Health Tip: Weaning Baby From a Pacifier

-- A pacifier helps comfort young babies by satisfying their natural sucking reflex. But as babies mature and their teeth begin to grow, a pacifier can damage teeth.

The Swedish Medical Center offers these suggestions for weaning your baby off of a pacifier:

  • Try reducing access time to a pacifier to only night time and nap time, then gradually work the infant up to sleeping without it.
  • Have your child trade a pacifier for a game, book or toy that is more enjoyable and productive.
  • Have the child spend time with other toddlers who no longer use a pacifier.
  • Explain that pacifiers that are used when you are a baby, and one isn't needed now that he or she is older.
  • Reward the child for time spent without a pacifier, with things like stickers, gold stars or a stuffed animal.
  • Be patient and offer lots of reassurance, but don't give up on trying to break the habit.
  • Offer lots of hugs.

Posted: September 2007


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