Closeup of a child's hand holding onto their pacifier while sleeping

How Do I Get My Baby Off a Pacifier?

February 26, 2022 11:31 pm

Pacifiers help babies and young toddlers sleep or feel comforted when they’re emotional. But as a child gets older and begins to develop language skills, a pacifier can get in the way. Pacifiers can also disrupt jaw and tooth alignment. Many kids leave the pacifier habit behind at 2-4 years old, but others need more help weaning. How do you get your baby to give up a pacifier?

Go “Cold Turkey”

While going cold turkey can be difficult, some kids respond positively to this tactic. Let your child know that they won’t have access to their pacifier anymore, set a date, and then get rid of all the pacifiers. Encourage your child and let them know how proud you are.

Slowly Wean Them

If going cold turkey sounds like a nightmare, don’t worry! You can also slowly wean your child off pacifiers. First, limit when your child can use them. Let them keep them during nap time and bedtime. Then, eliminate them from nap time and finally bedtime. A slower transition often results in less anxiety and stress for both child and parent.

Read Books About Giving Up the Pacifier

Taking away a pacifier without any explanation may make your child anxious and confused. How do you explain the concept of growing up to someone so young? There are many children’s books that address this topic. Choose a few to help introduce the idea of giving up a pacifier.

Establish a New Comfort Object

Pacifiers calm kids, so when the pacifier is taken away, a child can struggle. Try replacing it with a new stuffed animal or blanket. If your child can find comfort in this new object, they won’t miss their pacifier too much.

Care for Babies & Toddlers at Tots to Teens

At Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry in Lytle, we invite children for their first visit as soon as their first tooth erupts or around their first birthday, whichever comes first. Going to the dentist can be stressful, but our team is trained to help children feel safe and comfortable throughout their visit with us.

Worried about your child’s pacifier use or not sure how to wean them off? Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions or contact us for an appointment.

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