One of my nieces, she's 3 and I've been taking care of her. I've been trying to wean her off using the pacifiers. Everyone keeps telling me that I should stop her from using pacifiers because they could result in crooked or bad looking teeth. Is there any truth on this? because I am very worried about it. Thanks to anyone who replies
My health visitor advised that after the age of 1 children should not use a pacifier any more as it can affect their teeth.
However, lots of children over this age do still use a pacifier and it can be difficult to break this habit. But with some patience and time you can do it! One technique which my friend used successfully was to tell her child that her favourite teddy needed the pacifier and she was a big girl so no longer had to have it as it was 'for babies'. They gave the teddy the pacifier at night-time and the little girl was happy!
Some parents find that weaning their child off the pacifier gradually works best for them. For example, at first she could only have it for naps and at night, then only at night, then not at all.
I hope it is an easy transition for you and your niece,
Once again, some great ideas from LJ.
You could put the pacifier in her bed and let her know that she can only use it when she's in bed. You could also make it so that she is only allowed to have it when you're holding her (it's a "cuddle" thing). Same for the bottles that you mentioned that the younger girls use. Let them know that they can only have the bottle when you are holding them (like a child would breastfeed from her mother - she would only have the nipple in her mouth when she is feeding). But I think the girls are old enough to just throw the bottles away and start drinking from their special cups.
Let us know how the transition goes - we're here to support and give ideas.
I would suggest that you take it away gently. Though it is true that it can be damaging to the structure of the teeth, she is certainly not the only three-year-old to still rely on a paci for comfort. My kids never cared for pacifiers, which I think is probably a good thing because I have heard they are a terrible habit to break. As the others have suggested, I would begin by dropping daytime use and then gradually decrease night use. Similar to the way you would gently wean a baby from the breast or bottle.
Best of luck!
Angela had a good suggestion too. It is helpful if you can have something to replace whatever it is you're taking away. So if you're taking away the pacifier, you could replace by offering to rock her back to sleep (if it's at night) or if during the day, determine when she is asking for it (is it when she is bored, when she is watching TV, when she gets home, when she is out, etc.) and determine what is triggering it. Is she needing security and reaching for the pacifier? Once you determine what is triggering the need, you'll be able to better replace it with something that meets the need in a better way.