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This was a question I did not need to ask anyone when my first child was still a baby. She never needed the pacifier and she quickly lost interest in sucking on her fingers.
Every baby is unique, each one has a special set of needs and wants. Now, my second child, has a need for a pacifier or his fingers. He even sucks on his upper lip before falling asleep. My hubby and I knew that he needed a pacifier when he couldn't get settled on his own. It is only in the last few weeks that he discovered that his thumb and index finger are also yummy to munch on. And, recently, anything he has in his hands, he puts in his mouth like his cloth diaper and rattles.
Accoding to this article on http://www.babycenter.com.ph/:
There are many advantages to allowing children to suck their thumbs rather than a pacifier: thumbs are always there, don't fall on the floor, aren't tied to children's clothing by potentially dangerous strings that can get caught on things, and are under your baby's own control.
When it is time for the baby to stop using the pacifier, extra effort and creativity are needed to kick the habit. There are several ways that parents could utilize to help children say goodbye to the binky, says an article from http://www.parenting.com/:
If the pacifier has become your toddler's comfort object, you're in for an uphill battle. Some kick-the-habit strategies:
• Phase it out. Try telling your child he can use his pacifier at bedtime or naptime, but that you won't be taking it out in public anymore. (Be sure to bring along something else that'll soothe him.)
• Make it less comforting. Dr. Greene suggests dipping your child's pacifier in vegetable juice. It's not so nasty he can't stand it, but it won't taste as good as it used to.
• Capitalize on his desire to be a big kid. Have your child gather all his pacifiers and then take him to the toy store, where he can trade them in for a big-boy toy. Or suggest he give them away to a new baby your family knows (don't forget to warn the mom ahead of time to toss them!).
• Defer to an expert. Let the no more pacifier decree come from someone your child sees as an outside authority. Karen Skorochod of Wind Gap, PA, asked her son's dentist to tell him that he had to give up his pacifier or he'd ruin his teeth. It worked. "We got home and he asked for the scissors and cut them up himself," she said. "We were Binky-free after that."