If you are like most parents, your child has been comforted with a pacifier since birth! It’s a magic little device that can stop just about any baby from crying, offering relief for parents! While the pacifier works wonders, it can also be a pain to eliminate from a Child’s life. It becomes a security blanket for not only the child, but also for the parents. It is not rare now days to see 2-3 year old who are still holding on the “Passy”. I am speaking from experience as my son still had his until reaching the age of 3! While it may seem impossible and stressful to take the pacifier away for good, there are a few fun and creative ways that will make the transition easier for the child AND parent.
1. Change it up: Your child has most likely grown attached to a certain brand of pacifier since birth. Try buying a new type and make sure the size, material, and shape are the complete opposite from the other. Some children will not adjust well to the change and quit on their own.
2. Give it away: Children like pleasing others, so giving the pacifier away is always rewarding to them, not to mention it teaches a great moral lesson. If you know somebody that has or is expecting a baby, explain to your child that the baby needs his pacifiers since they are a big girl/boy now.
3. Reward System: Children love to be rewarded and will often follow through with their word if they know a toy or candy is at stake. Try making a chart for all the days your child goes without the pacifier. Once he reaches a week or month, reward him with a small toy or candy. Make sure to explain this process to your child to encourage them!
4. Passy Fairy: This is a really fun way to rid of the pacifier! Tell your child the Passy fairy (similar to the tooth fairy) needs to take their Passy and give it to other babies who need them because they are no longer a baby! The child can then leave their Passy on the couch or under their pillow to be collected while they sleep. In return the child can receive a small prize form the fairy!
5. Angel babies: This method is also fun for young children. Take the pacifier and tie it to the end of a balloon. Explain to the child that the angel babies in heaven need a pacifier. Let the child release the balloon and praise them for not only being a big kid but for giving to others.
It can be very difficult making this transaction. Just remember to remain calm when your child cries for their pacifier and stick to your decision; going back and forth can confuse a child. It is encouraging as well knowing how many dental or speech problems that will be avoided. Pacifiers are great… for a while!