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Liberate the pacifiers!

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 20-02-2007

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):

  1. The gradual approach
  2. 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
    kid’ item
  • Try getting them to give away their pacifiers to smaller children
  • Try
    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.