When Should You Wean Your Child from Pacifiers and Bottles?

Some children love their bottles and pacifiers, and these can be great soothers for a short time. But if your child continues to use them as a toddler, it can delay their speech development. My name’s Maddie and I’m a speech therapist here at Building Futures in Monroe and Ruston. I’m here today to discuss the importance of weaning your child off a bottle and a pacifier at an appropriate age, which doctors will say is about one year old.

Why You Need to Wean Your Child Off of Bottles and Pacifiers

Bottles and pacifiers have a lot of pros, such as they help the child with the suck and swallow reflex, and they can help soothe the child to sleep. But it is very important that they are taken away. If your child is not weaned off at an appropriate age, their spoken language can be delayed due to their inability to really explore their voice through vocalizations.

Some of the sounds that they are supposed to master at a certain age can be delayed due to not being able to speak with the pacifier and bottle in their mouth. They can also have trouble with self-soothing without the use of a bottle or pacifier, which is important for them to learn how to do it themselves.

How to Wean Your Child Off the Pacifier or Bottle for Good Speech Development

Some tips I can give you are to take away the pacifier or bottle until naptime or bedtime. You should really get on the floor with your child and play with them without something being in their mouth. And let them explore the vocalizations and master those sounds that they’re supposed to be mastering at appropriate ages.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help.

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