I admit it: My 2-year-old daughter is a paci addict.
She sleeps with at least four of her “babas,” as she calls them, and you can find her with a “baba” in her mouth whenever she’s upset.
My husband and I had long planned on weaning her off of pacifiers when she turned 2, so we could lessen both the chance of any paci-related bite damage and any future orthodontic bills. However, when our daughter’s birthday arrived, we didn’t have the heart to take the pacifiers away shortly before she became a big sister.
But now that our daughter’s second birthday has come and gone, and her little brother is here with his own baby babas, figuring out how to break our daughter’s paci habit is top of mind for us.
Many of our friends swear by the cold turkey approach (i.e. taking the paci away and letting the little one cry it out for a day or two). But before I go that route, I’m likely going to try out another strategy I recently learned about: Giving little ones pacifiers designed to break the paci habit, a trick that is today’s hint.
Difrax, for instance, offers a pacifier for toddlers age 18-months and older that is designed to wean the tots off of pacifiers. How? It has a solid nipple that is harder to suck than Difrax’s designs for younger kids, potentially making sucking the pacifier less appealing. And the brand’s new 12-month plus pacifier, due out in the United States in early 2015, has a semi-solid nipple that is also difficult to suck and meant “to encourage children to break the pacifier habit.”
Elsewhere, in its weeLove newsletter, weeSpring covered the Lily Pacifier Weaning System, essentially a $20 set of pacifiers with progressively smaller nipples that you give your little one over the course of five or so days, resulting in a pacifier with “a size and shape that no longer satisfies the child.”
To be sure, if you wean your child off of the pacifier early, you probably won’t need to rely on such special designs. As The Baby Sleep Site points out, for babies under 12 months, “you can probably get by with simply throwing the pacifiers out” and dealing with a few rough nights and naps. However, as The Baby Sleep Site suggests, “if you’re weaning a toddler, you might want to be creative.”
And while products like those mentioned above are a creative strategy to consider, there certainly are other less expensive methods you may want to try instead. These include gradually cutting down a pacifier’s nipple yourself, and “giving” pacifiers to a new baby or to the pacifier fairy in exchange for a gift.
The always-helpful Nurse Judy, the advice nurse at my children’s pediatrician, says she sees no harm in trying out the pacifiers designed to break the paci habit, since not all techniques will work for all kids (though she suggests trying to breaking the paci habit before your baby baby turns 1). “I love that you are offering options, since all kids are different and some parents can’t handle cold turkey,” she says.
What are your thoughts on these new pacifier designs, and your tips for breaking the paci habit?