When should the child put down the pacifier

When should the child put down the pacifier

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When should the baby abandon the pacifier? It is one of the great concerns of parents. Babies begin to suck during pregnancy, the baby is able to suck his thumb from the fifth month of pregnancy.

It is not advisable to force the child to give up the pacifier. The withdrawal of the pacifier should be gradual, starting at 24 months of age, without compromising, and respecting the emotional balance of each child. But how to do it?

During the first months of life, sucking is part of the set of primary reflexes that helps the baby to adapt to its new environment. Subsequently, sucking becomes a voluntary activity that provides pleasure and relaxation to the baby or also comfort when he feels fear or anxiety because he has to stay alone in the crib, in the absence of the mother or any other circumstance that puzzles him. In these cases the pacifier acts as a natural sedative.

During the first 2 years, the child is in the oral phase and his whole world is developed around those activities that are related to the mouth: feeding, sucking, discovering objects or biting.

As the child grows, he finds other ways to cope with fear or anxiety without having to relieve himself by sucking on his thumb or pacifier. If the child has a normal emotional evolution, from the age of two he can gradually abandon the oral phase and will stop feeling so much need to hold on to the pacifier and only stay for specific moments such as going to sleep.

What's more, after 2 years the pacifier is harmful since it can produce a displacement of the upper jaw and will have consequences on chewing and pronunciation.

It is therefore at this stage, starting at 24 months, when you can stop using the pacifier, as long as you receive the necessary stimuli to do so, how?

- Offer you alternatives in those moments when he used to use the pacifier: like a hug from mom or dad, or bring him his favorite stuffed animal.

- Do not go ahead and wait for the child to be mature enough to avoid going from pacifier to finger.

- Punishment, scolding, yelling or blackmail does not work.

- Wait for stable and unchanged moments, that is, not make it coincide with the change of school, bed or the arrival of a baby brother.

- Praise him when he is not with the pacifier and remind him how old he is.

- Instead of denying the pacifier when asked, offer other activities that entertain him.

- Not having the pacifier handy or visible at home.

- When you have completely abandoned the habit, do not offer it again at some point of grief or tantrum.

Source: AMEI - WAECE

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