Last week one of my videos on weaning off the pacifier was featured by our friends at Plum Organics, and the Plum community on Facebook really rose to the challenge! So many fab Plum moms headed over to CloudMom to weigh in on the topic of weaning off pacifier use for a toddler. You all had fantastic advice on toddlers and pacifiers that I wanted to share here so it can help more moms dealing with this issue.
How to Wean Off Pacifier: Top 10 Tips from Moms
1. Cut the Tip Off the Nipple: So, so many moms posted about this technique, which I’d never heard of. If you cut off the tip of the paci nipple or poke a small hole in it, your child doesn’t get the same sucking sensation and might just abandon it. “We did this with my daughter over a weekend,” wrote mom Anne. “At first she would take it out, look at it funny, try again and then set it down. By the third night she wasn’t even taking one to bed. No fighting, no crying, no mean mommy. It was fantastic!”
2. Give the Binky Away. Mom Sarah wrote, “We told our oldest that Grandma was having trouble sleeping and that she needed his [pacifier]. …We made a big deal of drawing a picture for Grandma, putting [it] in the envelope and “sending” it to Grandma.”
3. Big Boy/Big Girl Talk. “My son is two and we have been trying to get him off his pacifier. What has been working the best is telling him he’s a big boy now and doesn’t need it any more, when he asks for it and then distracting him with something else,” wrote Tam.
4. The Binky Fairy: “Tell them you are going to leave them at night for the paci fairy to take to all the little babies who need them,” wrote LeeAnna. “Before they wake up, replace it with a toy of some kind and say look what the fairy left you!” Moms also said they found success by telling their toddlers that Santa or the Tooth Fairy were going to take the pacis to little babies. Maybe some of you can use this idea with the Easter Bunny!
5. An Imaginary Creature Took the Binky. “My son’s hand puppet ‘ate’ the pacifiers,” mom Amy shared, “I would just remind him the puppet ate them if he asked for them and he seemed satisfied with that answer.” Another mom told her son “that his stuffed animals were having a hard time sleeping and needed a paci. …This totally worked for potty training too… He was too big for diapers and wanted to put the diapers on the stuffed animals too! It just gave him a visual explanation for why he didn’t need them anymore!”
6. Use the Binky to Buy Something New. One mom took her child to the store to buy something special, in exchange for her paci. “She put the pacifier on the counter and the cashiers were really great with her,” wrote Mary. “Gave her stickers and cheers! The whole store was looking. She never looked back. I think the trick is to find out what will work with your child and not stress over it.”
7. Go Cold Turkey. Carrie on Facebook said, “I pulled my twin boys binkies cold turkey at 2 years, 2 months. The dentist said it had to happen soon! It was two tough weeks of sleeping and naps, but am so happy they are gone!”
8. Take Advantage of a Cold. A few moms said they took advantage of an opportunity presented when their little ones were sick. “I just threw our son’s pacifiers away when he was 17 months. He was sick and couldn’t breathe out of his nose so using a pacifier wasn’t working for him because he had to use his mouth to breathe,” wrote Samantha on Facebook.
9. Bye Bye Binky Balloon. “We made a big deal about going out in the back yard and tying the paci to a balloon and watching it fly off to “a little girl who needed it,” wrote mom Sarah. “Then, had [my daughter] go to the front porch where “the little girl” had left her a baby doll (also tied to a balloon) as a thank you for sending the paci. It made such an impression that she still talks about it a year later and she never asked for that pacifier again!”
10. Consider Yourself Lucky. Okay, this one isn’t a tip, but many moms of thumb-suckers said they wished they could take their kids’ thumbs away! I completely relate to this because my kids are all thumb and finger suckers and it’s been a tough habit to break and very bad for their teeth. Maybe that will be the subject of another video!
The paci can be a really tough habit to break. For those of you trying to wean from the paci, hope these ideas are helpful! And we want to know, what was the toughest thing to wean YOUR baby from? The paci? The breast or bottle? The swaddle?
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