How to Break a Pacifier Habit

Pacifiers can solve many problems, such as when your baby is being fussy. They can also be beneficial for sleeping and help self-soothe. Pacifiers also help reduce the risk for infant death syndrome. However, when your baby is ready to outgrow the pacifier, it can quickly create more problems, filled with long nights and lots of tears.

Weaning your baby off of it when they are between 6 and 12 months old is the best way to approach the situation. Dental problems can often occur if the child continues to use a pacifier or thumb after they turn two years old. So, the earlier the better.

But, how do you avoid the long nights filled with lots of tears?

Here are five ways that you can try to make getting rid of the pacifier just a little bit easier. 

  1. Go slow. Don’t just take away the pacifier on a random night, startling your child. Instead, slowly reduce the number of times your child has the pacifier. So, allow the pacifier for maybe one night  and the next take it away. 
  2. Read about taking away a pacifier. Books are a great way to inspire your child into doing good things. They can also help kids understand why taking away the pacifier is important and how it is a part of growing up.
  3. Make a trade. Create a system in which kids can exchange their pacifier for a gift of their choice. Or, tell a story about the “Binky Fairy,” similar to the Tooth Fairy. Telling various stories can be a great way to create a more interesting experience, and entice your child to give up their pacifier faster.
  4. Plan for one day. Set a date and prepare a countdown with your child. Together, you can create some excitement around the new change and transition going on in their life. You can make this into a fun activity for the both of you to go and dispose of the pacifiers. 
  5. Replace the pacifier. There are many ways to soothe your child, such as blankets or teddy bears. Introduce a different object that’s a little more grown up than a pacifier, and it might just catch on with them.

Regardless of what you choose to do, keep in mind that this is a big transition for your child and it will take some time for them to get used to it.

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