Categorized | Parenting, Parenting Tips

Tips For Weaning Your Toddler From The Pacifier

It can be very hard to get rid of the pacifier especially if your toddler loves it too much. However, breaking this habit as early as possible is necessary. Check out these brilliant tips for weaning a toddler from the pacifier.

Gradually Reduce Use

Limit your toddler’s use of the pacifier. Allow your toddler to use the pacifier during specific times only like during nap and bedtime and take it out after he has fallen asleep. Make your toddler ask for it. Keep the pacifier in your kitchen cabinet and only bring it when he asks for it. Give your little one 15 to 30 minutes with it and then tell him it is time to stop. Starting slow may take a few months to break this habit and may cause him to have a meltdown at first so be patient.

Snip It

Another effective way for weaning toddler from the pacifier is by cutting the tip off. Carefully snip a pin-size hole in the pacifier to let all the air out making it harder for your toddler to suck. Your toddler will find sucking so unsatisfactory that he will speedily lose interest in the pacifier. Of course, you have to make sure your toddler does not see you snipping the tip of his pacifiers as that would confuse him.

Offer A Healthy Substitute

Trade your toddler’s pacifier for other comforting items that can give your precious child a feeling of security. This can be a stuffed toy, pillow, the blanket his grandma gave him for Christmas, a new bed sheet or placing a framed family photo on his bedside table. Explain to your toddler what you are doing. The first couple of nights without the binky will be hard for your toddler, but he will eventually realize that his “lovie” keeps him happy and safe than the pacifier.

Keep Your Toddler Busy

Diverting a child’s attention is one successful way of weaning a toddler from the pacifier. Oftentimes, toddlers feel the need to suck their pacifiers because they are bored. Play with your toddler more frequently. Read him a book. Take him with you to the grocery or when running errands. Visit the zoo, museum or park. Organize a play date with your neighbours so he can interact with other children.

Create A Reward System

Another way to wean a toddler from the pacifier is to use the reward system. Create a chart and each time your little one willingly gives up his pacifier, he gains a sticker or a check mark. Once the chart is filled, he gets a special prize such as a new toy, a special outing (e.g. beach trip), ice cream for dessert or maybe lunch at your toddler’s favorite restaurant. Continue using these charts until your toddler is totally off the pacifier.

Get Help From The Pacifier Fairy

Another popular technique for weaning toddlers from the pacifier is by having a pretend character reward the toddler for giving away his pacifier. Ask your toddler to gather his pacifiers and place them in a bag and leave them for the “pacifier fairy”. Then when your toddler is asleep, leave a special present near his bed so he can see it when he wakes up in the morning.

Go Cold Turkey

When these methods fail, the best thing you can do is to just take the pacifier away. Just say his pacifier is lost and help him look for it, but do not find it. Your toddler may cry for a few days or even plead for a new pacifier which can be heart-breaking, but you have to be firm. In a week or two, he will forget about it.

Weaning your toddler from the pacifier will not be easy for your little one. Thus, it is very essential that you give your toddler more love and attention to help him cope with the process more easily.

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