Tips and Tricks for Pacifier Weaning

Bundoo Pediatrician
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Tips and Tricks for Pacifier Weaning

Having trouble getting your little one to drop the pacifier habit? Join Dr. Kristie Rivers, Bundoo Pediatrician to discuss tips and tricks!

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  1. Maybe our experience is a rare one, but I had a talk with my 2.5 yr old about how her teeth will grow funny if she kept the pacifier, so we should just throw them away so we can have nice teeth. We collected them all and threw them in the garbage and that was it. We were super surprised it worked because she was obsessed with them, had one in the mouth and one in the hand as a standby while she was sleeping. Luckily, the second child never used a pacifier…

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    1. Every child is different when it comes to giving up the pacifier. Some children can be convinced with reason, while others may need to be encouraged with a reward. I think it has everything to do with your child’s temperament as well as how old your child is when you decide it is time for the paci to go. Glad it was so easy for your family!

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  2. BOTH of my kids had/have a weird obsession with the paci. My oldest had to have one in his hand and one in his mouth to sleep. We finally weaned him to just having it at nap time then nothing. We tried quitting cold turkey and lasted maybe 3 sleepless nights. We gave in. My daughter is 15m and requires one in EACH hand plus one in her mouth! Should I start the process of weaning now? She doesn’t have a blankie or a lovey, so the pacis are kind of her little security blanket. They help her fall asleep.

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    1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a pacifier be used in the first year of life, but there is no benefit after that time. In fact, they recommend to begin weaning during the second half of the first year. I think now would be a good time to begin the weaning process with your daughter. Perhaps you could offer a pacifier only at nap and bedtime, since going cold turkey didn’t work so well last time for your son! Then you could replace the paci during the day with a blanket or stuffed animal to still make her feel secure.

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  3. Do you have any suggestions on how to wean? I’ve read some tricks about cutting the tip off a little at a time, but I just don’t think that would work for my child – an incomplete binky is as good as no binky! Any other methods recommended?

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    1. There are 2 basic approaches to pacifier weaning – cold turkey or a gradual wean. The key to both is consistency! If you decide to go cold turkey, make sure every single pacifier is gathered in your house – the last thing you want to happen is for your little one to find a straggler under the couch and you have to start the whole process all over again! Also you will need to make sure everyone is on board – both parents, grandparents, babysitters, daycare, etc. It just takes one person to give in and put you back to square one! If you decide to wean gradually, the first step is to limit the pacifier use to just nap time and bed time, when your child needs to self soothe. You can try to introduce a new way to self soothe, such as a blanket or stuffed animal and offer that to your child at all other times. Eventually you will need to take the paci away at nap time and then bed time, offering the new lovie instead to use as comfort. While it may seem like forever, most children get used to it after a few torturous days. Be sure you choose your timing well too – don’t start a wean or cold turkey the day before an upcoming trip or when you have visitors in the house!

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