There is a lot to unpack here, and there's no easy answer to if the habit is bad or not - It depends. For infants up to 1 year, a pacifier habit can be good - pacifier habits are linked to lower rates of SIDS. But if the child is forcefully sucking on the pacifier for prolonged periods of time at an older age, the habit should be curbed. Studies have shown that if habits persist past 18-36 months of age, there can be noticeable effects in the mouth (picture shown below): Anterior open bite, increased overjet, and constriction of the maxillary jaw which can also lead to airway issues. Talk with us to find out whether your child's pacifier habit is good/harmful and whether it's time to stop it.
How to curb your child's pacifier habit
There are many ways to curb your child's pacifier habit - the method below is just one way that we've found to be successful - working in a stepwise way that gradually reduces the pleasure they get from the pacifier.
Step 1. Get rid of all except 1 of your child's pacifiers. Let your child get used to just having 1 for a few days.
Step 2. With a pair of scissors, cut the tiniest bit of the very tip of the nipple. Let your child get used to that for a few days.
Step 3. Cut just a little bit more of the nipple off. Let your child get used to that.
Repeat step 3 until your child is no longer gaining any pleasure/comfort from he pacifier and is ready to throw it out.
Step 4. Give them a prize!