A pacifier once played an important role in calming your newborn. The use of a pacifier is entirely appropriate for getting your little one to soothe however, as your child ages, the attachment to their pacifier can be strong making it difficult to give up! The Canadian Pediatric Society suggests that parents plan to give up their child’s soother before the age of 4 to prevent future dental issues. The American Paediatric society recommends you help your child give up their soother by 6 months, but for sure by 10 months of age. However, sometimes these recommendations are easier said than done! If you find yourself struggling to get your toddler to give up the soother, these tips may help.
Start by limiting your child’s use of their soother
Implement soother time only for bedtime and comfort.
Get your child involved in the process!
Ask them to throw their soother away, leave it under their pillow for the “soother fairy”, give up their soother for another baby in need etc.
Keep track of your child’s progress
Try implementing a chart with stickers for each day they don’t use their soother. Get them involved with the process by helping to make the chart, pick out the stickers and placing the sticker each day. Celebrate your child’s growth with them and discuss how proud you are!
Set clear boundaries once your child gives up their pacifier
Don’t give in if they ask for it as this can be confusing for your child. Explain that since they are a big kid now, the soother is all gone.
Lastly, if your child is under 4, don’t lose sleep about getting rid of it! It will happen and you will know what time timing is right for your child. The older they get, the more they understand the reasons for giving up their soother and they will begin to seek other forms of healthy coping with your guidance. Many parents find it easier to start with keeping their toddler’s soother confined to the bedroom for sleep time only. This will naturally encourage them to find other ways to cope during the daytime.
We’re here for you mama! If you need any support or advice reach out to a Mama Coach in your area. We’d love to help.