Washington, DC -- Children who love their pacifiers are affectionately referred to as "paddicts" (pacifier addicts) among parenting bloggers, but the authors of a new book say mom and dad might also be pacifier addicts.
Pacifiers Anonymous: How to Kick the Pacifier or Thumb Sucking Habit© addresses some of the most pressing challenges of how to stop pacifier and thumb sucking.
“As parents, we’ve figured out that we also benefit from pacifier or thumb sucking,” says one of the book’s authors Sumi Sexton, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center. “After all, doesn't a happy child equal a happy parent? And who doesn't appreciate a peaceful night's sleep? We’ve become ‘enablers’ of this so-called addiction.”
Roughly 75 to 90 percent of all infants suck a pacifier or thumb. In the past, the thumb was the sucking method of choice, but currently in the United States, the pacifier has made its way to top position, with user estimates as high as 74 percent.
Whether parents encourage the pacifier or the thumb, each can lead to a habit that is equally hard if not harder for the parents to break, say the authors. The book’s 12-step program offers tips and techniques to make kicking the pacifier and thumb sucking habit as painless as possible for children and their caregivers.
“I was an enabler,” says Sexton. “When my husband and I were ready to wean our daughter from the pacifier, it struck me that I had to prepare myself far more than I had to prepare her. I was too addicted myself to admit it!”
To determine when normal pacifier sucking becomes a little more, Sexton and her co-authors ask: Does your child have an obsession with the pacifier or thumb and crave it like you crave your morning coffee? Are you afraid that stopping the pacifier or thumb could lead to anxiety, mood changes, or sleeplessness? While addiction is a strong word, the authors suggest that at the very least, co-dependency might be at issue.
Pacifiers Anonymous shares tips on figuring out when a child is ready to ditch the thumb or pacifier and teaches some of the most popular techniques out there to get rid of the pacifier or thumb. When all else fails, the authors respond to the question: Is it really so bad to use the pacifier?
In addition to Sexton, Pacifiers Anonymous, is written by two other moms: clinical child psychologist Ruby Natale, PhD, and stay-at-home mom Liza Draper who offer a combination of professional research and real world experience.
Pacifiers Anonymous: How to Kick the Pacifier or Thumb Sucking Habit© is now available in paperback on Amazon.com and at BarnesandNoble.com. Read more about the book and its authors at www.pacifiersanonymous.com.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO). In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for 79 percent of Georgetown University's extramural research funding.