A pacifier has it's benefits. It's a device that will soothe your baby, calm him down and offer a sense of security. If you are reading this article, you have already chosen to give him a pacifier but it's now time to give it up and you are looking for ways. If you are researching into giving your child the soother you may want to check this article out - Busting the Myths - Are Pacifiers Ok? before reading this one.
Chances are by now, he sort of needs it and gets a bit cranky when it's not around, so you're looking for ways to wean your child off the pacifier and make the transition smooth.
As in most things to do with parenting, its never a 'push of the button' easy but our tried & tested ways to wean your child off the pacifier is sure to work!
So go on, read our list - 9 Ways to wean your child off the pacifier!
1. Talk to him and explain why he has now outgrown the pacifier - As with anything that forms a habit with babies, toddlers and kids, (and adults too!!) transitioning into a new phase is not going to be that easy or smooth You are indeed lucky if your little one simply decides to stop - but stranger things have been known! So explain to him that now is a time that his teeth have come out and that the big teeth are on it's way and the binky being in the mouth will cause problems for the big teeth. If you're lucky this will do the job. Even if talking about it doesn't help, it's important to explain why the binky must go soon. So start here.
2. Gradually wean him out- As your little one gets older, make sure his dependency on the pacifier lessens. Stop letting him use it every time he cries or during the day. If he still has an afternoon nap, try making him sleep in the afternoon without the pacifier and let him only use it in the night. Whatever methods you try, have a chat and talk about it so that he understands the need for the change.
3. Trade it in! - Does your little one have something that he has been wanting but you haven't quite gone around to getting it? This an absolutely good time for a small bribe. (yes, we do bribe!) Explain very clearly to your little one that he is getting something that he has wanted (make it something tangible) so that the trade feels more real.
4. Leave it for the Binky Fairy – Explain to your little one as with the tooth fairy that comes when he gets a bit older, the Binky Fairy too will come if he keeps it under his pillow and he’d get a small gift from the fairy. Make sure you do keep a little something that is wrapped or made special for your little one.
5. Binky goes on an adventure! – We made Binky into a superhero and came up with our own story. Binkyland in Binkey Planet had some naughty people and Binky had to go in a rocket to save his planet. Alas, he wouldn’t be able to come back after he left in the rocket, but his binky folks need Binky! It worked a charm!
6. Read together why Binky has to go – Read a book during the day and prepare your little one. Reading will help him understand and give him a few hours of notice before bedtime when he’ll have to try out being without the pacifier – combine this with talking to him so he understands better.
These are some of our favourite books that you can use when you wean your little one off the pacifier.:
Bea Gives Up Her Pacifier: The book that makes children WANT to move on from pacifiers! by Jenny Album
Pacifiers Are Not Forever (Board Book) (Best Behavior Series) by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen
Children Books: Time To Say Goodbye: The bible of pacifier weaning! by Sari Barel
Bye-Bye Binky by Brigitte Weninger and Yusuke Yonezu
Goodbye Binky, The Binky Fairy Story by Sinead A. Condon
7. Find him something else that is soothing – When it was time for Junior to get off his pacifier, along with Binky goes to save Binkyland we got him a small plush toy that was to offer him comfort. So instead of Binky he got a small giraffe that was at his bed and at bedtime he hugged him and went off to sleep.
Make sure though that after being weaned off the soother your child doesn’t take to himself by sucking the thumb or edges of a blanky. If he still needs to suck, it may be too early to wean him off the soother.
8. Alter the taste of the pacifier – Coat the pacifier with some food that is bitter or mildly spicy. Always run it by your pediatrician before trying this one out.
9. Go Cold Turkey – If nothing else works – going cold turkey is the best and probably the only alternative left! When you child manages without the Pacifier for around 2 days, the need for it slowly diminishes. You can give it an excuse and go with something that is comfortable like - the old one broke and the store has none left! Or it's got lost and you've looked for it everywhere but still can't absolutely find it!
If you are going for cold turkey, be prepared for a few restless nights and cranky days. It's not an easy transition and little ones do find it difficult to be without something that has essentially calmed them for so long. So make sure you don't go cold turkey in any of these situations:
- When your child is sick
- When you have been having stressful days
- When your spouse has all important meetings or deadlines that week
- When an older sibling has important studies that need attending
WARNING!! Methods such as breaking a pacifier or cutting off its tip is never recommended. Pacifiers which are broken and show signs of wear and tear are never to be used in any circumstance. Additionally, if you are going to alter the taste of it, make sure you speak to a doctor before to ensure what you use is not harmful to your child.
As always, a big Thank You To K, a mum in Australia writing to ask us on what we'd recommend for weaning off the pacifier! You inspire us!
Please do write in if you have any queries and comment below if you have any other ideas on how to wean your child off the pacifier.