If your little toddler has grown too possessive of his pacifier at a time when you should be weaning him off it, don’t worry, there are ways of doing it. You’re right, it is a big challenge, but you have to think up some novel ways of getting him to let go of it so that the pain of not having it around isn’t too much. Besides, if he continues to have the habit even after he’s three years old, he could develop dental problems. So, do all you can for a smooth and pain-free transition. Here are some methods that actually work:
11 Tips To Get Rid Off Pacifiers
1. Exchange it for a toy he likes: Take him to a store where they exchange pacifiers for a toy. Ask him to pick the toy he badly wants and then slowly gather up all his pacifiers and slip it across the counter to the sales person. There, pacifiers all gone!!
2. Cut off the tip of the pacifier: If you cut off the tip of the pacifier, your kid won’t be able to suck on it. This will make him lose interest in it. Tell him that it’s broken and needs to be thrown away. If this doesn’t work, cut off a little more until there’s absolutely nothing for the little one to suck on. Then, he’ll throw it away himself.
3. Pass it on to another baby in the family: Perhaps, there’s another little one in the family who can benefit from this pacifier. Pass it on to him, saying, “My little fellow’s grown too big for this.”
4. Exchange it for something that spells security for him: In order that your toddler forgets the closeness he enjoyed with his pacifier, replace it with something that he can now get attached to for the security it gives him, like a new soft blanket or a cuddly toy. Initially, he might cry at not having his familiar pacifier, but the warmth and security he will get from his new gift will soon make him forget the pacifier.
5. Dig the ground and put it in there: Do just this and explain to him that if he does this, beautiful flowers will grow at that same spot. Of course, you can add in his favourite flower seeds like roses or daisies or marigold.
6. Taper off its use: It works well to taper the use of the pacifier instead of rudely pulling it away from him. The latter, as expected, will lead to loud bawling and a lot of pain for him, so be gentle on the little one. At first, you could let him use it only when sleeping inside your home, then only at night, then only until he catches some sleep and lastly, only when he asks for it. Of course, it’s difficult for parents to deny their babies just what they want, but in these matters, you have to be sure you stick to the rules you make.
7. Confess you lost the pacifier: You might genuinely lose the pacifier or you could use it as a ruse to wean your little fellow off it. Both strategies work beautifully. Assure him that you’ll search the whole house for it and find it for him. Let him see you search for it for the first few days, then again confess to him that you just can’t find it. Tell him it’s lost. Usually, kids are by then used to not having it around and will forget it entirely.
8. Remove it from his vision: Make a list of all the times during the day when he can do without it and at those times, remove it from his sight. If at all he asks for it, tell him you’ll give it to him a little later. Reassure him that he’s doing fine without it and try to get him excited about something else.
9. Turn his attention to a new toy or a snack: Don’t let him keep thinking about his pacifier. You can do this by keeping him busy with a new toy or a snack.
10. Plan a last day for the pacifier: Set a last day like his birthday, Christmas or Easter that he is aware of and tell him that he won’t be using his pacifier after that date. Tell him that his pacifier will go away and he will be given a new toy or gift because now he’s a little older. He will feel the importance of being just a little older and will be able to give up using the pacifier.
11. Pace out the use of the pacifier: Increase the gaps between the last time your toddler used the pacifier and the next time you intend giving it to him. Your toddler will always need his pacifier at night and for his afternoon naps, so don’t distance him from it at these times, but if he naps at other times, don’t give to him then. By giving it to him only sometimes, he will learn to do without it.
See how easy it is to get your kid out of the pacifier habit? Try any of these methods and experience the ease with which he moves on to something else.