I would love to hear your best tips for helping parents successfully wean their toddlers from pacifiers. I have a 21 month old girl who understands and respects that the paci is only for crib time, but isn’t having it when we have attempted to remove it altogether! I would very much love to see it gone before she turns 2. Is tough love the best response? The only response? Help!
Weaning a toddler from her beloved pacifier can be a challenge. Believe me, I’ve been there. My second son was a paci baby and I pulled the plug at 18 months when my husband went out of town. He cried and fussed for a day and by the end of the weekend the paci was forgotten (by both of them). A pacifier is not really meant to be a transitional object, but unfortunately, many toddlers quickly become addicted, which can increase ear infections and illness (they learn to put everything in their mouth) and interfere with speech and teeth (just ask your dentist).
So what is the easiest way to get rid of her pacifier? Pick a day, gather them all up and give them to a baby down the street, mail them across the ocean or just make them disappear. Introduce a new lovey, even if she throws it out of the crib. Keep her bed time routine consistent and most importantly, don’t cave and go backwards. Offer love and praise for sleeping all night in her crib. She will get over it within a few days (although it might take you a bit longer) and learn how to soothe herself. Then you can move on to your next parenting challenge. Good luck!