Welcome to "Hey Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.
Children get accustomed to certain security items and habits at a young age, whether it's sucking their thumb or a pacifier, or holding onto a special blanket or stuffed animal. Some children lose attachment to those items on their own, but in other cases, parents have to help the transition along. That brings us to this week's question:
When should you start weaning your child off security items like pacifiers?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.
Ellen Posledni: Pacifier -- three months. That's when the baby loses the instinctive need to suck. After that, it just becomes a habit and a comfort item. Much healthier to be comforted by a "blankie" than a pacifier. (And make sure to have two identical "blankies" so one can be washed, and you have a backup in case of loss!) — Batavia Patch Facebook
Anna Spaanem Wick: Just my opinion: Get rid of the pacifier outside of the bed between 12 and 18 months. Keep it for naps and nighttime only until 2.5 to 3 yrs. Other security items (like a blankie or favorite stuffed animal), they can keep for as long as they like. — Elmhurst Patch Facebook
Lidia Granger: One year old, so it does not interfere with speech. — Geneva Patch Facebook
Andrea Philip McPartlin: We took them away between 1 and 2. The old they are, the tougher it is. "Binkie Fairy" came one night and left a cuddly stuffed animal for comfort. My youngest is 8 and still loves her kitty she got. — Glen Ellyn Patch Facebook
Becky Price Pundy: When family and child are ready! — Lisle Patch Facebook
Elena DePasquale Dugger: I like having the binky for my kids....I'd much rather be able to take that away at 1-2 years than trying to break a thumb sucking habit! We broke my son of it just before he was 2...after 3 days he was perfectly fine. We'll do the same for my daughter. We tried to keep it to bed, nap and car rides. I think when it gets in the way of them talking, it's time to go! To say that they should never get them started is a bit overboard, but to each their own! — Naperville Patch Facebook
Tracy Paddy: Should never use a pacifier. Let them learn to soothe themselves with their finger that way they're never looking for outside sources for comfort. — St. Charles Patch Facebook
Sherry Casavechia Manschot: Follow their lead. They will tell you when they need it and when they are ready to leave it. If they are getting a little old and you think they should lose it but they don't, compromise with some limits like just inside the house or just at bedtime. Don't worry, they won't be walking down the aisle with it on their wedding day. — Wheaton Patch Facebook