When you've got a baby who loves her pacifier, forking one over means that you don't have to wait in the grocery story checkout with a wailing infant or that you can go to the bathroom in peace. But sometimes the months and years slip by and it just never seems the right time to take away one of your child's favorite sources of comfort. But we've got a plan. We worked with the experts to develop iVillage's 7 Days to Ditch the Pacifier. As with any milestone, kids will vary in their readiness and may need a few extra days here or there. But this week-long program can help get you -- and your little sucker -- well on your way.
Relax -- It's Natural
Sucking is practically in babies' DNA -- an ultrasound in pregnancy will often reveal a baby with her fingers and hands in her mouth. It's a comfort to your child from the get-go. And many pediatricians actually recommend offering babies a pacifier since it has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). "Every child uses a pacifier differently -- some out of habit, some to calm down, and others because they need a lot of 'oral input,'" explains Mona Delahooke, Ph.D., a development psychologist in Los Angeles. So don't blame yourself if you haven't prioritized taking away the paci until now.