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Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about weening Joshua off his pacifier. He’s 20 months (2 in April). For the past couple of months, I’ve tried to only give it to him at nap and bedtime…..Unless it’s a hard day. Taking it away during the day hasn’t seemed to decrease his attachment to the paci at all.
If you’ve visited my blog before you probably know that Derek and I are expecting our little girl this coming March. So when I think about starting to get rid of Joshuas paci completley and having a newborn soon, I think CHOAS. Because this baby will live with a paci in her mouth the first few months. I can see it now. Joshua thinking to himself “Wow all of my pacifiers suddenly disappeared. Let my go steal my little sisters!!” Next thing I know, I whip my head around to see one of Paisley’s pacifiers in his mouth, and I’m back to square one.
With that being said, I’ve wanted to share some tips on when and how is the best way to ditch the pacifier completely.
Ditch the pacifier completely
- Time it right. Trying to ween or get rid of babies pacifier during a major life event is never a good idea. Examples of this are moving to a different house, introducing baby to sleeping in their own room, starting a new daycare, welcoming a new baby into the household, etc. SIDS is also an important factor to think about when you ponder the thought of getting rid of your child’s pacifier. Experts claim that after 6 months of age the risk of SIDS greatly reduces. The “suck and swallow” of the pacifier helps reduce the risk of SIDS in the first 6 months of life. It is recommended to wait at least until 6 months to ween baby off a pacifier. *Also, if you’re trying to get baby to sleep through the night check this out!*
- Some say it’s a must-do before age two. Dentists claim any damage done to a child’s teeth from a pacifier (before the age of two) will correct itself within 6 months of being “paci free”. For this reason, it’s recommended to have your baby completely off his or her pacifier by 2 years of age.
- Others say it’s best to be off a pacifier by 12 months. Frequent pacifier use past 12 months of age can cause a delay in speech development. Children are hindered from practicing different sounds and noises if they have a pacifier in their mouth. Prolonged use can also lead to the development of a lisp.
- Make sure everyone is on board. Even though baby might not onboard make sure all caregivers are aware of any changes involving a pacifier. If mom and dad make an agreement that their child can only have a paci during the night but the babysitter is unaware of the agreement that would confuse baby, due to it being inconsistent.
- Offer alternative comforts. When babies main source of comfort is taken away, be ready to swoop in and provide extra comfort. This could be rocking, bouncing, swaying baby side to side, or some extra cuddles.
- Make them unappealing. If your baby simply cannot let the pacifier go you might have to take things a step further. Turn the pacifier into something unappealing that baby would no longer want. Dipping the pacifier in lemon juice or vinegar are some ideas. Somewhere I read about cutting the tip of the silicone off which gets rid of the sucking power. It’s another idea, which I personally would not do because a light in my head goes off that says “choking hazard”.
- Cold turkey. Some parents may opt-in to this hard method. It will probably make sure a few rough days/nights, but then the attachment would be long gone.
Check out Amazon’s different books about getting rid of pacifiers!