Help! My (almost) six year old daughter has become addicted to her little sister's pacifier. As a baby, my 6-yr old was very addicted to the pacifier, but at age 3, she decided to go 'cold turkey' and stopped using it almost overnight. Over the past year, she has gradually regressed to total addiction to the pacifier.The regression started out due to the fact that my baby started using a pacifier. In the beginning, the baby's pacifier would disappear for short periods of time, and my 6-yr old was pretty discrete about taking it. As time went on, she became bolder - she started taking it pubicly, more often, and for longer periods of time. Recently, she has started asking for it all the time and throwing fits when she doesn't get it (we don't provide it to her - she usually gets it from the baby or finds one that is not in use). Until now, we have consistently discouraged her from using it. We certainly berated her when she took it forcefully from the baby, and in general, we tried to take it away from her when we could. I must admit that it does seem to calm her down, which is part of why I feel confused as to how I should respond. When talking to my daughter about it, she also claimed that she takes the pacifier from the baby because it calms her down. Should we: (a) let her have her own pacifyer and not make a big deal of it (b) discourage the use of the pacifier verbally, but allow her to use one of her sister's pacifyers (c) completely ban the use of the pacifier?
Thanks in advance!
I'd recommend just doing away with the pacifiers for both of them.
Pacifiers are convenient, and definitely a parent's little helper for a fussy child, but an addiction as you describe your 6 yr old as having is extreme, at least in my opinion.
By tossing the pacies for both of them, you cut off the addiction for the 6 yr old and also the risk of the baby developing such an addiction.
You end up with a day or so with two irritable kids wanting pacies, but the dependence will fade and then the pacie issue is over.
I took my son off the pacie cold turkey at 13 months old, and it took him 3 or 4 days to adjust, and after that, I found that life was actually easier without the darn thing and wished I'd weaned him off it around 5-6 months old instead.
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