Q: What’s the best time to take away a pacifier?
A: The easiest time to get rid of a pacifier is to never start using one in the first place.
I realize this isn’t a practical or popular suggestion, since the vast majority of infants probably use pacifiers to some extent. But I believe they really don’t need them.
The next-easiest age to get rid of pacifiers is at about 1 year old.
By age 1, infants have grown out of the intense desire to suck that is so strongly present in the first several months of life.
They can learn other ways of comforting themselves. Getting rid of a pacifier will decrease exposure to illnesses because it won’t be there to fall onto a table or floor only to go immediately back into your child’s mouth.
Additionally, getting rid of a pacifier also enables a child to practice forming more sounds and words.
Finally, be aware that toddlers generally move into a stage of making firm attachments at 16 to 18 months old. That means if your child still has a pacifier at 18 months, it will become a much greater challenge to get him to stop using one later.