My Baby Won’t Wean Off His Pacifier: Should I Freak Out?

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Don’t worry, your kid won’t start high school with a pacifier in his mouth. The sweet spot for taking a pacifier away is between six months and 1-year-old, Laura Jana, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, tells Yahoo Parenting. At that point, babies are still working on self-soothing and also aren’t as strong-willed so it’s the perfect time to wean. To do so, don’t reach for the pacifier each time your baby is upset or put it back in his or her mouth when it falls out. Another idea: Gradually shorten the amount of time your baby uses the pacifier (for example, only at home, then only at nap time, and so on). For toddlers, who should ditch pacifiers by age four (to avoid tooth and speech problems), try this creative approach: Say there’s a fairy who collects pacifiers and brings them to new babies so they won’t cry. Then leave a small “thank you” present from the “fairy.” There may be an adjustment period but eventually your baby will learn to soothe himself, pacifier-free.

What are you freaked out about? Write us on Facebook or Twitter @YahooParenting, or YParenting (at) Yahoo.com.

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