guys, i’m super excited to share today’s post with you from guest post from guest blogger, Zara Lewis! when Zara approached me about guest posting, i was super excited she offered to write a piece on something that i have zero experience in…pacifiers! the girls took pacifiers in NICU like champs and it was so beneficial for them, but somewhere between 2-3 months, they both just stopped. i’d offer, they’d spit it out, etc. i totally count my blessings because they used it when they needed it for medicinal reasons in NICU, but then i never had to go through the process of weaning them off..they just did it. i know not everyone is as lucky as we are…so here to share their wisdom, please welcome Zara!
Ah, the tiny godsend that would soothe your crying infant within a matter of moments finally needs to go, and neither you nor your baby is happy about it. So many moms out there struggle to choose the right way of weaning their little ones off the pacifier, and wonder if the time is right.
As a mom of two, and now a weaning veteran, I’m happy to share some of my own tried and tested methods that will help you and your baby through this transition period and turn it into a painless learning experience!
Find a worthy replacement
While not all babies will be happy with this solution at first, not only will they get accustomed to their new calming toy, but they will most likely develop an interest in it very quickly. Kids are curious, and they are eager to discover new things as much as they enjoy the comfort of a familiar feeling.
In addition to the almighty pacifier, my baby girl had her favourite blanket she would drag around like Linus, so I started bringing her this miraculous piece of cotton whenever I would notice she was getting upset. Combined with a few comforting words and cuddles, she would fall asleep almost instantly.
Slow and steady wins the race
Some babies need time to get used to the idea of losing their binky. And even though this might result in some complaining and fussing at the beginning, you can slowly start removing the pacifier from your child’s daily use and resort to it when the situation is beyond any other toy.
For example, start by limiting its use only to the nursery room, and then using it only during the night, and finally, see how your baby will handle sleeping for one whole night without it, and then simply don’t suggest using it unless they ask for it. By then, you can already have another distraction ready!
Stick with it
When we decided it was time for our baby son to finally wean off the binky, since he wasn’t responding to any of his other calming toys, we knew we were in for a treat. First of all, he noticed immediately that his pacifier wasn’t available anymore, which caused him to cry and fuss, but then I used my own mom’s trick and told him a little white lie.
I explained that a mamma cat had to take it for her kittens, and since they were such helpless little babies, our son soon accepted the idea, although a few complaints were inevitable. Finally, since he still had his dummy clips to play with, he quickly forgot all about the pacifier and went on to more interesting toys.
You’re good to go for the first six months
If your little bundle still hasn’t reached the six-month mark, then you’re in the clear. In fact, using pacifiers during the first half a year of your baby’s life helps lower the risk of SIDS, keep the baby happy and teach them how to soothe themselves at night.
As soon as you reach this milestone, you can start weaning your baby off the binky, but make sure not to start during difficult life events. Whether you are moving, changing the baby’s room or bringing a new nanny, the stress can have a negative impact if they don’t have their pacifier to keep them calm.
No later than year two
Although it would be ideal to take it away as soon as possible after the first six months, make sure to wean your baby off the pacifier before they turn two. Experts warn that going past this time may interfere with proper teeth growth.
Then again, speech experts suggest that you should ditch the dummy before your baby turns 12 months, as you might risk language development issues. Still, some kids use the binky well into their toddler years with no problems whatsoever, but it’s best to stay on the safe side and provide your little ones with an alternative soothing solution.
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for
High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her
family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.