The moment I was dreading had finally come… it was time to get rid of the pacifier. Artie only used his pacifier at night but he was so attached, and it helped him sleep SO well. I could see him calm down as soon as he put the pacifier into his mouth.
He would nap for hours and sleep through the night, so I wasn’t looking forward to taking it away. Then Artie’s doctor broke the news at his two year visit… it was time to say goodbye to his pacifier.
I listened to the doctor’s advice and did my own research and finally came up with a positive way to let the pacifier go. Your little one will be pacifier free in no time!
I researched tips on getting rid of the pacifier, and I saw other moms explain how they let their baby put their pacifier in the trash, took the pacifier to the park, or took them to the store to trade the pacifier in for a toy.
These all sounded like great ideas but I wasn’t sure what would be the perfect solution for my son. After doing some thinking I came up with an idea… it was a positive way for Artie to say goodbye to his pacifier and we didn’t even have to leave the house!
Saying Goodbye To The Pacifier
My husband and I walked down our driveway with Artie. We explained to him that we would be mailing his pacifiers to a baby who needs them. He is a big boy now and doesn’t need them anymore. Artie put the pacifiers into the mailbox and we put the flag up to send them off.
We spent some time playing outside and then went in for an ice cream cone. We made sure to keep the experience positive so Artie would associate saying goodbye to his pacifiers with being happy.
Artie asked about his paci that night, and he fell asleep a little later than usual, but overall he did great! He woke up twice but quickly fell back asleep on his own. I was so proud of him!
The next day we put together a bag of Artie’s favorite treats and put it in the mailbox. We told him the baby had left a surprise for him and walked up to the mailbox for him to find it.
He opened the mailbox and was so excited to find the treats! He did take a second peak into the mailbox to see if his pacifiers were there but still had a smile on his face when he saw that they weren’t.
I was so happy we found a positive way for Artie to say goodbye to his pacifier. His naps are what were most affected during the first two days but by day three he was able to soothe himself to sleep, day or night.
If I had to do it over again I would push his naps back a little later to see if that helped him sleep. Overall, getting rid of the pacifier went much more smoothly than I expected. Now we are ALL sleeping better because Artie isn’t waking up every time his pacifier falls out of his crib!
How To Get Rid Of The Pacifier For Good
Talk To Your Child
Talk to them about getting rid of the pacifier before it is time to let it go. Warn them throughout the weeks before you take the paci that soon it will be time to say goodbye.
You can read a fun book, like this that will help them prepare for when the pacifier is gone. The more you talk about it with them, the more prepared they will be.
Choose A Method
Decide if you should start limiting pacifier use gradually, or just go cold turkey. Artie only used his pacifier in his crib so going cold turkey was the right choice for us. If your child uses the pacifier for comfort throughout the day you may want to decrease use over time until they are only depending on it for sleep.
Avoid taking away the pacifier during any other major changes. If your toddler is in the process of potty training, will be gaining a new sibling, or has any other disruptions to their daily routine, it might be best to wait until things have calmed down. You don’t want to overwhelm your little one with several new changes at once.
Your toddler might not sleep as well as they usually do on that first night, or maybe even the first FEW nights. If they are still napping, take a nap yourself that afternoon before you get rid of the pacifier. Choose a night when you can take shifts with your spouse in case your baby wakes throughout the night. Work as a team!
Make It An Event
Choose a positive way for your toddler to say goodbye to their pacifier. I enjoyed using the mailbox to send away our pacifiers but you must choose the option that will be best for your little one. Saying goodbye will be a big deal for your toddler, so making it special can make it easier for them.
Have A Bedtime Routine
Before you get rid of the pacifier, you should have a strong bedtime routine in place. If everything else stays the same and only the pacifier missing is different, the change will be easier on your little one.
A strong bedtime routine will signal to your toddler that it is time for bed, rather than relying only on the pacifier. You can also introduce a stuffed animal or small blanket for your baby to sleep with before getting rid of the pacifier.
This will allow them to attach to something else for comfort besides the pacifier. Introduce the lovey long before it is time to get rid of the pacifier so they are already attached when it is time to make the change.
The last thing you want to do is reward a negative reaction from your toddler by returning the pacifier. Going back and forth will only confuse them.
If your toddler has a hard time over the first few nights, support them and comfort them and they will eventually learn to comfort themselves. Treat them the same way you normally would if they were upset and having trouble sleeping. If they ask about the pacifier remind them of where it has gone and why.
Wait Until They Are Ready
Speak with your child’s pediatrician about when and how to get rid of the pacifier. Use your “Mommy senses” to decide when your child is ready to say goodbye to the pacifier. Do your research and choose the best timing for your child to let the pacifier go.
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