We’ve all seen it and some have lived it. …for much too long.
The Binky. Aka, the pacie.
From the moment they were newborn, we taught our children that sucking on something preoccupies the current baby stressor to a self-soothing distraction.
And now, parents across the country lament their child won’t give up the Binky.
I remember back in the day, following our doctor visit, our pediatrician would walk us to the lollipop box to pick out our favorite DumDum sucker. And even moreso, a “good girl” reward after the dentist was piece of hard candy — yep, a distraction, an anxiety-soother, a big-girl Binky.
“My son is three and will not give up the Binky…” “My daughter is 4 1/2 and has a major meltdown when I try to get her to give up her Binky!”
At what age should you be concerned ? According to the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids often stop the sucking habit before they advance very far at school, most likely as a result of peer pressure. The binky can be used to calm and comfort your child at home, but it is unlikely that your child will want to bring it along to school. According to the AAP, occasional pacifier use is harmless.
However, in addition to social issues that go hand-in-hand (or, Binky-in-mouth) you can’t dismiss the documented prevalence of dental problems. In an article published by Columbia College of Dental Medicine, they note “during a child’s first few years, sucking habits probably won’t damage his or her mouth. But frequent and long-term sucking can cause problems. This is especially true if the habit continues after baby teeth start to fall out”. Long-term sucking can cause:
- The top front teeth to slant out
- The bottom front teeth to tilt in
- The upper and lower jaws to be misaligned
- The roof of the mouth to be narrower side to side
With that said, here are 7 tips as listed by Everyday Health to help when your child won’t give up the Binky.
Pacifier Dos and Don’ts
How you approach the topic can influence the outcome. The more positive and upbeat you are, the more receptive your child will be:
- Do praise your child with affection when he or she does not use a Binky.
- Do offer a small reward at the end of each day or week for your child’s accomplishment. For example, hang a chart and add daily stickers on the days when the Binky is not used.
- Do help your child find comfort in ways other than sucking on a Binky. For example, play a game with your child to distract him or her from wanting the pacifier.
- Do make rules that include setting times when it’s okay for your child to have the Binky. Explain how and when it’s permitted, maybe just when he goes to sleep or just around the house.
- Do tell your child to remove the Binky from his or her mouth before talking.
- Don’t tease, scold, or punish your child for using a Binky or not wanting to give up the Binky.
- Don’t cut holes in the Binky — popular advice that reduces the sucking mechanism. This can create a choking hazard.
If your child won’t give up the Binky, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you and possibly share your story in an upcoming blog. Visit PersonalBabyProducts.com and PersonalizedKidsPlates.com to stay up-to-date on topics, tips and articles written especially for parents. We welcome you to share, repost and re-tweet our news, ideas and stories with your social media network. Or, simply subscribe to our RSS feed or newsletter below