At what age should I wean my toddler off the pacifier? How to get my toddler to self-soothe without a pacifier? And do I stop the use of the pacifier cold turkey? If you are ready to help your toddler wean off the pacifier, maybe these questions or others like them have popped into your head. If so, keep watching as we will answer all your questions about successfully weaning your toddler off the pacifier quickly.
Here is what we are going to cover in this article:
- 9 Secrets To Weaning Your Toddler Off The Pacifier Quickly
- How to wean your toddler off the pacifier at night:
- At what age should you take away the pacifier?
- How To Prepare Yourself Before Weaning Your Toddler Off The Pacifier
- What if your toddler struggles during pacifier weaning?
- How long can it take for a toddler to adjust to no pacifier?
9 Secrets To Weaning Your Toddler Off The Pacifier Quickly
#1 Take the pacifier away gradually
If your toddler is attached to their pacifier and you think they may have a hard time giving it up, you may want to take it away gradually. Start by cutting back on the times when your child uses the pacifier; how to do this start by addressing it first to your child so that they’re clear on what’s expected.
#2- Tackle taking away the pacifier during the day first
Because your toddler is more likely to be busy and distracted during the day, this may be one of the easier things to do first. Toddlers use pacifiers throughout the day to help them feel calm.
So start by telling your toddler that they can only have the pacifier at certain times, like before naps and at bedtime. Ensure no pacifiers are left out and keep them in a place only you can reach.
You may even want to give your toddler a blanket or stuffed animal that can help them feel calm. Don’t forget to give a little more hugs and kisses during this time, as they will no longer be able to use their pacifier to help soothe themselves.
#3 Leave it for the pacifier fairy
If your toddler is a little older and you think they will be able to understand, then this may be the perfect solution. Explain to your toddler that the pacifier fairy is coming to visit, and she will take their pacifier away and leave them a surprise in return.
The key to making this work is to follow through with it. Once your child gives you their pacifier, make sure to put it away and don’t give in to putting it back in their mouth.
#4 Pacifier Countdown Calendar :
Get a calendar, select a day that your toddler will give up their pacifier, and help your toddler put an X through each day. Once the day arrives, go pick up a toy from the toy store and have your toddler trade their pacifier in for the toy. This method works well if your toddler is older and can understand numbers.
#5 Cut a hole in it
Some parents have used this method to cut a hole in the pacifier. This will make it so that the pacifier can no longer get good suction, making your child no longer want the pacifier. If that doesn’t work, you can get a newborn pacifier and replace it with their current pacifier. The newborn pacifiers will be smaller and more challenging for your toddler to suck on, which you can use to wean your toddler off gradually.
#6 Cut it cold turkey
This method often works best for toddlers around 1-1.5 years old. Toddlers this young can’t store a lot of information yet. So when they become upset, they don’t remember what they are attached to. So you can help them work through it with lots of hugs, a blanket, or a stuffed animal. With this method, your toddler may have a rough time for 2-3 days, but after that, they will have forgotten about the pacifier and will be their regular happy selves.
#7 Buy a toy with the pacifier
For this method, your toddler needs to be a little older to understand that they will use their pacifier to buy a new toy. Simply go around the house and collect all your toddler’s pacifiers, then head to the store and have them pick out a toy. Once you get to the check-out counter, have your toddler give their pacifiers as “payment” for their new toy.
#8 Teddy bear pacifier
For this method, take your toddler to a build-a-bear store and let them pick out a stuffed animal they like. Once your toddler’s stuffed animal is built, have your toddler put their pacifier in their new stuffed animal before sewn up. Now your toddler has their pacifiers in their new stuffed animal. This way, when they want their pacifier, they can hug their stuffed animal instead.
#9 Give Praise
Make sure to give lots of praise when your toddler is doing good with not using their pacifier. This will help them feel proud of themselves and continue to try hard.
With any of these methods, you must be consistent. If you give in even once, your toddler will think they can just keep asking, and they will eventually get their pacifier back.
How To Wean Your Toddler Off The Pacifier At Night:
Weaning a toddler off the pacifier at night seems to stress parents out more than weaning their toddler’s pacifier off during the day because parents are worried about their child’s sleep and their sleep being interrupted.
Weaning a pacifier off at night is not much different than weaning it off during the day. If your toddler is old enough to understand what is happening, explain they will no longer be able to use their pacifier during naps and bedtime.
#1 Start with weaning at night
Weaning a child off the pacifier during naps can lead to a toddler having rougher nights and may lead to them being overtired, making weaning at night much harder. Instead, start with weaning at night once your toddler can go all day besides naps without their pacifier.
Start by allowing your toddler to have their pacifier during their bedtime routine. Then gradually decrease the time they get their pacifier during their bedtime routine until your toddler doesn’t get their pacifier.
#2 Put them in their crib with no pacifiers
For this method, put your child in their crib without any pacifiers. If they cry for a few minutes, stay close by and offer verbal reassurance but don’t give them their pacifier.
#3 Offer a substitute
Offering a substitute such as a stuffed animal or blanket can help your toddler feel more comfortable without their pacifier at night. If your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night and cries for their pacifier, offer them their stuffed animal or blanket instead.
