The Great Pacifier Problem
I remember the exact moment we became "pacifier parents" (Rooney was less than a week old), and I would do it all over again even though she is now OBSESSED with her "dassy." At this point it has saved us HOURS of crying, I'm sure of it.
But, like I said, she is obsessed. Her comfort items are her sleep sack and her paci. She asks for both IMMEDIATELY when I pick her up from daycare. She brings her paci in the bathtub. For a while we had it confined to the car and crib but at some point we lost control of that. I'm kind of embarrassed now when she has it in when we're at the grocery store or at a restaurant.
Her dentist said to get rid of it by age 3, so we've got 11 months to lose it. I will say that she talks with it in and has advanced speech, so I don't think it's affected her in that way yet.
How to Wean a Toddler Off a Pacifier
- Give them to our next baby. I don't think we'll have another kid before she's 3, so this might not work for us. However, she will be getting a new cousin next month so we could try to tell her that the new baby needs them.
- Cut a slit in the end of the pacifiers. Apparently this makes all the pacifiers lose their appeal and seem "broken" to the child and they eventually throw them away themselves.
- Put it in a Build-A-Bear. Her favorite stuffed animal is a Build-A-Bear teddy bear, so this might work. I think it would be kind of fun to make this a family event and let her see it being placed in the bear.
- Replace the pacifier with a stuffed toy. My friend Missy said the Easter Bunny came to her house and did this when her triplets were almost 3.
I'm pretty open to all these methods and think they would all work for Rooney. I think it will be easier when she's got all her teeth, because right now she chomps on it when her teeth hurt, and I'd rather she have a pacifier in her mouth than her fingers, but maybe I'm naive. I'm sure she would get rid of it sometimes if we pushed her a little more. But, I don't think any of us feel "ready" to fight it quite yet.
Do you have any tips or favorite methods of weaning a toddler off a pacifier?