Sooner or later the time for pacifier weaning will come. That’s definitely not easy. You can’t expect your toddler to agree to give up something that has been a part of her life since she can remember herself. Yet there is no choice. Despite its advantages, after the age of 3, the pacifier has one obvious drawback: prolonged use can damage the teeth and gums.
You will be happy to know that there are ways to make the unavoidable process of pacifier weaning much smoother for your toddler.
Getting rid of pacifier step by step
Start with letting your toddler use her binky for limited time only, for example only at home and at a later stage only at night (after she falls asleep, take it away). You ought to be strong and determined even if she resents with crying. Make sure you comfort her with a hug and a good word and not by giving back the pacifier.
Prepare your child mentally
Talk to your toddler about the change she is about to go through. Explain when the pacifier is going to be permitted and when it’s not. Tell her how grown up she has become and so it’s time to leave to binky aside.
Motivate your child
Make your toddler feel that she is a part of the weaning process in order to increase her motivation.
Give her a positive feedback every time she managed to be without her binky for a couple of hours. You can mark her success on a special pacifier weaning calendar. Give her a little candy to point out her accomplishments.
Some tricks you can use to convince your toddler to say good bye to her binky
1)The Pacifier’s new home – Set the bed as the pacifier’s new home. From now on, it can be used only in bed. If your child needs it during the day, allow her to go to bed for a couple of minutes but no more than that. Slowly, she will become accustomed to less and less binky time.
2) Passit on to the next generation – Tell your child that it’s time to give the pacifier to a younger brother or cousin. This will give her the feeling that she is big and strong enough to help other smaller and weaker children. Besides, it will be easier for her to give her precious binky to someone she knows and loves who will definitely ‘take good care of it’.
3) The pacifier fairy – This is a traditional pacifier weaning trick our parents and their parents used.
As with the tooth fairy, explain to your child that while she is asleep, a fairy (much like the tooth fairy) will pick up her binky and give it to someone who really needs it. Of course, the fairy will ‘make sure’ a small gift will be waiting for her under the pillow when she wakes up in the morning.
4) Sending a package –Put the pacifier in a package and send it to another child in a distant country. Make it as authentic as you can. Write an address, add a stamp, and even visit the local post office. The next day, your child should ‘receive’ a letter of thanks from the child who got the package.
5) The binky market – Tell your child that in a certain shop, children give away their pacifiers and in return get a big present. Arrange it with the seller in the local toy store.It will be much easier for your child to give up her pacifier when she gets something in return.
6) The magic tree – Plant the pacifier in the ground or in a tree pot and tell your child that one day it will become a whole tree. Without your toddler noticing, plant also some real seeds and wait for them to sprout. Show your child what has become of her binky.
These tricks will make the process of pacifier weaning a little easier. But as effective as they may be, you must be patient. Your toddler is facing quite a difficult challenge.