Many mothers resort to pacifiers to soothe their babies and help them fall asleep. After all, suckling is part of a baby’s nature and is a form of self-soothing method for them.
While pacifiers may be a life saver, prolonged usage of the pacifier may have negative effects on your child on the long run. Weaning your child off the pacifier may be a bit difficult at first because taking away a soothing factor will definitely be nerve-wracking. However, with these expert tips you will reach your target of weaning your child off the pacifier.
Here are the tips to wean your child off the pacifier:
- Slow method
- 3-day plan
- Cold-turkey method
The slow method
Taking your child off the pacifier gradually will eventually work, all you need is some patience and setting ground rules. Try distracting your child, for example: if he/she is playing outside and you are not home, try to take away the pacifier and limit using to home only.
If your child is old enough to understand, you can simply explain to them that they are now “big” enough to stop taking the pacifier. Do it gradually though; you can start by only offering it to them during bedtime because the pacifier is a form of soothing for your child. You don’t want to suddenly snatch it away from them.
The fast method
The three day pacifier-weaning plan is a method which works on the child psychologically.
- Day 1: You start by telling your child that he/she is now a big kid and that we will be stopping the pacifier in a few days. Try your best not to make it sound like you are asking for permission, instead state it as a fact.
- Day 2: Talk to your child again and keep repeating and insisting that he/she MUST let go of their pacifier.
- Day 3: This is the rough day when there are no pacifiers in the scene. Expect your child to have tantrums and breakdowns. Try to offer your child any other object as a form of self-soothing such as a teddy bear or a blanket or any toy they love. It is extremely important NOT to give in to your child’s tantrums at this point because you will go back to point zero if you do.
Cold turkey method
Most experts advise that pacifier-weaning should be done slowly and steadily. Going cold turkey means simply stopping the pacifier suddenly without any prior warning to your child. This method may be a bit overwhelming to both you and your child.
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- Pacifier Weaning: When Is It the Right Time? – Healthline:
- Pacifiers: In or Out? – Webmed
- Tips to Wean Your Child From Pacifiers – Cleveland Clinic:
- When Should You Stop Giving a Baby a Pacifier? – New Health Guide