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Pacifiers, Bottles, and Breastfeeding: Easy Ways to Wean

Turn to this quick "give-it-up guide" to help you break Baby's dependencies on Binkys, bottles, blankies, and the breast.
baby with pacifier Goodbye, Pacifier

Your baby's beloved Binky may actually reduce the risk of SIDS (the sucking activity keeps her from sleeping too deeply), which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using it at naptime and bedtime for the first year. But prolonged pacifier use can lead to ear infections or alterations to your child's bite.

When to wean: Pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., says it's ideal to wean your toddler off her pacifier between 8 and 12 months. Replace the pacifier with a small blanket or stuffed animal.

How to do it: For babies, most pediatricians recommend cold turkey. In the long run it's easier on both you and your baby. After about age 2, do it gradually. Start by limiting its use to certain places (bed), then only during certain times (sleep), until it's gone for good.