I'm not a child expert, but if you watch SuperNanny on YouTube, she says the best time to stop using pacifiers is before your baby "udders" its first ma-ma or da-da sounds.

To be sure, all children look adorable, so I don't want their cuteness to be covered up by a binky. 

Socialization skills are very important. I want to be able to talk to them and then be able to understand what they say in return. They may interfere with language development. They may cause an increase in dental decay and also ear infections. 

Braces are expensive. Pacifiers may affect alignment of developing teeth and even the upper palate. I still see plenty of toddlers, even 5-7 year olds, that still have one. Day cares and schools don't allow them because of sharing and the germ factor, so eventually they must learn to do without.

Wouldn't it be nice not to worry about them being dropped on a dirty surface, cleaning them, buying replacements and clipping them to clothing — which can also be a safety hazard?

The Binky Fairy may be the solution. Buy an inexpensive cloth doll for a few dollars. Give her a small butterfly net. Explain to your big kid that she is to collect all the pacifiers because the newborn babies need them.

The most important rule is you must destroy them when the child sleeps. This is the point of no return.

The next morning, the fairy returns and in her net is a small toy in chance for each binky she collected.

It may be a rough few days, but don't give in to the temptation to buy more. Your child is free. They have gained their independence and can claim the title of being a Big Kid.

Congratulations. Now they are are the cutest kid in the room. You and your child will be happier, and I will be, too!

Arlene Jackson

Sanford