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The 5 Stages of Pacifiers and Sleep

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According to the NIH, pacifiers have been used for thousands of years, in their many forms. (coral, clay, silver, pearl, etc.). It simply amazes me the ingenious of the amazing art of motherhood overtime realizing that strong sucking reflex.

Newborn:
For this age and stage, pacifiers are a good tool to use. As they can help soothe our little ones when needed, as babies have a high sucking/rooting reflux, which helps them calm down. If you feel your little one likes to snack more then feed, then the pacifier is a great way to help you guys, stretch your feeds.

Three to Four Months:
Around this age, you will start to notice the development of your little one starting to put their hands in their mouth. This naturally coincides with the same time that they start spitting out the pacifier as they start to get the reflex to chew and thrusting with their tongue more.

Four to Five Months:
This is an excellent time to remove the pacifier and let your little one find their hands/fingers, as this is when we typically start sleep training as they are now able to start to self-settle themselves. However, if you want to stick with the pacifier, know that over the next couple of months, you will have to replace it multiple times overnight for your little, as they wouldn’t haven developed the ability to return it for themselves.

Six Months:
Around this time we can start teaching our little ones to find and replace their pacifier. While they are learning this new found motor skill, we can help encourage them along, by practicing while playing. We can do this during wake time, by playing peekaboo/hiding the pacifier under a lovie or blanket. I recommend the Snuggin, as its a great tool for any little one to more easily be able to find their pacifier.

Two and Half Years:
Around this age is when our kids will have the cognitive ability to understand eliminating the pacifier. As anything before this age you will end up, having a lot of tears, and having to sleep/resleep training will most likely occur. With our nearly three-year-old, we used the pacifier fairy as an example much like the tooth fairy, that another little baby now needs the pacifier and we left a little card and a gift for her for giving up their pacifier.

To get more direction/education, I work hand in hand with families to achieve their personal sleep goals. Contact me now for a free 15-minute consult.

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