When I gave my son his pacifier when he was a baby, I really did think that I was doing the right thing. He found it so difficult to calm himself and settle down to sleep that I was willing to try anything to help him, and he really took the pacifier which we christened “Paci”. Unfortunately, now he’s getting older, he isn’t too keen to give it up. In fact, we’ve had a whole lot of problems in trying to persuade him to stop using it. In desperation, I’ve been asking around on parenting forums and amongst my friends and I’ve been given a whole lot of tips to try.
Here are some of the things that I’ve decided to try to help my son give up his pacifier habit
The first mistake that I’ve made is apparently not helping him to quit the habit early enough. Developmental psychologists have suggested that parents discontinue using pacifiers by the time their little one is a year old. Since I’ve missed that early deadline, I’m taking comfort from the fact that many professionals think that the majority of children willingly give up their pacifier by the time they reach three or four years of age.
I’ve heard that there’s a way of getting your child pacifier-free in just 3 days, so this is the plan I’m going to follow.
Day 1 – At bedtime and in the morning, I have to tell my son that I can see he wants to do a lot of things which make him older and that I think that’s a great idea so we’ll be giving up pacifiers in 3 days time. I need to keep the talk brief (30 seconds) and reflect my son’s feelings back to him, so if he says that he doesn’t want to I need to agree but then move on.
Day 2 – I need to repeat the same talk twice today, but replace the “three days” and say “tomorrow” instead. I need to remember to keep my manner and tone matter of fact.
Day 3 – I have to remind my son that the day to gather up all of the pacifiers is here. I can make it into a scavenger hunt and ask him to help, but even if he says no, I still have to collect all the pacifiers, put them in a bag and put them outside ready for “recycling”. I will tell him that they’ll be made into new toys as this will make him think that there is a purpose to getting rid of his pacifiers rather than them just being put in the garbage.
I’m bracing myself for a few nights of trauma, but apparently, as long as I stay strong and don’t give him the pacifier back, he’ll get over it within a week or so. After all, I need to remember that nobody has a pacifier once they’ve grown up and we’ll definitely get there in the end!