There’s no problem with choosing to give your child a pacifier, but did you know that it’s recommended that children be weaned from it within the 2nd 6 months of life? This is important for a few reasons:
- Pacifier use beyond 6 months has been associated with an increased risk of developing ear infections.
- This is also around the time babies start to eat solid foods, so instead of sucking, they need to work on strengthening their masticatory (chewing) muscles and developing chewing skills.
- The longer your child has a pacifier, the harder it is to get rid of.
Extended pacifier use can change a child’s bite and interfere with the development of speech sounds and the mature swallow. The severity of the associated effects is largely dependent on the frequency, intensity, and duration of use. Orthodontic pacifiers can also cause these problems.
Here are some tips to make weaning easier:
- Reduce the number of pacifiers in your house.
- Limit pacifier use to night time and when your child is upset.
- Consult a Certified Orofacial Myologist®.
Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC provides treatment for oral habits, including pacifiers, thumb sucking, and nail biting. All of our programs are fun, positive, 100% appliance-free, and highly successful. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.