AS promised, I will share some tips from Michelle Kennedy’s books. First sharing would be on pacifier. I believe most babies cannot do without those sucking rubbers. Pacifier is really a wonderful thing. Most experts agreed that pacifiers are a great tool to satisfy an infant’s need to suck. They are comforting at bedtime and can quiet a baby during a car ride or trip to the shops.
But what happens when the infant turns into a toddler and sucking on pacifier is becoming a habit?? When is enough, enough?
I remember my little gal loved to suck on pacifier even when she is not feeding or hungry. Initially I planned not to give her pacifier as I understand that pacifier-sucking babies do not have a nice set of baby teeth. True or not?? Luckily my little gal’s teeth turned out nice, no big gap in between the front teeth. Lol! Okay, she was a crying baby and to stop her, my confinement lady gave her pacifier. So, every time she cried, the lady would pop the pacifier into her mouth to calm her down. That was how little gal grew fond of her pacifier.
She needed her pacifier during bedtime, and once she dozed off, I will have to pull it out from her mouth. It has becoming a habit, and I found it irritating when she threw it after satisfying her needs to suck. So one night I took the opportunity after she threw her pacifier away. I told her that I couldn’t find her pacifier so she has to do without it from that night onward. She did not cry for it but it took her quite a while to fall asleep. It took her many nights to finally realize that her pacifier was no longer there. She was around 1 year old that time.
Instead, she opted for finger sucking and comfort in her toy. It was hard to stop her from sucking her fingers as the fingers are there and cannot be thrown away. But she did stop sucking her fingers now. Solution? Little gal used to love putting on nail vanish. When ever she saw her aunt put on nail vanish, she will request her to coat her fingers and toes nails. So I told her that should she suck her fingers, her nail varnish would not last and nails would not be pretty. A girl is always a girl, being beautiful is part of a girl’s nature! *wink* So, she tries not to suck on them and it really works!!
Alright, back to the pacifier sucking, following are some easy tips I gathered from Michelle Kennedy’s Letting Go series. Try them out if you have one pacifier-sucking child that you want to wean him or her off…..
Don’t introduce one (3 months – 1 year old)
Don’t introduce her to pacifier in first place if you concern your infant will become addicted. Offer your fingers instead. Periodically, let your infant suck on your finger (make sure it is clean in first place) even during nap-nursing time if he doesn’t want to be fed.
Pull the plug become it becomes a habit (1 – 4 years old)
Pacifiers are for the comfort of babies, not the convenience of parents. To insert the plug and leave the baby in her seat every time he cries is unhealthy reliance on an artificial comforter. Parent should always be at the other end of a comforting tool. The breast or finger has the built-in advantage of making sure you don’t fall into the habit of just plugging up the source of the cries as a mechanical gesture. If you find yourself automatically reaching for the pacifier instead of your baby when your little one cries, pull the plug become it becomes a habit!
Make it hard to find (2 – 4 years old)
When she started to look for it, engage your child in a fun activity that she will forgets about her rubber friend. Then arrange for the pacifier to be permanently “lost”, substitute with other tools of comfort, such as cuddly toys
Night time habit (2 – 4 years old)
Once he is deep in dreamland, ease it out of his mouth. If her need something to help him back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night, give him cuddly teddy bear or favourite blanket. In time, the stuffed animal should replace the pacifier as your child’s bedtime companion.
Let it wear out (2 – 4 years old)
Some children tend to keep their pacifier even when it started to disintegrate until there was nothing left. They love to hold on to it and reluctant to throw the worn-out one. So, explain slowly to your child that it is dangerous and we have to throw them away. You can ask your child to personally do it himself. Throw the pacifier together.
Limit the sucking times (2 – 4 years old)
This is a good tip for overcoming most habits, and a great way to limit or reduce pacifier use. Tell your child that she can only have her pacifier at certain times of the day. Determine which times of the day she needs it most – bedtime, naptime, in the car- and restrict her to those times. Restricting the times when your child can use the pacifier will help her to realize that she doesn’t need it any longer, without turning you into the bad guy!