When to Stop Using a Pacifier to Soothe Your Baby

When a baby starts crying, one of the first things many parents do is offer a pacifier. As the child ages, it’s natural for parents to wonder how long they should keep using the pacifier, no matter how effective it might be at calming a fussy baby. For all its benefits, parents and those working in child care services should be aware of the negative effects of pacifiers as well as when a pacifier should no longer be used.

No Hard and Fast Rules

While some experts are under the belief that pacifiers become more of a habit and less of a useful implement after six months, most say that a child should no longer use a pacifier after turning two. There’s also the debate between baby pacifiers vs thumb sucking. Thumb sucking can be just as harmful as a pacifier for a child’s developing mouth. What type of harm you ask?

The Dangers of Pacifiers

One of the biggest issues surrounding prolonged use of pacifiers is that they can lead to ear infections. This is because after a while of sucking on a pacifier, your child’s auditory tubes can open up more than normal. When this happens, throat secretions work their way into the middle ear where they can cause infections. There’s also evidence that suggests that pacifiers and thumb-sucking can damage the alignment of baby teeth, but that same evidence indicates that the damage isn’t permanent.

Weaning a Child Off Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking

As children age, many suck their thumb or pacifier as a way to relieve the stress of starting school or being stuck in a car for a long period of time. While these methods of stress relief are no reason for you to be alarmed, you should take steps to wean your child off of both the pacifier and their thumb. Specifically, it’s best to start helping a child stop using a pacifier or sucking her or his thumb well before the age of three. Without taking preventative steps, it’s possible that the child’s upper row of teeth will start to tilt forward and lead to dental problems in the future.

Besides the baby pacifiers vs thumb sucking issues mentioned above, there’s a chance a child might develop speech problems due to prolong use of a pacifier. Pacifiers and thumbs can make it troublesome for a child to practice speaking. There are some great articles online to suggest ways to stop thumb sucking in toddlers and we encourage our readers to read these 9 tips on WebMD.com

It can be difficult to break your child of his or her pacifier habit. This post highlights some of the dental problems caused by pacifiers such as a posterior crossbite or an open bite.

Kitchen Designs That Seniors Appreciate Most

Kitchen Design For SeniorsWhile everyone has their own unique style when it comes to interior decorating, special considerations have to be made when it comes to designing an interior spaces for senior citizens that may struggle with tasks once considered easy. Not only should the home be visually appealing, it should be functional and made according to the unique needs of an aging body. Kitchens, in particular, often have to undergo the most alterations to adequately provide senior citizens with a comfortable and safe space. Learn the basics of a solid age in place kitchen design.

Counterspace

Individuals in wheelchairs need lower counters to feel comfortable while in the kitchen. Additionally, cabinets, appliances and everything else on the counters needs to be positioned so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach everything without overexerting themselves. There are also special cabinet handles that can be installed to help those who have trouble with arthritis.

Sinks

Just like counters, sinks might need to be lowered for senior citizens. Those in wheelchairs are sure to appreciate sinks with a roll-under design that makes it easier for them to be used while a person is in a wheelchair. Besides roll-under sinks, installing a motorized sink is another good idea. Such sinks allow a person to adjust the height of the sink to one that suits them best.

Appliances

Appliances included in an age in place kitchen design should have a universal design. They should also be easy to use and understand and include convenient features. For instance, refrigerators with side-by-side doors are commonly easier for senior citizens to use. It’s also best to go with a model with the ice and water dispensers on the outside of the door. Also, it’s a good idea to aim for energy efficient kitchen designs to save money, which is great for everyone involved.

Floors

Floor material in kitchens frequently used by seniors should be slip- and skid-resistant. While it’s often easier to simply add a rug or two to the kitchen floors, senior citizens can easily trip over them, which can lead to the very accidents you want to prevent. It’s best to simply opt for slip-resistant flooring.

Lighting

It’s especially important to have proper lighting in a kitchen design for seniors. High light output LED bulbs are the way to go to keep elderly individuals from squinting and straining their eyes. Accent lights could be added over the sink and under cabinet kitchen lighting is helpful to keep seniors from having to turn on all the lights when it’s not necessary to do so.

A well-thought out age in place kitchen design makes life easier for senior citizens, and it’s great for their sense of independence. Let us know if you need help implementing these ideas.