Some parents might consider thumb and pacifier sucking to be a bad habit, but studies show that they can help to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
You cannot constantly clean the infant’s hands, and thus thumb sucking might be bad for them. It might have bacteria that can negatively affect their health.
The sucking action soothes them and even helps them to sleep. But if continued after a particular age, it can become a habit and harm them in the long run.
What is the right age to break the pacifier habit?
According to The New York Times, the right age to stop pacifier use is between 9 months to 12 months.
After the age of 12 months, kids start to remember things and tend to develop habits that can be difficult to break. The kids find pacifier-sucking soothing, especially during teething.
You will need to give extra care and attention to your kids. Try indulging them in other activities and divert their mind from the pacifier.
You can even consult the best paediatric dentist to help break the kids’ pacifier habits.
Breaking the pacifier habit is going to be tough for both you and your infant. They might get up in the middle of the night and cry and wail for their binky.
Your sleep might get disturbed and feel irritated, but there is no other way to break the habit than good old patience.
Harmful Effects of Over-Pacifier Use
According to studies at the National Library of Medicine, continued pacifier use increases the chances of tooth alignment in children above the age of 3 years.
Further continuous sucking action (more than five hours per day) causes ear infections at a very young age.
Doctors recommend being extra cautious with premature babies since they are at a higher chance of SIDS. Besides, it is better to wait for the pacifier until the child is comfortable with the breastfeeding routine.
However, it depends on the duration and intensity of sucking that causes the problem.
How to Break the Pacifier Habit?
Does not matter what method you choose, keep your cool when dealing with toddlers. They can get fussy over little things.
Choose the best method that suits your timetable and situation.
- Talk to your kid and explain to them why it is a bad habit.
- Cut down the pacifier time.
- Make a small hole in the pacifier so it doesn’t create suction.
- Use psychological tricks like an age-old fairy story and give them rewards in return.
Pacifier sucking is not bad but can have negative effects if it becomes a habit. Talk to your paediatric dentist to help deal with the situation.
Try to keep your calm and distract them with another source of comfort like a soft toy or a small blanket. If you are having a hard time dealing with the situation then, you can contact Sharma Dental Clinic for personal habit counselling.