The pacifier could be a great factor: It may soothe a fussy child, assist them go to sleep, or provide a short lived distraction. Plus, as soon as breastfeeding is established, the American Academy of Pediatrics says providing one at nap occasions and bedtime may help scale back the danger of sudden toddler loss of life syndrome (SIDS). However sooner or later, between ages two and 4, they might want some assist kicking the behavior.
In the event you’re in search of the best time to wean a toddler from a pacifier, it’s most likely sooner than you assume—Dr. Harvey Karp, of The Happiest Baby on the Block, says six or seven months previous is the candy spot for a lot of infants (by 9 months previous, the emotional attachment to it begins). Even if you happen to allow them to hold onto their pacifiers previous infancy, many toddlers will cease utilizing them on their very own. But when they’re nonetheless sucking away by about age three, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says it’s time to wean them off it, earlier than extended use results in orthodontic issues.
There are just a few completely different strategies you may strive—some are fasts, some are gradual, and a few contain magical beings. Let’s focus on.
The three-day technique
That is most likely the quickest strategy to go, and all it actually requires is just a few conversations together with your toddler and a steely resolve. In the event you’re going to go this route, that you must be dedicated. As Marguerite Lamb writes for Parents.com:
Within the morning and at bedtime, inform your youngster which you can see she needs to do a number of issues that make her older. Inform her that’s a good suggestion, and that in three days it is going to be time for her to say goodbye to her pacifiers. Inform her you already know she will do it and that you simply’ll work collectively on it. Hold the speak to 30 seconds and don’t sound as if you happen to’re asking permission. In case your youngster responds, mirror again her emotions—”I do know you don’t need to”—then transfer on. Don’t fear that your youngster will change into anxious if given advance warning. “That’s a fable,” says [Mark] Brenner, [author of Pacifiers, Blankets, Bottles & Thumbs: What Every Parent Should Know About Stopping and Starting]. “Like adults, youngsters like to organize themselves bodily, psychologically, and emotionally for change.”
On day two, you’ve gotten the identical two matter-of-fact chats about how tomorrow is the day. After which on day three, you enlist their assist gathering up all their pacifiers, place them in a plastic bag, and take them exterior to be “recycled” into different toys for teenagers. (Don’t merely throw them within the trash; it’ll take among the sting out in the event that they assume their beloved binkies are going to do extra good on the earth.)
After which put together your self for the very actual risk of a meltdown. You can, after all, be empathetic about how they really feel, however that you must keep agency, as nicely. Brenner says most toddlers will recover from the lack of their pacifiers in about two days.
The extra gradual method
To wean a toddler from a pacifier extra regularly, begin to set some limits within the period of time they’re allowed to have it and below what circumstances. You would possibly begin by eliminating the use throughout occasions after they want it much less, reminiscent of instantly after nap occasions, after they’re within the automotive, or after they’re taking part in with toys in the lounge. Finally, get to the purpose the place they’re solely allowed to have it for nap occasions and at bedtime, and finally get rid of that, too.
You may also determine that because the pacifiers get misplaced or broken, you merely gained’t change them. You’ll finally go from having one in each room to only a couple, and clarify that when the final one is lacking or damaged, that’s the tip of utilizing a pacifier.
Some consultants additionally counsel poking a gap into the pacifier or slicing off its tip in order that it loses its suction (and, subsequently, its enchantment). In the event you reduce the tip off, although, proceed with warning as that would make it simpler for a small piece to return free and change into a choking hazard; solely allow them to use it after they’re being supervised.
The magical method
We have now fairies who come to take our kids’s tooth away; why can’t now we have fairies who take their pacifiers, too? The magical binky fairy is standard amongst dad and mom of pacifier-loving toddlers, and for good purpose. The binky fairy comes on a special occasion, which might be their birthday or one other milestone day. The fairy takes their previous binkies to ship to little infants who want them (solely use this half if you happen to assume it gained’t create jealousy) and leaves a brand new “large child toy” as a substitute.
You may change up the main points in regards to the magical creature that comes for the binkies and even let the toddler select after they’re prepared for the go to.
Right here’s how a mum or dad named Emily in our Offspring Facebook group efficiently dealt with it: “We spent a number of months speaking in regards to the ‘binky birdies’ who would depart a gift if we gave them binkies once we had been prepared to present them up (for an almost-three-year-old). One Friday, he was prepared and he gave up the inexperienced one, then the blue one the following day, and we’ve been having fun with the Duplo ever since!”
Whichever method you are taking, contemplate the timing, as nicely. You gained’t need to wean them from their pacifier in the event that they’re going by means of another form of nerve-racking transition, reminiscent of beginning a brand new daycare, welcoming a child sibling, or transferring to a brand new house. Select a time after they gained’t have to depend upon the pacifier as a lot for soothing.