All parents go through a period when it is time to wean the child from the nipple, but very often this process creates many difficulties. There are several optimal options for how to get rid of the habit of sucking a pacifier harmlessly for your child's nerves and psyche.
Pros and cons of using a pacifier
Positive aspects are:
- Additional development of the sucking reflex, which at an early age helps the child to cope with receiving food
- Feeling of security (especially with artificial feeding, where the nipple replaces the mother's breast), calmness
- Prevention of sudden death syndrome. The nipple ring will allow access to air possible, even if the baby is accidentally covered with a blanket over his head
The negative impact is as follows:
- Possible formation of disorders with the growth of milk teeth and malocclusion
- Difficulty developing speech
- Frequent belching
- The risk of developing various oral infections
Psychologically, the baby associates sucking a pacifier with safety and closeness to the mother. Refusal of the nipple can cause tantrums, especially if it is used often, since the child is used to this object and it is difficult for him to part with it.
Best Weaning Age
The best period is when the child is not yet a year old, with the introduction of complementary foods. At this age, children do not have a developed dependence on a pacifier, sucking reflexes no longer need to be developed further, and the child's attention can be easily switched to third-party objects.
Further, it will be optimal to wean only at the age of three, when the child begins to realize what is happening around him and it will be quite easy to agree with him.
An undesirable time - two years, there is an age crisis, and the difficulty in understanding why you need to give up your favorite subject.
You can wean it either gradually, abruptly, or use the weekly method.
With gradual weaning, which lasts for several weeks, the baby is only allowed access to the pacifier at night, taking it out of sight during the day. They don't take a pacifier for walks either. Later, they begin to clean it up before going to bed, replacing it, for example, with falling asleep with a toy.
It is advisable to carry out a sharp weaning in a playful way, inviting the child to give the pacifier to someone small (for example, fairy-tale characters are often used) who need it. This can be done only with the consent of the child and his permission. True, in any case, you can face whims.
The weekly technique is considered a compromise. Five days of sucking on the pacifier is gradually reduced, the next two are given only at bedtime and only for a few minutes.
How to distract a child?
Distract by playing games or switching to toys, picture books, cartoons, etc. You can arrange with your child to go to the zoo or other interesting place if he agrees to give up the dummy. It is effectively considered to take the pacifier before bathing the baby, when he is very keen on the process of playing in the water and pays little attention to what is happening.
It must be remembered that each child needs an individual approach, someone will be helped by conversations, someone by games, and someone can easily and quickly abandon such an important subject, only by finding a compromise. The main thing is not to allow conflicts and not to scold children for a habit.