Pacifier, binki, tay-tay or nuk-nuk. Whatever you and your child have decided to call it, it’s not the easiest of days when weaning begins!
The paci can be a lifesaver for baby (and us!) during the first year !
Although, if your little ones become attached for too long, it can become detremental to their teeth and none-the-less, harder to get rid of.
It has been recommended to start weaning at 12 months (this did NOT happen in our house!!) and definitely off of the paci by 2 years of age.
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Reasons A Pacifier Can Be Great For Your Child
Sucking for newborns and young babies is a natural soothing technique, so it may help calm your baby or help them sleep.
This can be paired with soothing too, but the pacifier can also provide as a chew toy or distraction for the child when their teeth are coming in.
If your little one has reflux, the sucking helps with increased saliva which is a natural antacid.
8 Effective Ways For Pacifier Weaning
1 Cold Turkey
This may seem harsh and may be a rough couple of days, but after a storm comes a rainbow!
For this one, you’re going to need patience (a lot of it!) and to be able to stand your ground through the tears, whimpers, and screams.
If you take the pacifier away and end up giving it back a day later when you can no longer deal with the crying, you’re going to confuse that beautiful little brain. (the child’s…not yours)
So, this route takes preparation on our side, the fun grown up side of things, for what may be to come in the next couple of days and patience.
2 Slow And Steady
This route was a bit more easing to me as a mama, instead of going cold turkey. We started out by only giving our little one the nuk-nuk during nap time and bed time. During the day, I had to do my best to occupy her. Then came only during bedtime and eventually, heading off to bed without it.
Now, don’t get me wrong this wasn’t the EASIEST way either, but will taking away something they love, be at any moment!?
3 The Send Off
Talk to your child about why she or he needs to give up their pacifier. Maybe it’s boxing it up to send to other kids that need the pacifier more than they do.
Some other ideas are to send the pacifier to the “paci-fairy” in exchange for something they are really wanting or tie it to a balloon with wishes good luck! (not the most eco-friendly, but if needed for your sanity, do it mama!)
4 Cut Off The Tip
Cutting off the tip of the pacifier disables the “suction” that is so highly desired by the child.
Your little one will most likely let you know that something is “wrong”, which you can explain that the pacifier is “broken”.
Explain to your little one of throwing the pacifier away and if they will allow you to, let them help you do it.
If your child is young enough that they do not understand they can head back out to Wal-mart to get another one, this is probably the best time to try this one out!
Some discuss that cutting off the tip of the pacifier can lead to choking hazards, please be aware!
5 Buy A Weaning System
As discussed above, snipping the tip of the pacifier could potentially become a choking hazard, so instead you could buy the system already snipped for you!
Introducing The Dummy – One Step Pacifier Weaning System!
Just like the snipping method, although this pacifier has the tiny hole built in and has been tested to make sure to have efficient safety.
6 Make The Paci “Yucky”
Seems a bit ruthless, but this really is considered a training method.
Dip the pacifiers into something that does not taste the greatest to your little one, like pickle juice or lemon juice.
Once you child gets a taste and makes the “yucky” face, they will start to associate the pacifier as not a good feeling for them anymore. Very similar to someone who might be a nail bitter.
7 Find A Replacement
Swapping out the pacifier for a replacement can usually help with children that are using the paci as a comfort system mostly. Normally a stuffed animal or soft, silky blanket will do the trick.
Now, be warned, this option is just as it sounds. With the replacement system, your child could potentially become attached to the new paci replacement.
8 Countdown Method
If your child is a bit older to be able to understand, maybe try this method. Decide on a day that your child will be giving up the paci and let your little one know about.
Giving your child a heads up on what will be happening, can help them process what is really happening. Children tend to get frustrated when they don’t understand something (don’t we all?!).
Keep explaining to your child leading up to D-Day, for example, “three more days and we are going to send our paci to the other children that need them”
Weaning your child off the pacifier does not HAVE to be a stressful situation.
Most likely a few days of some tears, but that should soon pass.
Once you’ve decided on a weaning pacifier route, use these additional tips to help your little one get through the new transition. (and save your sanity!)
Each child is different (even twins!) and these options for reducing the pacifier in the household may not work for your child. You may need to take upon the trial-and-error approach to find which way may help your little one.
You Got This Mama!