You may have to take a trial and error approach to see which method of the paci withdrawal works best for you and your little loud munchkin. A pacifier, however little, is the number one go-to gadget for most new parents as it easily and quickly contains the ear-piercing cries of your baby, restoring peace in the long run. Something sort of a miracle, right?
Could be. Nonetheless, everything that has a beginning must have an end, and when your baby starts to metamorphose from a newborn to a toddler, right before your eyes and starts to demand the pacifier more often than he demands to feed then it is time to kiss binky goodbye.
As we all (parents) know, this can only be easier said than practiced. When I had my first daughter, the struggle to get rid of the binky was real, then came the second girl. It is not until my third born arrived that we finally got it together from the experience with the first 2.
However, there are still myriad tricks to help relinquish the pacifier completely, and in this post, I am going to take you through my saving grace to help you and your little person.
Table of Contents
Are pacifiers bad for the baby?
Research has shown that after 6 months of age, the negatives of the pacifier begin to outweigh the positives. Its prolonged use may interfere with your child’s dental formulae by misaligning the teeth leading to the infamous ” pacifier teeth”.
For some kids who are focused on walking around and sucking on the pacifier throughout the day, they are less likely to have spontaneous speech, make sound, or even bubble. It may also lead to nipple confusion when introduced early due to lack of frequent and proper feeding modules.
At what age should a child give up a pacifier?
At present, there are varied opinions on whether pacifier use is of benefit to your child, yet 75 to 85 percent of children in the developed countries use a pacifier.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians(AAFP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best to wean off your child between the ages of 6 and 12-15 months to avoid the risk of middle ear infection especially if your young one is prone to them.
If your baby is under 15 months old, stick around as this article belongs to you. If they are above 15 months old, you may have to take a little more tough approach as we will discuss in our subsequent reads.
How do you break the habit of a pacifier?
Don’t offer the pacifier.
It all begins with you. Simply don’t give the pacifier to your baby. As the baby continues to grow and no longer needs it to soothe him, don’t offer it. Eventually, he will find other means of soothing himself effectively weaning off.
Weaning off the pacifier attachment from your baby can be a big event in itself. Ensure that it does not coincide with other special events in the baby’s life, like potty training, moving houses, or even the arrival of a new caregiver. In this way, you minimize your child’s withdrawal shock.
Tell fairy tales.
At 15 months, your baby can follow exciting narrations and even get a kick out of. Tell him stories about the bunny who gave up his binky and instead got a teddy bear that winked and smiled back at him every time he hugged it. The excitement will make your baby eager to have Mr bunny, abandoning binky like they never happened upon.
Make them unappealing.
If your little one is bound to his pacifier, try making them unattractive to help break off the habit by nipping off the tip. This should be done with care so as not to turn it into a choking hazard. Alternatively, you can dip it in vinegar or just rub some lemon juice on it. That way the taste will be very unpleasant and the thought of sucking it again sends chills word-for-word.
Just lose it.
Accidentally leave it in the car, or at Grandma’s house and swiftly put off the idea of getting a new pacifier. After 2 or 3 days she will find out that she doesn’t need it at all. And how about grandma? Grandma didn’t find it either. Easy right?
Going cold turkey might be best
Cold turkey” refers to the abrupt cessation of substance dependence and the resulting unpleasant experience as opposed to gradually easing the process through reduction over time, according to Wikipedia.
It might make for a rough few days, but then the attachment to the pacifier is over, says WebMD. It simply involves taking the pacifier away, and don’t give it back- no matter how much your little one screams, pleads, and begs for it.
Stand Your ground and in a matter of days, you and your baby will be pacifier-free.
Offer alternative comfort.
You might have to put on a little more stamina with this since you (mom), will be replacing the pacifier literally. Soft singing, a gentle massage, gentle swinging motion are some ways you can use to make your baby calm down and ease her discomfort. A snuggly stuffed animal can also do the trick and provide comfort.
Give it away.
As I said earlier, my success in getting rid of the binky came along with my third child. As she grew older, I started engaging her in a game of mind. I would take a bowl, gather up all the pacifiers and put it in, then make a big deal about handing it to my sister as she was expecting at that time and it is in her house that there would be cries and not at ours since big girls don’t cry no more.
I still laugh heartily at this because it worked for us amazingly well. Some moms excel in using reason with their toddlers, and I must say I got away with it. Just be sure to offer a reward to your baby for being such a generous “big girl”
How do I teach my toddler to self soothe?
With the pacifier out of the picture, what next? We( mom and baby) now have to find alternatives to keep calm, comfortable, and happy. Otherwise, we will bring chaos at home, that Mr binky will be a thought not far away, taking us 10 steps backward. One and the most effective way is to learn to teach your baby to self soothe.
This is when your baby can calm down, relax, and go to sleep again in their bed. Babies who can self soothe sleep for longer periods and have longer sleep time in the night. Below are some tried and tested ways that worked for me with my first two who’s shock on losing the pacifier was a little loud.
Once your baby is exhausted, their ability to control their emotions will be limited and she can easily fall apart. Even to us adults, this is relative. Ensure your baby is fed, had a bath, and is ready for when she falls asleep. Anticipate your child’s needs rather than reacting to them.
Establish regular bedtime.
Consistent nap time can teach the body to anticipate sleep. This will help your child to fall asleep at the exact time consistently, greatly reducing fussiness.
Also, if your baby is used to sleeping in your arm, startling her a bit before laying her down. You don’t mean to wake her up but just to let her get accustomed to soothing herself back to sleep.
Talk with your partner.
Have a sit down with your partner and anyone else involved in your child’s life and together come up with a durable plan that everyone can follow, during the day and at night.
Self-soothing, also known as self-settle is one of the many important things your baby will learn to feel comfortable in situations as when you are at work or just out of sight.
Do not get me wrong, a pacifier can be a great comfort to parents with screaming and fussy toddlers, but as they start to grow older, it becomes more of a nuisance than helpful.
Some experts believe that prolonged use of the pacifier can result in your baby being overly dependent. With the pacifier gone, your baby will swiftly learn to look up to other things, with greater benefits, and develop an interest in different areas thus bringing her personality out at an early age. a happy baby equals a happy mama and a happy mama equals…?
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