When & HOW do I get rid of the pacifier?

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You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about a toddlers and what happens when they start toddling (and talking)! We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about children in their second year. Each Wednesday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of a parent with a toddler. Chiming in to give her feedback will be an expert who has been there and done that. Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.

When & HOW do I get rid of the pacifier?

Most dentists recommend that toddlers stop using a pacifier during their second year. When you make the decision to help your toddler say good bye to their pacifier it is important you are ready to to give up what has probably been a life saver. Talk to your toddler first about what is going to happen. Have a plan and help her get ready for the day the pacifier will go in a special box that your toddler can help prepare.

Remember out of sight is not out of mind and a toddler might want to take a peek so he can relax. The first week let your toddler have a moment or two with his pacifier. If he asks for the pacifier name the feeling. Try saying ” You are missing the pacifier now. It helps you feel better. It is hard to say good bye to it. Can we rock instead.”

This process takes a little time for some toddlers especially if it has been a tool to help them sleep at night. Give it time, your toddler will make the adjustment.

Marsha Greenberg M.S., M.S. W

Marsha is a therapist in New York City. She is the author of the newly released book, Raising Your Toddler, by Globe Pequot Press. She has masters degrees in Child and Family Development and Social Work from the University of Michigan. As the Director of the Health Systems Child Care Program for over 14 years, she was responsible for over 250 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years of age. Marsha teaches in the Early Childhood Special Education department at NYU and has a private psychotherapy practice in NYC. Marsha is the mother of three grown sons and has three grandsons (aged 4 and 18 months and 4 months) with a new grandchild on the way.


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