Last week, I told you all about my daughter losing her last pacifier. Oh. Man.
She was so attached to that thing. She fussed and cried for about 20 minutes, which seemed like an entire decade. It was horrid. Once she got over it, she didn’t think about it at all for the rest of the day. Baby Girl is almost 2 years old, she talks very well for her age and is getting so active as a toddler. It was time she kicked the pacifier habit.
I ended up finding her paci that evening, and I selfishly gave it to her at bedtime. It was a school night and none of us could afford to be sleepless. Weaning her off of the pacifier was much easier than I thought. I had braced myself for countless nights of he!l raising cries and screams. I thought the toddler tantrums would double. I was wrong, and thankfully so! We decided it was time.
If you are looking to take the pacifier away from your child, try out this method. Here’s how we took the pacifier away from our toddler:
- A few days before, start to take the pacifier away during the day while your child is awake. Be sure to fill the day with exciting things that they love to take their mind off of wanting the binky.
- We chose a weekend to go full throttle. The first few days without have got to be the worst, right? Friday afternoon, when she awoke from her nap, all of the pacifiers were gone. She didn’t notice for a while.
- Explain that pacifiers are for babies. When she gets fussy, cranky, hurt, upset, or gets in the car, she asks for it. At that point, we explained to her that pacifiers are for babies and she is a big girl. She looked at me, thought about it, and was over it! Friday night at bedtime, she asked for it again. I reiterated the “big girl” scenario, and added that a baby needs the pacifier to sleep with tonight. She laid down, tossed and fussed for no more than 2 minutes, and was out like a light! When she woke up Saturday morning, here’s what she said to me: “Paci. Baby. Waaaa.” She totally listened to and understood what I told her the night before, and remembered! Her whole day was wonderful, she fussed a little before her mid-day nap, but otherwise she was a saint!
- Add a replacement of comfort your child loves. I got her a brand new, “Big Girl” blanket. It’s super soft and cozy, she loves it and can’t wait to smoosh her face in it every night. If there is a special stuffed animal or other existing item your child loves, give it to them.
- Be Patient. They will cry. They will fuss. It will take time. All children are different. If your child is hysterical, try holding them or rubbing their back to calm them down. Tell your child “it’s time to lie down” or “it’s night night time.” They should understand after a few nights. The pacifier must be completely inaccessible. Stick to your guns, parents. Don’t give in!
Saturday afternoon, Baby Girl stopped asking for her pacifier entirely. I have noticed that she is much happier and less fussy during the day, she used to ask for it every waking moment and would cry until she got it. Now that she’s not thinking about it, she’s golden. By Sunday evening, she was able to fall asleep on her own at night, no fussing, no cries! YES.
Remember, every child is different. If your kiddo is much younger, they will not understand the “big girl” scenario. I would think that for a baby, you can just take it away. If your child is older, involve them in the process. I posed this question on my Facebook page and a mom said she told her daughter that they should give their pacifiers to babies who needed them and that a paci fairy would take them away at night and leave a special surprise for the big girl!
Lindsay N, Shelbyville, Kentucky: “I told my daughters who were very attached to their paci’s that the little babies needed paci’s and if they gave theirs up that the paci fairy would bring them something special for being such big girls. So we took them outside and tied their pacifiers to a tree branch with yarn and left them there overnight and in the morning there was a gift hanging from each string for them! They were so excited and we never looked back. They were 2 at the time!”
Wishing you luck! This is so much easier than a thumb sucker (MJ). Leave me a comment and let me know how long it took your kids to wean off of the pacifier.