My 2 1/2 year old is still in love with his paci. We've tried trading it for toys and such but it hasn't worked. I know I should just take it away but I'm afraid he might become a thumb sucker if I do. When he doesn't have his paci he usually has a thumb or fingers in his mouth. Should I just take the paci away and then if he sucks his thumb try to solve that later?
When I read letters, I look for key words that jump out at me and allow me to read between the lines. Your letter is very telling, with words like “We tried” and “I know” and “I’m afraid.” I think what you have to do is make up your mind on whether you want him to suck a paci or not. He’s old enough now that you can take it away from him, but young enough that he might still go for something else to suck – like his fingers.
Personally, I would stop the paci because it’s not necessary and it would hinder his speech. And if he starts putting his fingers in his mouth, you can start to try gently to take it away and tell him not the do it. And, he’s not necessarily going to suck his thumb. And if he does decide to do it, there’s nothing you can do but to make him aware that he’s doing it and start to gently tell him to stop and move his hand away from his thumb and not make a big deal about it. As long as he doesn’t have the pacifier to hinder his speech and word pronunciation.