Weaning Your Baby From Their Pacifier
For the first year or two of your baby’s life, the pacifier can be a great source of comfort for both you and your child. It has helped to put many tantrums and cries to a quick end. However, your child cannot go on using their pacifier forever, and there comes a time when you are going to need to warn your baby from it. This can be incredibly challenging, as your baby has probably grown very attached to their pacifier. With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips that should help you wean your child from their pacifier effectively.
Give the pacifier away – One effective approach to getting your child to give up their pacifier is to give it away. Some parents find that using reason with their toddlers is one of the best ways to get them to give something up. You could explain that your child is a big boy or girl now and that they do not need their pacifier, however, there is a little baby out there that does need it. This will help your child to feel like they are grown up now and that they don’t need these essential baby products, as well as making them feel like they are doing something good for someone else. Kids, like all of us, like to feel like they are doing something positive. Praise them for doing something so amazing for another child.
Use storytime as an opportunity to inspire your child to give up their pacifier – Most children love nothing more than cuddling up with their parents and reading a book before bedtime. Luckily, a number of authors have written children’s books that focus on giving up the pacifier. This is a great way to inspire your child to give their pacifier up, as they will read about characters that have done so and how amazing it made them feel. Some of the books that are available include the likes of…
– No More Pacifiers! – By Melanie O’Brien
– No More Pacifier for Piggy! – By Bernette Ford
– Bea Gives Up Her Pacifier – By Jenny Album
– Baby’s Binky Box – By Jennifer Ormond
Uh oh, the pacifier has gone missing – A lot of parents take this approach; they pretend that their baby’s pacifier is lost. By pretending the pacifier has gone missing, your child has no choice but to carry on without it, until you buy a new one – which you will have no intention of doing, of course. By this stage, your little one will have, hopefully, realised that they don’t need their pacifier anyway.
Offer alternative comforts – It is important to recognise why your child has become attached to his or her pacifier; it is because it provides them with comfort. So, when you take away this comfort, you need to replace it with something else so that your child can self-soothe whenever they are feeling distressed or upset. There are lots of different ways you can help your baby to settle down when they would typically reach for their pacifier. This includes soft singing, a gentle swinging motion, and rocking. You could also give them a soft stuffed animal or a plush blanket that will provide them with comfort instead.
Leave it for the pacifier fairy – When a child loses a tooth, they don’t freak out or worry about it because they know that the tooth fairy is going to pay them a visit. You can use this approach and create a pacifier fairy. Tell your child that the binky fairy comes when they are two-years-old to collect their pacifiers for new babies that do not have any. You can then get your child to leave their pacifiers somewhere and then in the middle of the night you (the pacifier fairy) will replace it with a treat.
Get everyone onboard – You need to make sure that everyone is aware that you are trying to get your baby to give up his or her pacifier. The last thing you want is for all of your hard work to be undone because a caregiver has given your baby a pacifier. You need the experience and message regarding the pacifier to be consistent no matter where your child is, be it at home, at their grandma’s house, or while they are at day-care. If the message is not consistent, your child is only going to end up confused, and this will make the process much more difficult.