There are documented cases where two year old children have
started speaking verbally but have yet to let go of the pacifier. The need to suck is a baby’s most
innate need – if not the thumb, there is always the pacifier.
The risk of tooth
misalignment, slowed language development and increased ear infections increases if toddlers are not
weaned off their pacifiers at the right moment.
There are two ways of liberating your toddler
(or, if you please, the pacifier):
- The gradual approach
- Cold Turkey
In the first approach,
- Try restricting the pacifier consistently to certain
times. This could be at bedtime as well as naptime. It is important to dissociate the pacifier from
sleep in the toddler’s mind
- Substitute a stuffed toy or a favorite blanket for the pacifier
- Eventually “lose” the pacifier for bedtime
It will take only a couple of
weeks for your toddler to adjust to sleep without pacifiers.
If the gradual approach doesn’t
work, you need to go Cold Turkey:
- Have your children turn in their pacifiers for a ‘big
- Try getting them to give away their pacifiers to smaller children
dipping the pacifiers in something that just doesn’t taste so great, such as pickle juice, so your
toddlers will look forward to them less
- You can also reward them with stickers and lots of
hugs and kisses when they give up the pacifier
Do not cut holes into pacifiers as this
can easily create a choking hazard.