Every parent knows how hard it is to break the pacifier habit! Its easy to give your child one but once its time to give the habit its difficult!
Our daughter Amiyah didn’t even use a pacifier till she was 3 months old! It almost seemed like it was a mistake giving her one because at this point she didn’t even know what a pacifier was! The reason for giving her a pacifier that late in the game was only because we noticed her gums started bothering her, due to teething. We started noticing over the months that she felt the need to have a pacifier to calm her down and/or fall asleep. It would be a panic for her, and us as parents, if we left the house without one. Being a traveling mom, we had no time to lose a pacifier, especially in places where we didn’t have access to getting a pacifier for her if we lost it! This is when we knew we had to get her off this bad habit of feeling the need to have one.
Someone once told me it takes 30 days to break a habit, so if 30 days of hell is what it took to get her off these bad habits, we we’re willing to try it out! Knowing these next 30 days would be tough, because not only does our daughter go through withdrawal, but we have to deal with the fuss and fights that come along with it.
We didn’t want to go cold turkey on her so for the first week or so before we stopped giving her the pacifier we only gave it to her at night, to go to sleep! Along with only giving her pacifier to her at night we tried the following...
1) Prepare your child
• Watch favorite TV shows and read books that influence your child to give up her pacifier. Amiyah would watch Sesame Street episodes that showed Elmo giving up his binky! We would clap and get her excited when Elmo gave up his binky. Same as for Amiyah, when she gave up her binky we would clap and she would love giving up her pacifier because she knew we would clap.
• Replace bottles to the appropriate age of your child. Once Amiyah hit one year old we started giving her bottles for 12 months and up. We brought a bunch of different kinds of cups to find out which one she was most comfortable with. One sippy cup that is the BEST invention in the world is the 360 sippy cup. It allows your child to drink from all the sides with no spills!
(Link for 360 cups by Munchkin)
Who can refuse a snack?! Surely not a toddler! A snack is a MAJOR KEY for any and everything!!
• Celery was literally her new pacifier that was healthy for her and her teeth. Anytime we went out for dinner, it was the first thing we ordered before drinks. It kept her busy while waiting for the food to come!
TIP: Keep a close eye on your little one while munching on celery. You don’t want the celery to get too short, where your little one could choke on it! • Gebers lil Beanies (cheese doodles) and Cheerios(money saver!)was the perfect distraction for Amiyah. We would hand her over one when she was fussing and she just munched her pain away.
• Yogurt is cold and soothing for a child's gums. Yogurt works for kids who would rather not chew on teething toys.
• Fresh frozen popsicles is a favorite my daughter loves and they soothe her gums. What I love about these fresh frozen popsicles is that you can fill them up with fresh fruit or juice. Most of the time we fill the frozen popsicles with pedialyte juices to keep her hydratedand it had less sugar than most juices.
(Link for fresh frozen popsicles by Nuby)
My daughter loves when I hold her. When we stopped giving her a pacifier at bedtime and she was having a hard time going to bed, I would hold her till she fell asleep. I would only do this when she had a tough time falling asleep because I didn’t want her to develop a new habit that allowed her to think she can only sleep if I put her to bed.
4) Soothing Toys
•Soothing toys helped Amiyah overcome the need of having a pacifier. Just like bottles, every baby is picky with what kind of toy they prefer.
• A toothbrush
•Ice gel toys
• Stuffed animal teething toys
5) Trade it in
• If your child is old enough to understand a trade, then try a trade for trade.
• Make a deal with your toddler to get a favorite toy if they give up their pacifier for a certain amount of time.
• Make a trade that would be of great interest for your child
6) Act oblivious
As bad as it sounds, sometimes you just have to ignore your child's cry. You have to act like you don’t know what your child wants. Besides if you continue to give in, then you may never be able to break any bad habits. As Amiyah’s doctor says, “crying is only going to give that baby great lungs!”
7) Children's Tylenol
When nothing helps and your see you baby in pain, its the most heartbreaking thing a mother has to watch when you can’t do a thing about it! We always keep the Tylenol limited until she really needs it. Make this your last resort. You don’t always want to count on medicine just to make your child feel better.
8) Find a distraction
Keep your child busy using their hands. We encourage Amiyah to color whenever she needs to keep busy. We engage in coloring with her so she stays more interested. Keeping your child distracted will give them less time to focus things like pain from teething.
After these last 30 days, I do believe in the saying it takes 30 days to break a habit! Day after day and week after week breaking this habit almost seemed like a breeze. Amiyah forgot about even needing a pacifier. She is now a little over 18 months, still growing but coping with teething pain with these few tricks above.
Giving up a childs pacifier isn’t easy! It takes time and patience. Parents go through it just as much as their child is going through with it! Be determined and confident! It gets easier every day! What are some methods that helped your child give up her pacifier?