This could be a tricky one for many parents. Just like anything else that goes along with parenthood, it requires patience and effort. Children usually let go of something or reach a new milestone when they are ready. But in some cases, you have to give them a little nudge.
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9 Tips To Wean Baby Off Pacifier.
Choose The Right Moment
Try not to do this during a stressful time, for instance when you are moving into a new home, or he is starting day care for the first time. Children use pacifiers as a soothing aid, and it is not ideal to take it away when they are dealing with challenging situations.
Start Limiting Its Use
It helps to start restricting use during daytime at first. Give it to him only when it is naptime or bedtime. Then you can move towards only using it during night-time only. To take it away completely it helps to create a new bedtime routine. Try giving him a bath, followed by reading a story, and singing him to sleep.
Replace It With Another Transitional Item
These are usually known as security items like a blankie or stuffed animal. It must be something that helps your little one self-soothe during the night.
Avoid Using A Pacifier As The First Line Of Defense
There might be various reasons why your baby is crying. It is best to avoid caving in and giving him a pacifier to help calm him down. First check for any hunger cues or if he needs a nappy change. Soothe him by holding him, reading to him, rocking him, or playing soft music. Use things like activities or toys as a distraction.
Give Praise When He Opts For Not Using His Pacifier
Make sure how proud you are of him if he chooses not to use his dummy. You can also offer fun rewards like stamps, his favorite snack, or stickers.
Try to keep the exercise positive by not using any negative reinforcement when he resorts back to his pacifier. This will only instil feelings of distrust, fear, or stress which often results in regression.
Make The Pacifier Off Putting
Some parents dip the dummy in lemon juice or vinegar to make it taste bad. They often spit it out and do not want to use it again.
Steer Clear From Certain Methods
Avoid piercing or cutting off the tip of the dummy because it could become a choking hazard. Rather tell him that his dummy broke and let him throw it away.
Make It A Special Farewell Ceremony
When he is finally ready to let go of the pacifier for good, make a big deal out of it by celebrating the occasion. This is especially effective for older children. Take him shopping and reward him with a new toy. Then let him “pay” for the toy with his dummy.
Babies and toddlers do not respond well to change and its always best to be patient and introduce them to something new or take away something that soothes them gradually or at a time when they feel ready. Be sure to implement these nine tips to wean baby off pacifier.