Experts would like to see the pacifier gone as a sleeping aid by four months of age. There are two ways to change this habit: gradually or cold turkey. Your approach depends on your baby’s temperament; how attached they are to the pacifier; how much unrest you can handle and the general environment in which you live. |
You might say this is for the wimp – those of us who don’t want to be kept up at night. Basically you allow the baby to go to sleep with the pacifier while you watch. When the baby slows his or her sucking, gently remove the pacifier from their mouth. If the baby does not let go, or mouths around for the pacifier, put it back in the mouth. Wait a little longer and try again. Do this until you are successful removing the pacifier – even if they are not quite asleep, which is actually the goal. Be consistent – every night – and persistent.
Those of you wanting to go cold turkey should provide some other form of security at bedtime for a few weeks before you decide to take away the pacifier. On the day you decide it’s time to take the pacifier, go through the same bedtime routine but without the pacifier. The new security item is given to them instead of the pacifier. Depending on the baby’s age, you will probably leave baby in the crib to cry for a few minutes. You may go back in a reassure him or her, but you should not get them out of the bed. If after an hour baby has still not fallen asleep, pick them up and rock them to sleep. You may have to follow this routine for several days, and may want to start with rocking, for baby to get used to it. At no time is the pacifier reintroduced for sleep time.
So, you didn’t realize 4 months was the time to give up the pacifier and you have a toddler (1 – 3 year old) who still sucks on the pacifier. There are several techniques for getting rid of the pacifier; choose what you think will work best for your child.
1. Give the pacifier to someone who “needs” it more. Talk to your child about people who don’t have all the things he or she does and mention that there is a baby who really needs it. Allow your child to mail the pacifier to the baby. 2. Leave it for Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny – or maybe the tooth fairy. A gift left in exchange may help soothe the insecurity of giving up the pacifier. 3. Make the pacifier inedible, put hot sauce or something equally unpalatable for a child. 4. Only allow the pacifier while the child is in the bed for a period of time before taking it away completely. 5. Lose it and don’t buy any more.
No matter at what age, or with what technique, you take the pacifier away, it will likely not be a fun time for anyone. Keep you cool, be consistent and be patient and within a few weeks all should be fine.
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