At What Age Should You Take Away The Pacifier?
There is no set age to take the pacifier away from a toddler. It depends on the parent’s preference and what works best for their family. Some parents take it away as early as six months, while others wait until their toddler is three years old.
It is recommended by the AAPD (American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry) that children should stop the use of the pacifier by age 3. The reason is that prolonged use of a pacifier at an older age could affect a child’s teeth and jaw development.
Here are some things to consider when deciding when to take away the pacifier:
Toddlers 1-1.5 years old:
Toddlers at this age, or even younger, can’t store lots of information yet. When they start to cry or become upset, they don’t remember what they were attached to.
This may lead to a rough 2-3 days for you and your toddler but use this time to help your toddler transition with lots of hugs, playing, and offering them a soft blanket or stuffed animal for comfort. Give it a few days, and your toddler will completely forget about their pacifier.
Toddlers 1.5-2 Years Old:
Children this age are getting to the point where they can remember things more but cannot understand what is happening. So when you start to talk to them about taking their pacifier away, be prepared for some tantrums and crying. Stick with your decision, and once again, use this time to help your toddler transition by playing with them and offering lots of hugs and comfort.
Toddlers 2-3 Years Old:
Children 2-3 years old are old enough to remember things and understand what is happening. This is the age when parents may take their toddler to the store to buy a toy with their pacifiers or do the pacifier fairy.
How To Prepare Yourself Before Weaning Your Toddler Off The Pacifier
Weaning your toddler off the pacifier can be a hard transition for both you and your toddler, but it doesn’t have to be if you prepare yourself. Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself to help make this transition smooth and quick.
#1 Prepare for tantrums and crying
This is probably the most challenging part for parents. No one likes to see their child upset, but it’s important to remember this is only temporary and will pass. Stick with your decision, and don’t give in. If your toddler starts crying and throwing a tantrum for their pacifier. Offer comfort, validate their feelings and redirect their attention to something else.
#2 Stand firm in your approach
There are many ways to wean your toddler off the pacifier, but you must find what works best for you and your family and stick with it. If you start with one method and then switch to another, the process will be longer and harder. Before switching to a new way, make sure to give the one you are currently trying for a week, and if nothing has changed, try a new approach.
#3 Use simple, short words
When talking to your toddler about taking away their pacifier, use simple and short words. This will help your toddler understand what is happening and make the transition easier. Using too many words to explain what will happen, your toddler will not remember everything. Keeping it short and clear will help your toddler understand better.
#4 Keep calm
Your toddler can sense your emotions, so if you feel stressed about taking away the pacifier, your toddler will too. Keep calm and explain to them in a short sentence what is happening. It is essential to stay calm if your toddler keeps waking up in the middle of the night for their pacifier. It’s important to remember that this is only temporary and will pass.
What If Your Toddler Struggles During Pacifier Weaning?
Every child is different and will wean off the pacifier differently. Some children may take a few days, while others may take a few weeks or longer. If your toddler is struggling during the weaning process, here are some things you can do to help them through it:
– Offer lots of comfort in the form of hugs and cuddles
– Find a new comfort item for your toddlers, such as a soft blanket or stuffed animal
– Play lots of games with your toddler to help take their mind off the pacifier
Be patient, and you and your toddler will get through it!
When Not To Take Away The Pacifier?
There is a right and a wrong time to take away a pacifier. Weaning a child off their pacifier can be a challenging situation and transition for your child to go through. Because of these difficult transitions, you don’t want other complex changes in your life and your toddlers.
Here are a few instances where you may not want to take away the pacifier:
- If your child is sick, it’s best to wait until they feel better before taking away the pacifier.
- If your child is going through a significant life change such as a move or starting daycare
- Moving from a crib to a bed
- A new sibling
Before weaning your toddler off their pacifier, do it when things are stable and calm that way, there won’t be any added stress to your or your toddler.
How Long Can It Take For A Toddler To Adjust To No Pacifier?
It can take a few days to a few weeks for your toddler to adjust to not having a pacifier. Some toddlers may have an easier time than others. Most children are ready to wean between the ages of 1-and 2.5 years old, so you want to start planting the seeds that the day to say bye to their pacifier is coming.
Some parents found it easier to wean their toddler off the pacifier when their toddler was younger simply because their toddler didn’t remember their pacifier. They only had to deal with 2-3 difficult days before their toddler forgot about their pacifier completely.
How To Get Your Toddler To Self Soothe Without A Pacifier?
A toddler who is dependent on their pacifier to help them self-soothe will need help to learn other forms of providing comfort. You can help them self-soothe by assisting them in calming down by taking deep breaths, hugging a soft stuffed animal, and snuggling in a blanket.
Over time, your toddler will learn to find comfort in other things, but be prepared for tantrums and crying during this transition.
Conclusion paragraph: Although it may be a challenge, you can successfully wean your toddler off their pacifier. Be patient and consistent with the process, and offer plenty of positive reinforcement when your child exhibits good behavior. If you follow these tips, your toddler should be pacifier-free in no time!