All babies are born with the need to suck. This is important because babies need the sucking reflex to eat and drink. Sucking for some babies also can have a soothing and calming effect. However, when does sucking become a problem?

Read on for information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about pacifiers, when pacifier use and thumb and finger sucking could become a problem, and how to help your child stop pacifier use or thumb or finger sucking.

If your baby wants to suck beyond what ­nursing or bottle-feeding provides, a pacifier may satisfy that need. Before offering a pacifier, keep the following tips in mind:

If your child sucks strongly on a pacifier or his thumb or fingers beyond 2 to 4 years of age, this behavior may affect the shape of his mouth or how his teeth are lining up. If your child stops sucking on a...

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