Do you have a little one who doesn’t want to give up the binky? She won’t go to sleep without it? Are you frantically searching your toy-ridden living room for the binky at nap time? If you answered yes to any of these questions I’m here to help. Here are eight ways to ditch the pacifier once and for all.
Take His Mind Off of it – What situations make your child want the binky most? For most toddlers it’s when they’re upset or in an environment they’re uncomfortable with. Instead of reaching for the binky when your child cries, soothe him or her with mommy comfort. This way when your child is upset he or she will come looking for you. It’s a win-win situation for both of you.
Snip it – Each night or once a week cut off a piece of the pacifier. Each snip will change the sensation and likely become less appealing to your child.
Peer Pressure – Surround your child with children who have broken the habit. Being around other kids who aren’t using a binky could encourage your little one to give it up. Find play mates who are non-pacifier users.
Trade it In – One way to ditch the pacifier is to trade it in for something new. You could take your child to the store for a new toy or stuffed animal. Sometimes a transitional object will help her make the switch from the binky to something more suitable.
Go Slow – Remember that the binky is a self-soothing object for your child. Begin the process by slowly limiting the time your child has it. If you’re out, insist on leaving it home or in the car. Or only at naptime and bedtime. This will ease her out of the habit gradually. Pain free for all concerned!
Distraction – When your child becomes anxious distract her with something else. Whether you use a play activity, a doll or snack. Any of these options will distract her hopefully long enough to forget about wanting the binky.
Stay Strong – Once your child had ditched the binky, don’t give in. There will be times when he wants it and may have a few rough nights. Don’t give in. Giving it back will only make it worse down the line.
Don’t Give Up – It might feel easier to just give her the silicone soother, but rest assure your child will outgrow it. It takes time and patience.
Now if you try all these tips and your child shows signs of extreme sadness you might want to reconsider for some time. She might not be ready to give it up yet and that’s fine for the short term. Give her a few more months and try it again. Only you can determine if your child is ready or not.