Top 6 tips for weaning your child off the pacifier

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Top 6 tips for weaning your child off the pacifier

The pacifier is one of the best things that happened for nursing moms. It helps keep your child busy suckling as you go about with other chores in the house, or even in the office. Although a handy tool, it too has an expiry date. How do you get rid of the little thing without irritating the young one? Here are a few tips and tricks on how to do it.  The top 6 tips for weaning your child off the pacifier.

1. It All Comes Down to Timing

Pacifiers are known to help prevent the risk of SIPS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), one of the reasons it would be advisable to let your baby use one at least until he/she is 6 months old.  Habit change hypnotherapist Christopher Michaels say’s “You might want to wait a bit longer if planning to move within the next few weeks, or planning to introduce him/her to a new daycare.

2. Do it by the age of two

It is less likely for your child to suffer long-term damage to her teeth from using a pacifier before the age of two. Any problems that might have risen by then will self-correct in less than 6 months. The same cannot, however, be said if your child continues to use the pacifier after that. That said, you need to get rid of the pacifier entirely as soon as he/she is two to prevent long-term dental issues, especially with permanent teeth. 

3. Experts discourage pacifier use after 12 months

Although the pacifier may help keep your child calm, it may interfere with his/her language development skills if used past 12 months.  This is because the pacifier limits the child’s ability to practice words and sounds. The continued process of suckling may interfere with the child’s lip and tongue muscle development too. This could result in the development of a lisp.

4. Make it unavailable to him/her

Security alarms system expert Mushir who has tried this with his child say’s, “Most kids will develop a bond with their pacifier, which can make it a bit harder to let go. Nonetheless, you could go cold turkey on it to force the kid to forget it altogether.” He/she might throw some tantrums in the process, though these will fade off with time. 

5. Let everyone know about your decision

Everyone involved in caring for the child, including family members and the caregiver, needs to know of your decision to wean the child off the pacifier. Standing your ground about it and only using it during nap time, if need be, will help a lot. The grandparents too should be involved in this, just in case. 

6. Provide alternative comforts

With the pacifier gone, the kid will demand some attention to be able to drift off to sleep or keep calm. Providing alternative means of comfort, such as singing lullabies, rocking the baby gently, or even massaging him/her might work. Hypnosis for anxiety expert Bob Lane tells us that “A soft mattress or even replacing the pacifier with a stuffed animal might be a welcome comfort too. Be sure to give him/her some attention during this time. Some children will want their parents, especially the mom to comfort them especially after the pacifier is gone.

Sarah Miller

Sarah writes about her personal journey, learning, life optimisation and her passions. For more thoughts and ideas, you can connect with Sarah on Twitter

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