How and when to stop letting your baby have a dummy?
Must be a regional term, I'm sorry I don't know what a dummy is. A pacifier? If that is it, I never used them, I think they do more harm than good.
I let my baby initiate this each time, but this wasn't a problem since they were both about 4 to 6 months old when they lost interest in the pacifier/dummy. They both lost interest when they were able to suck their thumbs instead. I was happy with the baby-led method, but then again, both of mine weren't 'attached' to their paci/dummy so it was easy.
This is a pretty hot-button issue for a lot of people. A lot of babies will just sort of wean themselves off of it, but others would likely keep using a pacifier all through their childhood if you let them! I think that there is nothing wrong with continuing its use through the first year of life. After that, I'd recommend allowing it only during naps/nighttime. I've known people who had a rule that the pacifier stays in the crib, and whenever the baby is in the crib they can have it. People disagree about when it's just too old to let the child have a pacifier - I would say that the #1 person to consult in making this decision would be a pediatric dentist, and if you don't have access to that, just your pediatrician. I think the idea way to do it is to start having conversations with the child about why they will have to stop using it and when - for example, on their 2nd or 3rd birthday, or just a random date that you've set up as "give up the pacifier" day. I saw an episode of supernanny once in which she told the kids the "pacifier fairy" (sort of like the tooth fairy) was going to come during the night and exchange their pacifiers for some big-kid toys, and take the pacifiers to babies who need them. I thought that was a really cute and clever way of doing it!
My mother took care of a lot of babies as I was growing up, so I just grew up thinking the time to gradually reduce pacifier use was by three/four months (tops). It's fairly easy to stop use of it at that age. It's more difficult later (but, of course, one way or another, kids stop using it eventually).
So, that's how I did things with my own babies too.
It just seemed to me that newborns (and slightly older) do have that sucking instinct, and the pacifier serves a purpose for them. They're more easily frazzled than older babies too, so something that calms them (without over-feeding them) is good.
By three months they're well past that newborn/sucking instinct stage (at least in the same way they have it when they're newborns). Calm, secure, babies who aren't hungry just don't really need that particular kind of comforting by the time they're three/four months old. It's mostly the first two months when they're so new and kind of getting "up and running" with being in the world; and with their digestive, nervous, and other systems (as well as growing past newborn instincts/reflexes).
BUT, if someone wants to give a pacifier to their baby for two years - their business, of course.
I would say that when you feel your baby is ready is the best time... This causes some HUGE debates. I use a dummy with my son, I hated it but he loves his dum-dum and he was a comfort sucker. How many times have people in the street (yes, strangers, with no right to be anywhere near my childs face or property) approached him, taken it out of his mouth and said "you don't need that!" only to be met with hysterical screaming? My sister was pregnant last year and my Mum and Stepdad were busy trying to scare her out of using one... It makes their teeth wonky... Funny, my son's teeth are straight as they come. It impedes their speech... Funny, my son is doing fine! They're unhygienic... No, they help build up an immune system...
Views on dummies are different person to person, and the hows and whens all differ person to person. When you and your baby are both ready, you will know what to do. x
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