Our Sleep Consultant Jessica @lullisleep is here to help us figure out when to get rid of the pacifier.
Many children use the pacifier to soothe themselves to sleep and end up keeping it around for a while. Parents then come to me and ask, when do we get rid of the pacifier?
I’ll start off by saying that if your child does take to the pacifier, it’s not necessarily a “bad” thing. For those first few months, the sucking sensation for newborns is calming and soothing, and crucial for a newborn. More importantly, the AAP has said that pacifiers are known to reduce the risk of SIDS. Once they know how to re-plug themselves (at around 9 months), they can do it often during the day and at night, and no longer depend on you.
Before beginning sleep training, I often tell my Clients they have a choice to keep or remove the pacifier. If your child is 9 months or younger, it is OK to proceed with the sleep training without the pacifier. Once your child is 12 months or older, I don’t recommend removing the pacifier as they have already created a dependency on it.
I usually recommend getting rid of the paci once your child is older, closer to age 3. At this point you can have a conversation with your child to explain what is going to happen, and chances are she’ll understand.
Whenever you do decide to remove the pacifier, just be prepared for a few rough nights. Make a plan and stick to it consistently. Try your best not to go back and stick to it for a few days. Good luck!
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