By Alicia Grace
Truly, there is only one real cure to help toddlers stop using the pacifier: to simply not give it to them anymore. If your child asks for the pacifier (“binky” or “teat”) again, honestly say that it is gone. However, if you prefer to gradually wean your toddler off their pacifier before it gets to late, below are some tips that will help.
- Do not wait too long
The longer you wait, the more your child gets attached to the pacifier. The sucking needs of babies will decrease considerably after six months. Therefore, try to say goodbye to the pacifier for the first birthday of your child.
- Build off gradually
Of course, your child does not have to stop at once if you find it too intense. Gradually finish the ‘weaning time’ by giving it only at certain times, for example when it is bedtime. If you notice that your child immediately puts his thumb in his mouth after stopping the pacifier, it is probably too early.
- Do not buy a new one
Is the pacifier lost or broken? Do not buy a new one anymore. Your child will automatically notice that there are fewer binkys in the house and will probably not ask for it after a while.
- 4. Make it fun
Tell them that the pacifier has to be handed in so that the ‘weaning-fairy’ can take them to new babies. After a night’s sleep, all the pacifiers are gone, but the fairy has left a present behind. If you child asks for it again after a few days, help your child remember that other babies have the pacifier now and that thanks to him the other babies can now sleep well.
- Say goodbye
Have a goodbye ceremony and bury the pacifier in the garden or tie it to a balloon as you send it off and waive good-bye as the balloon flies away.
You may need to explain to your child if he is a bit older that he will grow bigger and stronger without it.
- Find an alternative
Does your child not sleep without their “binky”? Give them a doll or teddy bear instead to hold in bed in place of the pacifier to help comfort them.
- Be steady
Even in awkward times it is important to remain consistent. If you give in, all the effort is for nothing. Just continue to be steady.