A pacifier (dummy) can be a very handy ‘keep-quiet’ tool for your baby. However, there comes a time when you will have to wean your child from the pacifier for good. Weaning your child from his or her source of comfort can be a frustrating experience, but you must persevere. Here are a few commonsense tips to help.
The thing to remember is to wean your child gradually – only allow your baby to have the pacifier at certain times, such as naptime or bedtime. Tell your child that it is only for times when he or she is going to sleep. Point out the child’s siblings or friends who are able to go without a pacifier – tell your little one that it’s a grown-up thing to do to not have a pacifier.
You also need to substitute other things for the pacifier in your child’s life. Encourage him or her to “trade” it for something else. Tell your toddler that he or she can only have the candy or a trip to the toy store if they give you the pacifier. You can also give rewards for good pacifier behavior (lack of use, willingness to trade, etc.). Stickers, TV time, a trip to the park, or something else that your child values will work well as a reward.
Finally, make sure that you are consistent with your efforts. It can be hard to listen to tantrums or crying because your child wants their pacifier, but once you give in, you’ll just teach the child that they will win the pacifier back if they cry hard enough. Remain consistent in your efforts, and you might just be surprised at how quickly you can teach your child to live without it.