For many babies and young children, it may not be possible to fall asleep without pacifier. They seem to really need it. Yet they are growing up and as a parent one can wonder if it might not be time tostop the “sucks”. We find ourselves a little trapped between the desire to put an end to this habit and our child who is still asking for a pacifier, whether during the day or to fall asleep. So is there a limit that should not be exceeded? At what age to stop the pacifier ? Find all the explanations to start this change smoothly with your child.
Why does baby need a pacifier?
Sucking is above all a reflex linked to the need to suck in order to feed. Most babies and toddlers therefore have need the pacifier for reassurance. Sucking soothes the child, it comforts him and unconsciously reminds him of the good times spent during breastfeeding or the first bottles given by his parents.
The baby does not really need his pacifier from a vital point of view. It is more of a emotional need. As she grows up, she becomes a kind of blanket from which the child has difficulty separating. This is why some toddlers need it during naps or at night.
It is therefore okay for the child to take his pacifier if he is sad, if he is bored or if he is simply tired. It may even be useful in times of stress, for example if you have him babysat or if he spends the night away from the house.
At what age is the child supposed to stop the pacifier?
The child is supposed to naturally separate from the pacifier between 2 and 3 years, because
this is the age when it asserts itself. He grows and develops walking as well as speaking. In short, he becomes more and more autonomous and gradually leaves the baby stage. He becomes aware of his individuality and does not need as much reassurance, to feel in fusion with his parents as before.
Around 2 years old, and even more so at 3 years old, your child is also interested in games and exploring his environment. He stacks cubes, makes his first puzzles or keeps busy with a busy board. It is no longer an infant for whom only physiological needs matter. At times, it will therefore spontaneously drop the pacifier and focus on other activities.
However, this is not the case for all children. Some find it difficult to leave the pacifier and still have it in their mouths after 3 years. This remains normal as long as the need is not present throughout the day.
Is there an age limit at which to stop the pacifier?
Often, the pacifier is a problem around 3 years old when entering school, and especially at 4 years old when the child leaves the “little ones” class. The majority of schools refuse the pacifier in class. Usually, it can only be taken out of the backpack at nap time and only for small and tiny sections of kindergarten. These times of separation from the fetish object can then be badly lived, especially if the child has not been prepared for it. We are therefore entitled to ask whether there is a age limit to stop the pacifier or whether it is better to continue while the child is in demand.
To begin with, contrary to popular belief, the pacifier is not necessarily bad for the teeth and the puck. If it is shaped correctly and the child positions it well in the mouth, it will not necessarily be a problem. Teething problems occur much more frequently with the thumb because it is directly stuck to the teeth and exerts pressure on them.
Clear, there is no age limit at which to stop the pacifier. The concern is ultimately much more from a social point of view, vis-à-vis the view of others or the rules of life, especially at school.
At what age is the pacifier likely to be a problem?
As explained above, a properly shaped nipple that is well placed in the mouth should not be a problem for the formation of teeth.
On the other hand, between 2 and 5 years, it can become a obstacle to speech development and the joint if the child has it constantly in the mouth. At that point, the trap would be to let him speak in chewing gum language. If it’s only you or your loved ones who can figure it out when he talks through his pacifier, then it’s a problem. Just tell your little one that you can’t understand him when he talks with this prop in his mouth. Encourage him to withdraw it as soon as he wants to speak. Ask him to talk to you and explain what he wants in words, without gestures.
How to stop the pacifier?
If you want stop the pacifier to your child in order to promote good conditions for language learning, you can start weaning around 12 months. On this point all the specialists do not agree, some indicate the age of 2 years, others recommend to leave it as long as the child claims it.
In all cases, act gradually. Start by no longer taking the pacifier out of the house, then limit it to the space of the bedroom. After restricting the space, limit the times the child has access to it (during a nap or at night, for example). If he asks for his pacifier, create a diversion and present him with a cuddly blanket or toy. Don’t make your child feel guilty and encourage them to let go. If you are celebrating Christmas, why not take the opportunity to offer it to Santa Claus?
If your child is around 3 years old, I invite you to read the album Nina’s pacifier. You will be able to better make him understand to what extent a pacifier in mouth makes words incomprehensible ! The reading will be even funnier if you put a pacifier in your mouth yourself, like the little girl in the album.
It will certainly amuse your toddler a lot at the start of the reading. Then it will bother him, because he will not understand anything either. So the message will get across more easily.
What if my child does not want to stop the pacifier?
Damn, he’s already 5 years old or maybe even 6 years old and he doesn’t want to stop the pacifier while the friends abandoned her for a long time. Don’t panic, as long as it doesn’t lead to mockery or use is limited to rest times, it’s not that much of a problem. If your toddler articulates correctly for his age and it doesn’t interfere with speech, then again, don’t worry. Otherwise, a visit to the pediatrician for further advice may be beneficial. Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet that as you grow older your child will start to compare himself to others and will want to abandon him on his own. You will agree with me that we rarely see teens with pacifiers! Finally, everyone has their own pace, so no need to rush things.