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How to break the habit without breaking the child?

My 2 and a half year old has an oral fixation. She is constantly chewing on clothes, her stuffed animals, her toys, paper...anything she can get her hands on. She also uses a pacifier for naps and at night. The dentist told me today that she is developing an overbite, and that I should begin the weaning process. How do I do this without completely traumatizing her? I know I know, I'm a big softy when it comes to my daughter, but if I were in her shoes, how would I feel if someone took away something that brought me comfort for the majority of my life?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Jan. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Look at the cause of the habit, rather than the habit itself. She doesn't have an 'oral fixation' (if you'd like a laugh, you might want to look that diagnosis up you will not be happy that some clown added that phrase to your daughter's life)... she has anxiety problem. All persistent habits in small children are coping skills. Find the source of the anxiety and allay it to the best of your ability, and help her find more appropriate methods of dealing with her anxiety --not by taking anything away, but by nudging her toward better ways.

    Your dentist is mistaken. If your daughter has an overbite, it's in spite of breastfeeding not because of it. This has been very well studied, and if you're interested in presenting your ignorant dentist with the research your local La Leche League Leader can point you toward the facts.

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:50 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • She won't remember it. I'm a big rip the band-aid off all at once kind of person. It'll be tough but it will pass. I myself would just do it cold turkey. That's what we did with two or our three (the third did not use a pacifier) but we did it with bottles and anything else that had to be broken.

    She's little and won't remember whatever method you choose.

    Answer by heatheryn at 10:42 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Firstly to get rid of the pacey, you can try and cut a slit in it and it collapses evey time she sucks. If she is constantly chewing on things, you could maybe replace the pacy with healthy foods like celery or something. If it's still not easy with the pacy you can just explain to her that she is a big girl and the little ones (babies) need her pacies now, so we are going to send them to the babies, and you can tie them to a helium balloon and set them free.

    Answer by Ms.Wendy83 at 10:52 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • LindaClement-I meant weaning from the pacifier. Sorry for the confusion.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:53 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Even the pacifier isn't going to cause an overbite.

    Thumbsucking is not considered 'problematic' until the age of 8.

    Dentists tend to be oral defensive... and prefer for people to put nothing but food and toothbrushes in their mouths, ever.

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:57 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I thought she was refering to paci when she said weaning not the breast?

    I would just do the best you can as far as sticking things in her mouth just gentle reminders that we don't do that anymore.

    The paci - a lot of people use the paci fairy where you collect them all and give them to her to bring to babies who need them and she will leave a gift for your DD in return.

    Best of luck!

    Answer by Charis76 at 10:57 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • id go cold turky with the binkie but i personally think that the binkie should go at a year old along with the bottle so im abit more of a tuff love mommy. She wont remember and it will only be a night or two. Just tell her that shes a big girl now and there are little babies in the hospital that need her binkies let her bag them up and then when shes not paying attention throw them out so you cant give in later.

    Answer by Jaxsmommy09 at 11:12 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I watched SuperNanny one time and she got a bag and said that The paci-fairy is coming around to gather all of the pacifiers to give to the new babies. And in return, the fairy was supposed to leave a big girl present for the child who lets the pacifiers go.

    It worked on TV, try it and see what happens.

    Answer by amessageofhope at 12:47 AM on Jan. 12, 2011