I can happily say that we are pacifier free in our home. Just like transitioning to a big bed, I’m a little sad but so happy we are free of the pacifier drama. I will say that I am totally for pacifiers. They actually saved my life with my 2nd child. Here are some tips on getting rid of a pacifier.
I am all for whatever helps to soothe a crying baby. Both my kids took to a pacifier in the hospital and I do not regret it one bit. They slept great and even helped save me during a horrible colic stage of my youngest. My youngest was the perfect baby until day 6 came around. Day 6 brought on these night time colicky screaming screams that were pretty unbearable. I can still hear that terrible scream in my mind if I think hard enough.
Have you ever had a colicky baby? Read my tips on dealing with a fussy baby.
Take a paci away can be especially challenging for parents who have gone through challenging labor, whether this means needing treatment through the likes of Advanced Fertility, suffering previous miscarriages, or simply having a challenging pregnancy. You just feel like the luckiest person in the world to have your child, and the last thing you want to do is implement rules, yet taking away your child’s pacifier at a certain point is important.
Even though pacifiers are not the cutest to look at when I see a baby with one I don’t think badly of the parents at all. I am a huge fan of whatever works. Now if you have a 6-year-old walking around with one, that might be a problem but under the age of 3-4ish, no worries.
Both of my kids loved their ‘paci’, and it was just as hard to get rid of it with both kids. We tried numerous tricks (especially with the 2nd one) but you just have to get a plan and stick with it.
When my oldest was 2 and a half she was totally obsessed with them. I’ll never forget we’d be out driving and we’d lose one and have to go get one so she wouldn’t scream the whole way home. She had them in the car and for sleeping only. I finally had enough and got the willpower to get a plan in place and stick to it. Our plan worked and she was paci free in one day.
With my 2nd it was harder. He was such a good sleeper and only used them at night time but he was older. He still had pacis at age 3 and was creeping on 3.5 before we got rid of them. He loved his pacis too and because he was such a good sleeper it was very hard for this Mommy that loves sleep to get rid of it. After months of talking about it, we made a plan and stuck to it. It took 1-2 nights and he never looked back!
I tried several tricks along the way and wanted to share what worked for us:
This is what we did with our daughter. We talked and talked about the paci fairy. She’s like the tooth fairy who will come take the pacis one night and deliver a small toy or treat. This worked like a charm with our daughter. She cried and cried when nap time came and she didn’t have a paci but she loved her new $1 baby doll so that worked! The trick is to make sure you gather ALL the pacis up and keep them out for the fairy. We forgot one and it was almost bad!
Start Earlier Than Later:
While there is no specific age given in terms of when your child should stop using their pacifier, it is vital to make sure they don’t use it past the age of two-years-old. This is because your baby is not going to experience any long-term damage to his or her teeth. Any issues that do develop before the age of two-years-old will usually fix themselves within six months of the pacifier being given up. However, if you do not give up the pacifier until your child has turned two, then problems can start to happen after this, for example, they may experience slanting teeth. The problems only get worse if your child uses their pacifier once they have turned four-years-old, as this can cause dental issues with a long-term impact.
Just like smokers, removing a paci cold turkey might be the way for you. Just decide one day they are done and throw them away and be done. Move on, no more pacifiers.
Give to a New Baby
If you have a new baby or know someone with a new baby this could be your ticket. Gather them up and take them over to the new baby. Maybe stop and get a treat for being such a big girl/boy for doing this! We didn’t know any new babies so this never worked for us.
Start Cutting off the Tip:
This is what we ended up doing with our youngest. I took scissors and barely cut the tip and he immediately knew something was up. He said his paci “had a hole” and he slept okay with it the first night. The next night I made the hole a little bigger and he said it was broken. This was around Christmas time so we had our elf take them back to the North Pole and deliver a special toy. This worked!!
The 2nd night he didn’t want that ‘broken thing’ as he called it because he couldn’t keep it in his mouth! He slept with it on a table and said he wanted Chippy to take it. The following night the elf took it and he never looked back! It was great timing.
The longer your baby relies on a pacifier, the more difficult it is going to be for them to give it up. This is why it is a good idea to try and wean your child off it as soon as possible. Every day they use the pacifier is a day they are getting more and more attached, leaving you with a much bigger challenge on your hands.
Getting rid of pacifiers can be really challenging. It’s important to be ready and have your mindset. Make sure that you come up with a plan and stick to it!