Avoiding a 2-year-old with a pacifier addictionMay 29, 2003 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in Baby CareThe Bottom Line Pacifiers may be useful for babies when they are very little, but break them of the habit early.
Little babies look cute with pacifiers, but as they get older, it stops looking so cute. Sometimes I see two-year-olds (and even older) that are still using them. It doesn't look as cute then. It then becomes difficult to break them of this habit.
Breastfeeding and Pacifiers
If you plan on breastfeeding, pacifiers should not initially be used. How long you wait should depend on your baby and how well he or she is doing with breastfeeding. Initially, your baby is not going to have the hang of it, and if you introduce any sort of artificial nipples (whether from a bottle or a pacifier) they might experience something called nipple confusion. Nipple confusion will make it even more difficult for your baby to learn breastfeeding skills. So if you plan on breastfeeding, hold off on the pacifier until you feel that your baby has got the whole breastfeeding thing down pat.
Keep in mind that if you are breastfeeding, sucking helps boost your milk supply, and pacifier use can hurt you in that area.
Using a pacifier
Pacifiers are especially useful when your baby is little. Babies have a natural tendency to want to suck, some more than others. When they are very small, they will not have the skills to put their thumbs or fingers in their mouths, so there are really only a couple of sucking choices... mom, a bottle, a pacifier, or nothing at all (which might make a baby cry).
Pacifiers can be over-used. Pacifiers should be used when all other options fail. Before you use the pacifier, make sure that your baby is not hungry, wet, or in pain. If you can rule out all of your options, the pacifier may be useful.
That is really only a question for the parent to answer, but the longer you wait to break your baby of the pacifier, the harder it will take to make them break the habit. The older your baby gets, the more of a habit the pacifier will become, and the longer a baby will remember it. If you can break a baby of the habit early, it will be a lot easier.
We decided to break our daughter of the habit as soon as she became capable of putting her fingers in her mouth, about 3 or 4 months.
Breaking baby of the habit
Our daughter never really was able to hold on to the pacifier for very long, especially at night. It would fall out of her mouth and she would want it again. Of course, she lacked the motor skills to do it herself. It was getting frustrating putting her to sleep this way, so we decided to call it quits. She was beginning to develop the ability to put her fingers in her mouth.
It took two days to break her of the habit. It was a long, frustrating two days... she wasn't happy at all. We had to try to think of creative ways to comfort her, and sometimes she just wouldn't be happy no matter what we did. However, two days later, she just forgot about her pacifier and went on with her life. Soon she discovered her fingers... but that's another story (as she discovers all sorts of fun things to do and things to put in her mouth, she is starting to forget about those fingers as well).
You may not want to subject your baby to two days of trauma, every parent has a different philosophy in how to raise their children. We did, and now my little girl is a week away from celebrating her first birthday, and she is sweet, happy, and seemingly untraumatized. I'm glad that I do not have to break her of the habit now, as her memory is a heck of a lot better than it was at three months.
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