Why it’s better for children to suck a pacifier than their thumb

For some babies, there is simply no way around it: The only thing that will soothe them in certain situations is a dummy or pacifier.

Parents should not be concerned about this, according to a recent edition of Junge Familie, a German magazine about family health.

Modern pacifiers are significantly better for a child’s jawbone than their thumbs. It’s also much harder to wean little ones off thumb-sucking since their thumbs are, after all, always at hand.

Until the child turns three, it’s fine for them to soothe themselves with a pacifier. After that, parents should make sure the child breaks the habit.

The best way to do that is with the help of a ritual. In some countries, children hang their pacifier on a specially designated tree.

The pacifier fairy can also provide consolation for the loss by leaving a small present in exchange.

However, forcing a child to part with a pacifier is not a good idea. If it’s simply thrown away, the child is likely to miss the dummy even more than he or she would have otherwise. – dpa


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