A pacifier can be a magical thing! My daughter didn’t take much interest in one, but for my son, it was the key to our survival! I remember being in the hospital room after delivery and trying to nurse. My lactation consultant was observing us and immediately recommended we use a pacifier or he was going to want to nurse 24/7. He was the kid who always needed to be doing something.
Now that he is 2.5 we have limited the pacifiers to nap time and night time. But we are trying to eliminate them all together. It hasn’t been easy, so I’ve been doing research on ways to get your baby off the pacifier. Here are 5 tips
1. Go cold turkey
Weaning my child off has made it a bit easier as far as the protesting goes because I can just negotiate that he will get the pacifier again when he rests. However, it’s making this process drag on and on. Going cold turkey and simply saying “no” can be a hard battle to fight at first, but the child moves past it fairly quickly. I’ve heard of parents having their children gather all the pacifiers and then together throwing them into the trash can while they say “goodbye.” This is a great way to cut them off completely. The child believes they are “gone” and learns to cope.
2. Replace the pacifier with another soothing option.
There are a few techniques I’ve been incorporating so that my child can still find a sense of comfort.
- Happy thoughts- when he gets upset, I ask him to think of 2-3 happy things to think about. This takes his mind off of why he was upset and fills it with positivity.
- Deep breath- Daniel Tiger has a song about what to do when you’re upset. It includes: “Take a deep breath, and count to four.” We implement this and it’s been effective!
- Give your child a blanket or stuffed animal to replace the comfort of a pacifier. Let him/her choose the replacement or it won’t be effective.
3. Make it taste bad
Have you ever heard of putting nasty tasting nail polish on your nails to prevent you from biting them? The same concept can be used for pacifiers. Have your pediatrician recommend a safe product to put on your children’s paci’s that tastes bad and will encourage your children to want to give them up! Who wants to continue putting something in his mouth that tastes bad?
4. Introduce the Binky Fairy
This is a fun way to get rid of the pacifiers. It is less “traumatic” and involves the kids in making the decision. You tell your child that when he/she is ready to be a big kid, the Binky Fairy comes and takes away all of the pacis. So together you gather all of them together and place them in a box by the door. The next morning, the pacifiers are gone and the child is now officially a “Big Kid!”
5. Get Everyone Onboard
Something that we struggled with in the initial weaning process was my daughter’s kind heart towards my son. She would assist him in hiding pacifiers around or would offer one to him throughout the day when he would get upset. It was important for me to sit her down and explain that we needed to work together to help him soothe himself in other ways. If you have babysitters or daycare workers, make sure they are all on board with this decision as well! You all have to be a united front.
Getting rid of a pacifier isn’t easy for you or your child, but remember that it’s better for him/her in the long run! And take it from me, start sooner rather than later!
Tell us in the comments how you got your baby off the pacifier!