When and How to Wean the Baby Off the Pacifier?
Each baby comes to a certain period of growing up when some things, which were comfortable and necessary during the first year of life, prevent them from the next steps of development. One thing is the baby’s pacifier, but when to wean a baby off the pacifier?
Many parents have a problem getting rid of the pacifier.
How to wean the baby away from the pacifier?
Many children give up a pacifier by the age of 3. But you should start doing it when the baby is 3-12 months.
Choose the most appropriate period when to wean baby off pacifier (when the baby is not stressed, they are not teething, and so on).
If the baby doesn’t give up a pacifier by a year, try to wean them away from it at the age of 1.5 - 2 years.
The things you shouldn’t do when weaning the baby off the pacifier.
Parents should understand that pacifier plays an important psychological role in the baby’s life. During the early period of growing up, they satisfy their sucking reflex with the pacifier and don't demand a lot of tactile contact with their mom.
Parents should avoid these things in the time of pacifier weaning:
- covering the pacifier with pepper or mustard. It’s very harmful and can cause mucous membrane irritation.
- stopping the pacifier too fast, which causes negative emotions. Screaming and threatening can scare the baby, and they want to take the pacifier even more.
- showing the baby that it’s bad, or telling them that the baby is too grown-up to walk with the pacifier in their mouth. It can cause a certain complex or the feeling of guilt for doing what the baby likes to do.
- you should remember that the pacifier for the baby is not a protest or a reason to annoy parents. It’s a thing that the baby enjoys. Parents are the same. They have a lot of bad habits which make them satisfied, too.
The first steps for pacifier weaning
Before you decide to wean the baby off the pacifier, observe their habits.
In order to choose a correct strategy, check when the baby demands the pacifier, when they can do without it, how and when the baby wants the pacifier, and so on.
The most important thing about how to wean a baby off a pacifier is to understand the reason why the baby wants the pacifier.
Have a look at the following points:
Parents explain that the baby cannot fall asleep without the pacifier. A tired child can always fall asleep on their own.
Always! Check if the baby can fall asleep under different circumstances: in a car, in a baby carriage during a walk, in the process of doing something.
It’s important because every child forgets that they need the pacifier in various situations. You should also “forget” about it more often, especially if you see that the baby can sleep without it.
Does the baby need the pacifier while playing? Most likely not, if they are involved in some activities with other children or with you. You should catch the moment and take it away.
How the baby demands the pacifier. When the baby really needs the pacifier. What provokes them to put it in their mouth. If at least a couple of these reasons can be dismissed, then it’s right to wean the baby off the pacifier totally.
Some useful tips for weaning the baby off the pacifier
Analyze your baby’s behavior, and you’ll understand why they want the pacifier. It’ll simplify the process of raising your child a lot.
Here are some useful pieces of advice for getting rid of pacifier:
- try not to give the pacifier to the baby if it’s not really necessary. You can distract the baby with some other activities. And if they don’t care much about the pacifier, just put it away.
- involve the baby in something really interesting. The more often you distract the baby, the sooner they will give up the pacifier.
- try some alternative ways to get the baby to bed. Imagine the situation that you are in another city today, but you forgot the pacifier at home. What actions will you take?
- by the way, one of the best ways to wean the baby off the pacifier is to go somewhere else or to have a trip. Under new circumstances, the baby totally forgets about it.
- there is one good piece of advice for those parents who are just planning to start this process - don't rush and don’t worry. Not a single child went to school with the pacifier.
This process takes a lot of time, sometimes, much less, but the main thing is that the result is always the same. So, just be patient, and everything will work out!
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