Weaning Baby off the Pacifier – The Cry-free way

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The pacifier, albeit commonly used and recognized by parents as the first tool to enjoying tranquil nights, is largely blamed for early dental and speech
problems.

Some even believe it will cause the baby’s mouth to change in shape.

Prudent use, as deemed by many baby experts, is allowing baby to suck only before sleeping or when trying to eliminate a night feed. Tracy Hogg suggested in her book “Secrets of the baby whisperer” that if the baby is already tired and only needs that extra push to dreamland, she would suck energetically on the pacifier for a few seconds before releasing and straight into la-la land.

If, however, you are ready to wean your baby off the pacifier during the first year, here are some tips and tricks.

Firstly, to wean baby off the pacifier, we need to understand how babies fall asleep.

Sleeping is somewhat scary to very young babies because it feels like free falling. In the first three months, before she develops her own self-soothing techniques, she will need some sort of aid, be it rocking, swaddling or yaolan etc.

Come three months old, they are capable of falling asleep on their own and sleeping props should be diminished or discontinued.

One of these self-soothing abilities is thumb sucking. Other babies find comfort in soft toys or small washcloths to hold in their hand.

Tips and tricks:

1. Put them into bed when they are tired
Babies around three months old get tired after being awake for 1+ hour. Look for her sleepy signs- yawning and clawing at her face. The moment you see this, tone down whatever activity you are doing and set her in bed.

2. Distract, distract, distract
If she cries, monitor for a while. You can pat her or say soothing words to her. When her cry escalates towards awakening rather than sleeping, pick her up and distract her. You can walk around the room and point things out to her.

3. Talk like it’s not a big deal
Babies pick up on our tone. Even if you feel like screaming yourself, control your tone because she’ll only get more frustrated if you don’t. Tell her, “Yes, baby, mommy is here. Just close your eyes and sleep, you’ll feel more refreshed!”

Lastly, recognize that all babies are unique and your little one might need just a little extra time to allow you to take that little nub away.

Madeline Soh.