When faced with a wailing infant, many moms turn to pacifiers as a soothing tool, and for most of us it works pretty well. Pacifiers can help your baby get off to sleep quicker, and soothe them in stressful situations. There is always a moment, however, where a mom realises that her little baby is now a big toddler, and that the pacifier may be doing more harm than good.
Experts recommend trying to gently remove the pacifier at around 18 months, as this is when it can start to cause problems like ear infections, along with speech and language issues. As any mom knows, this is easier said than done.
Here are a few tips for breaking the pacifier habit without too much trouble.
Just Do It
For some parents, a quick removal might be the most effective solution. If the pacifiers all magically disappear overnight, your child will probably freak out for a day or two and then forget about it altogether. This might be easier than a long, drawn out drama.
Create A Story
This is what worked for my little one- make up an elaborate story to tempt your child to hand over the pacifier. I told my toddler that the pacifier fairy needed to collect all of the pacifiers in the neighborhood from the big kids, so that the new little babies could use them. This story seemed to charm her enough to part with her precious paci more willingly.
This trick works best if you set a certain date for it and prepare your child in advance- we told our daughter that the pacifier fairy would come on her second birthday, so she had a positive association with what could have been a seemingly traumatic event.
If your toddler has no interest in the pacifier fairy, limiting the times and places that you hand the pacifier over might be helpful. Allow your toddler to suck in the evenings or in her crib, but take it away in the daytime. This should wean them off of it slowly, until you can take it away altogether.