What is a pacifier?

It is something which pacifies you and makes you calmer.

A binky or a pacifier is something which parents use to soothe their cranky babies. I actually never gave it to my girls when they were small. I didn’t want them to get used to it as later it gets really difficult to end its habit. Also, I never felt a need to give them one when they were small. But I won’t say that it’s a bad habit or it’s wrong to give a pacifier to a baby.

Sometimes it’s really helpful in distracting a child from something else. For example, it can help them while teething as it helps to sooth the gums and relieves pain. A pacifier soothes a child as the act of sucking is really soothing for them.

It is a magical solution for moms with a newborn and it is surely a big relief initially but the main problem is that it is a habit which needs some hard work to break. Longer a child uses one, harder it gets to wean him/her off the pacifier.

Here are some tips which you can try if you are trying to wean off your child from a pacifier –

Look for an alternative

Sometimes a child takes a pacifier when they are not feeling good or are upset about something. Try to distract them and make sure to replace the pacifier with something else which can make them happy. Try to pacify them with a mom or dad cuddle or a song which they like. The idea is to get their mind off it.

Replacement –

If a child is little older and still not ready to leave their binky, why not make them replace it with something else? Take them to their favourite toy store along with the binky and ask them to pick up something they like in replacement to the binky. This has actually worked for one of my friends’ daughter. You can also try reading with them during nap times when specifically they ask for the pacifier. Try replacing one habit for some other good habit.

Gradual weaning off

You don’t have to be hard with him/her and just snatch it away from them. Doing this is not going to work and in fact, will make the matters worse. Slowly try to reduce the time of use and try giving them when you think she really needs it. Gradually reduce the time of using the pacifier.

Siblings help – An older sibling can be really helpful too. You can give examples of the older siblings and teach them not to use it as they are also big now. Show them, little babies, using it and tell them that it’s not for them as they are big now.

Strict approach

I have seen few parents actually doing this and it also worked for them but it’s easier said than done. In the strict approach, you have to be firm with the child and not give in to the demands even if they cry or howl. Just take it away and tell them that they are not going to get it back as it’s either broken or not good for them. I am actually not too much in favour of this approach but no harm in trying.

It’s all about trial and error. What worked for other parents might or might not work for you but no harm in trying.

I asked few moms whose kids take or used to take a pacifier to share their experiences with us –

Sridevi, a mom of 3 girls shares her experience – Elder one weaned it out by herself because we started using pacifiers specified for months lesser than her age. She tried to work with it but later could not because it was smaller than her mouth could hold. For younger one, we are distracting her with play during active hours but she still needs it occasionally during sleep or during tantrums.

 

Radha, mom of a 5-year-old boy says, ” I dreaded the moment when I had to wean him off as he was really attached to his binky. We tried everything but nothing worked and finally, the cutting technique worked. Cutting off the nipple from the front helped my son in leaving it easily. ”

Nidhi, a mom of 2 boys, says,”My elder one didn’t take it even when we tried giving him when he used to get cranky during nap times but I had a hard time with my younger one. He left it once he started school when he saw other kids not using it.”

Hope these points help you if you were looking for solutions and tips to end this habit. Do share any tips if you have to help other moms.