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Should you ban the binky? The answer is NO and here is why...
Understanding pacifier use
Why it happens
Sucking on a pacifier is completely natural; just as with thumb sucking, many children form the habit when they're babies. It calms and soothes them and makes them feel secure well into the toddler years. Experts call a pacifier a transitional object, which is anything that helps your child adjust to new or challenging situations -- starting daycare or going on long car rides -- and relieves his stress.
What to do
Ignore it. While it may be difficult, make an effort to resist any urge to "ban the binky," especially if you have a young toddler who's still attempting to master new skills such as soothing himself. As your child grows older, his need to suck diminishes and he'll likely give up the pacifier on his own anyway, as many kids do.
Once he learns other ways to cope and communicate more effectively (around age 3), he'll start relying on the pacifier less and less. And when he starts attending preschool and discovers that the other children (or most of them) don't have pacifiers in their mouths, he'll be motivated to give up the habit altogether. This is one area where peer pressure may work better than parental mandates.
Stay safe and hygienic. Being low-key about your child's pacifier habit doesn't mean you ought to let your health standards slide. You can teach him to wash his pacifier if he drops it, and make sure he doesn't share it with his playmates. Inspect his pacifier to make sure the nipple is firmly attached to the shield and doesn't pose a choking hazard.
Preempt boredom with other activities. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, older kids tend to suck on pacifiers when they're bored. Try to anticipate times when you know your child will be bored and offer more interesting activities as substitutes. If you're waiting in line at the post office, for example, give him a book to page through or make funny faces at him instead of handing him his pacifier.
Some kids suck on their pacifiers when they're feeling insecure. If he seems to turn to his binky when he's worried or scared, help him put his emotions into words. Ask questions to find out what'd really going on inside, and reassure him with hugs and kisses.