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Helping Your Preschooler to Give Up Blankies & Binkies

Tips To Help Your Child Let Go Of Blankies and Binkies

Children give up their comfort objects at different ages. While some drop them without much fuss by the time they start preschool, others insist on keeping them around until their first sleepover party.

If your child is extremely attached to a stuffed toy, blanket, etc., but is not allowed to carry it around at preschool, try having his teddy ride to preschool -- but then wait in the car until school is over. Or tell your child that his teddy gets to hang out in the cubby at school and watch, but not participate. Just know that saying good-bye to these comfort objects happens at different times for each child, and that's okay, says pediatrician Ari Brown, M.D., author of "Toddler 411."

While letting go of a blanket can happen when it happens, pulling the plug (ditching the binkie) can be more pressing due to dental concerns. Dentists recommend giving them up before your child's secondary teeth start to appear (age 5 usually), but there is also some data to suggest that binkies may predispose your child to a cross-bite if it's still used into the preschool years.

While orthodontic issues are up for debate, one other important reason to lose the binkie sooner than later is the increased risk of ear infections associated with pacifier use, says Brown.

Whenever you decide to lose the binkie, you can help your child move on by having a party to give the pacifier away to a new baby, or sew it into a favorite stuffed animal. Or simply let your child be the one to throw it all away and get a new teddy or big-kid toy as a replacement.

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