For infants, one major source of comfort is the pacifier. However, fast forward a few years and parents often find that toddlers have not stopped using their binky. Making the decision to wean their son or daughter off this item can be stressful. Yet even the child who is intensely attached to his pacifier can learn to give it up. The first factor that you will have to take into account is your child’s age.
Once you’ve concluded that your child is ready to be weaned off the pacifier, it’s important to follow these steps. This gradual approach will make the weaning process easier for you and your son or daughter:
- Remove the pacifier when at home – Being at home usually means your child is not exposed to a high-stress environment. That means there is generally little use for the pacifier when your infant or toddler is awake. Do not allow the binky to be used outdoors or in your backyard.
- Limit its use to the crib – The more they miss it during the day, the better they will feel when they get their binky at night.
- Eliminate the pacifier completely – Once pacifier use has been limited to before and during sleep, most children will end its use on their own because it no longer fills a need. However, some children require a bit more creativity to say goodbye to the pacifier. If your child is resistant to letting the pacifier go, you may consider a reward technique such as the following: “Near the holidays, you might tell your child that Santa collects all the pacifiers for new babies and brings toys for all the big girls and boys,” said Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, pediatrician Dr. Ivy Faske. You can also tell your child that the doctor or dentist is collecting binkies and if your son or daughter donates it, they’ll be given a reward. Many children will be more willing to give up the pacifier if they believe they are helping another new baby who needs one – be creative and find a story that will encourage your child.
- Give extra reassurance at bedtime – On the first binky-free evening, be prepared to give your child some extra reassurance if he or she starts to question where the pacifier went. Reminders of what a big girl or boy your child has become will offer support.
At U-GRO Learning Centres, we understand that this can be a difficult transition for your child. When you enroll your child in one of our learning centers, we’ll ensure that our instructors reinforce principles learned at home, so that the growing up process is easier for your whole family.
For information about U-GRO Learning Centres and our programs, contact us or schedule a visit today.