don't let your child continue to use it. If there is a need to take the pacifier away for safety concerns or because it is broken, suggest that it is time to throw it away. This may be a good time to be done with it altogether, or buy a new one until your child is ready.