Ah, the pacifier (or as I tend to call it, the scream plug). I owe my sanity to this little hunk of plastic. But with toddlers and parents so dependent on it, how do you get rid of the pacifier without a fuss? Notice how I mentioned parents? We are pacifier junkies just like our toddlers. From this point forward there will never be an anti whining mechanism so effective until maybe their first cell phone…
So how do we wean our toddlers off of using a pacifier? The even bigger question is how do you do it while keeping your sanity?
- Start making rules as to when and where your toddler can have their pacifier. Most smokers won’t quite cold turkey, so why treat your pacifier junkie any different? What we’ve started with Little A is that there is no pacifier while she is playing, in the vehicle, pretty much anywhere besides her bed or the couch. As long as we are consistent and enforce the law of the land, her pacifier addiction has been reduced significantly. This tip is important as it can easily turn any attempts of getting rid of the pacifier into a success or miserable failure.
- Give the pacifiers to a younger sibling. Toddlers usually enjoy helping with their younger siblings. Instead of getting rid of the pacifiers, talk to your toddler. Explain that not having a pacifier is part of being a big boy or big girl and their younger sibling would love to have their pacifier. Who knows, your toddler’s desire to not be treated like a baby could be all the convincing they need!
- Blame it on the dog. Probably not the most tactful way of getting rid of the pacifier, but it can still be effective depending on the child. Some kids are fine with accepting their pacifier is just…gone. Not Little A though. That was a long night…
- Tell them stores no longer sell pacifiers. Explain that once their pacifiers are lost or worn out then that’s it. Sorry! The store doesn’t sell pacifiers anymore sweetie, I know, that is weird. But what can you do?
- Keep cutting the nipple shorter until there is nothing left. This seems like an odd science experiment but I threw it in anyway. Its hard to suck on a pacifier when there is nothing left but a nub of plastic. And by then, hopefully your toddler will be fed up with their crappy pacifier that they’ll be more than happy to chuck it out.
- Gather up the pacifiers to mail to the ‘tooth fairy’. When I first thought of this idea I wasn’t convinced it would work, honestly. But after mulling over it for a while I’d say this could be one of the most effective ways to get rid of the pacifier. Have your toddler gather up all of their pacifiers. Put them in a envelope or box. Address the package to the tooth fairy, and send it away! Make a big deal out of it and explain that once the tooth fairy has received their pacifiers, she’ll know when its time to start checking for baby teeth under their pillow! If your toddler doesn’t know who the tooth fairy is, pick someone else to mail the pacifiers to. Less fortunate kids? The pacifier clean up guy that comes once a month? Whatever works!
It’s a good thing toddlers are gullible!
How did you get rid of the pacifier without causing nuclear war?
Photo Courtesy of: Agent Smith
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