A newborn pacifier is often a “lifesaver” for parents – it helps the child to calm down, get distracted or fall asleep faster. However, it’s not recommended that children over one year of age keep on sucking a pacifier, since it may interfere with their development.
So how can you help your little one to stop using her beloved pacifier without any stress?
When and how?
– As a rule, a kid aged 9-12 months is actively learning new foods, to chew pieces. Let your little one suck a bagel or eat a fruit.
The second year of life
– Try to let your child nap without a pacifier. Do not hurry up to remove it from your kid’s everyday life, especially her nighttime sleep. Once your baby fell asleep with a pacifier in her mouth, you should immediately take it away. A few days later, try to do without the pacifier at all. Of course, the baby will show her dissatisfaction, but try to direct her attention to another thing, a favorite toy, for example. A few days later she won’t remember the pacifier.
– The older the kid, the more quick-witted and capricious he is. Therefore, you’ll have more difficulties weaning your little one from a pacifier when he is over one year of age. Otherwise, you’ll have to delay weaning until better times, when you can reach an agreement with the child – 1.5-2 years of age.
– Don’t offer your child the pacifier at all if he does not pull fingers and all the items that come to hand into his mouth, if he does not insist too much to get the pacifier.
– If possible, don’t bottle feed your baby. Try to use a spoon, let him drink from a feeder cup or a mug.
– Try to tell stories and sing songs before bedtime. If your baby likes these and he gradually falls asleep, it’s time to completely quit using the pacifier.
– If the child already understands the parents’ words, try to explain that sucking the pacifier outside is unhygienic, and adult children never go with a pacifier in their mouth.
What you shouldn’t do
– To smear the pacifier with bitter compounds – mustard, for example. This can trigger irritation or allergy.
– To put your child to shame, to yell and reproach him that he can’t do without the pacifier.
– To cut the pacifier, so that the child can’t suck it. This can hardly teach your little one, but he will find it easier to chew it. Besides, the kid can choke on a piece of rubber or silicone.
– To wean the child from the pacifier when he is ill, feels not good, is stressed.
Determining the right moment
Closely watch your little one’s mood and development. Only this way you can determine the moment when weaning from the pacifier will be the least painful.