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.
Lucia Luke Phillips: My kids didn't use a paci but one had her blanket until age 7! I wanted that thing gone but she let it go on her own. She primarily used it in unfamiliar homes or car rides. — La Grange Patch Facebook
Dorothy Cole Domrzalski: Blanket or toy: keep it as long as they want to. I know adults who still have them. Pacifier: should be gone once they eat solid food and distant history once they are walking. If they have it at a year old they are over dependent. — Western Springs Patch
Chrissy Chianelli Kosanovich: My husband and I still sleep with r baby blankets.. We are 36, true story!! So I say never for blanket!!! — Darien Patch Facebook
Linda Dirks Twomey: The pacifier is a lifesaver for parents, but watch out for what it does to the teeth. I guess I allowed the pacifier because it would eventually, about age 2, be easier to take away (for the sake of the teeth) than trying to stop thumb sucking, which also can cause dental problems. The "mean old trash collector" took the pacifier away....lol....and that story flew for a two year old. — Woodridge Patch Facebook
Barbara A. Dolan: Never a need to wean off a security blanket. There is no downside to having something to hug that makes you feel better! — Oak Park Patch Facebook
Marian Garrigan: I never bought a pacifier for my own four kids. Thirty years later, I do see how handy they are with the grandkids. After a year, start by having baby leave it in the crib when they get up. "Say night-night passy!" After most of the teeth come in, no more pacifiers, by the age of two, let's say. — Oak Park-River Forest Patch Facebook
Brush Pediatric Dentistry: Non nutritive sucking is a normal part of infancy but we want to try to get rid of the paci and break digit habits as soon as possible but absolutely no later than the 3rd Birthday to avoid orthodontic and speech problems:) Any other questions?? — Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Patch Facebook
Cherie Spinosa: People stress too much about this. The "paci fairy" came when our daughter was 4. She only used it to sleep so it wasn't too distressing at that age for her to give it up. — Downers Grove Patch Facebook