Cutting your child from the pacifier can be really stressful, especially when they’ve become so attached to it, you’re afraid that they’re going to stop sleeping as a result and you’re going to have to deal with a grumpy child all day long. We’re here to tell you that it’s not that bad, and worse case scenario, it’s about a week of hardship.
Here are some tips on how to cut your kid from the pacifier at different ages:
If you want to cut off the pacifier, your best chance of success quickly is going to be before they’re 6 months old. You can start by limiting the pacifier to just nighttime then after a few days, just cut it off cold turkey. I cut my son off the paci when he was 5 months and it was a week of hell, but then he suddenly started sleeping better because he learned to self soothe. Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend limiting or stopping pacifier use around 6 months to avoid an increased risk of ear infections, especially if your child is prone to them.
At this age they’re pretty attached to their pacifier so you can’t just take it away from them suddenly. Weaning them off in phases is going to be your best chance for success. Start by poking some holes in the pacifier. They will start to feel like something is off but they will still be attached. The next step should come a few days later--at that point cut the tip of the pacifier and just leave it around. Once you cut the tip, they will get absolutely no satisfaction from the pacifier and just disregard it at some point. The entire point of doing it this way is that they’re choosing not to use it anymore versus you taking it away. They’ll feel like it’s a decision they made, even though you were the mastermind behind it. Muhahah.
24 + months:
If your child is mature for his/her age, you can use this tip and it will probably work. Tell them that they should donate their pacifier to another younger baby who really needs it. You can even have them help you put it in an envelope and “mail” it to a baby in need. That way they are involved in the process of letting go of their beloved pacifier.
If you need tips on how to get your baby to sleep better you can read this blog.