It is said that the sucking reflex and act of sucking can sooth and calm a baby who is not in control of its environment and wants some comfort. But that excuse cannot justify a 3 year old walking around with a pacifier, which I have seen plenty. According to experts, parents who permit older children to do that have given in to a quick and easy means of consoling a child and have not tried other options to calm the child as he/she grows. I know I cringe every time I see them around, even one of Brittney Spear’s kid is always photographed with a pacifier in his mouth. I admit we were lucky in that none of our three children had a dependency on those things. However, besides getting side eye glances from folks, I do not believe it is good for the child past infancy to be dependent on a pacifier. I’ve read it isn’t great for their digestive system. Also, it can cause parents to miss cues for hunger. The child can get frustrated too at sucking and getting no nourishment to pacify the hunger pangs. I’d suggest that if you have an infant who prefers and is calmed by one that you let her have it to sooth her and then when she is calm or falls asleep you remove it immediately. Also, try other means of calming her down or letting her suck on a clean knuckle for a few seconds and take it out. Anything to not encourage her to develop such a bad habit!
While I have found the Baby Einstein type DVDs and the Your Baby Can Read DVDs fun and educational, overall I agree with all the critics out there have to say about the television. It is easy to let it be a baby sitter, but the time spent in front of the boob tube could better be spent doing a craft, playing outdoors, reading a book, figuring out a puzzle, or doing some other thing that challenges a child to use his/her brain and not passively take in stimulus from a screen. I used to be of the mind that a little television cannot hurt, but for some children, they do not understand moderation and if not controlled can literally become addicted to television. I say this from experience and I say it’s always best to learn and/or take into account other people’s mistakes and experiences so you do not repeat them.
I know it will be a while before your child would even know how to manage a Wii console or maneuver a joy stick, but it is a brain drain! Granted a child may learn hand/eye coordination, but in my house and in many houses across the globe, children who are accustomed to playing video games can be reluctant readers. They may not want to explore nature and life outside the house. They may not be so eager to delve into a good book when they are addicted to the instant gratification of outscoring the computer/game console. My parents made a decision to not let us have video games because they feared it would distract from our learning and degrade our natural curiosity to explore and learn. I must say having made the mistake in letting my eldest have a game console when he was 4 has been GRAVE. We are having a tough time getting him into loving books for fun rather than consider having to spend time reading as punishment. He lives for the weekends when we let him indulge and play, but would never opt to pick up a good book. These days, a friend of mine and my son’s 2nd grade teacher suggested books on CDs that he can read along to and so far so good. He has finished an entire chapter book in one day and he wanted to continue reading. All that to say, if you can AVOID IT, do not let your child near a video game for as long as humanly possible, even if all his friends have them and access to them. It’s a BAD HABIT you do NOT want to start. Don’t think of it as depriving your child from a toy, but investing in his education and learning habits/skills.
From infancy to toddlerhood, nothing drains your time and restricts your ability to get house work done, take the groceries out of the car without hearing a wailing baby or cook like a child who does not like to be put down. Especially for first time parents, they do not like to hear their child cry, suffer, whimper or be distressed in any way. They (like I did) are then not inclined to put a child down after she has fallen asleep or is soothed. Cribs, Bassinets, Bouncy Seats, Play mats and Swings are made to give you a rest and to train your child to sleep, rest or play on their own. By encouraging the habit of being used to being carried around, you are setting yourself up to being a slave to that child. For infants and babies, you are setting up your child care giver and/or babysitter who some times do not care for your child alone. Who is going to want to babysit your spoiled child when he has a reputation for wanting to be carried in order to be soothed. Aye! As a toddler, she will refuse to walk into the day care or let you cook because she will want to be picked up. When you don’t oblige, prepare for the tantrums. It’s better on your patience, time and ears, if you just try your best to get your child NOT used to being carried all the time.
HEED TO THESE WARNINGS of a “BEEN THERE, DONE THAT” parent! You DON’T want to go there.