When it’s the choice between the thumb and the pacifier most parents will opt for the pacifier. The logic being that the pacifier can be taken away while the thumb cannot. There is no doubt that pacifiers help to sooth and calm babies, but there comes a time when this soother has to be taken away from the baby. Most kids don’t let go of the pacifier easily and can give the parents a hard time.
Below are some tips that will help to get rid of the pacifier:
- Time it – The earlier you take away the pacifier, the easier it is going to be. So a three month old will not fight for too long when the pacifier is taken away, but a year old will fight much harder. In most cases taking the pacifier away between four to six months is a good idea. However, in case you leave the pacifier for longer then make sure that when you plan to take it away, the child is not battling any other stress. When to take the pacifier away the child should be provided with a comfortable familiar environment and should not be suffering from an illness or other such problems. Do not take the pacifier away when the kid is in an alien environment since it will worry the child too much.
- Be firm - Once you take away the pacifier you will have to be firm in your decision. Of course there will be crying and it is important that you do not give into it. If you give the baby the pacifier if she cries too much, you are only ensuring that the next time she cries even harder for it. So when you take the decision to get rid of the pacifier, just throw it away and deal with the crying and tantrums as the come. If you hide it and then keep pulling it out when the child cries you are making it difficult for yourself and the baby too.
- Do not substitute - The idea behind getting rid of the pacifier is to help the child to learn how to sooth herself independently. If you take away the pacifier but substitute it with another similar habit, the entire exercise will be useless. So if your kid is crying for the pacifier and you begin to rock the baby to put it to sleep, this is going be a bad idea in the long run. By the end of it you may have taken the pacifier away from the child, but now she needs to be rocked to go to sleep. Simply let the child come to terms with the fact that she does not have a pacifier and has to sleep on her own.
In most cases a baby will take roughly three to four days to forget the pacifier. Some children will give it up without much of a fight while others could drive you insane and make you feel like a monster for taking it away. Whatever slot your child falls into make sure you stay consistent and firm.