From a mom
We’re about to go cold-turkey with my daughter’s pacifier,
and are anticipating a few really hard days….
she uses it not only to sleep,but also for any self-soothing
when she’s upset. Parents who’ve gone
through this already:
Did you just let your kid cry and get used to not
having it, or did you suggest some other soothing object/behavior? If
the latter, what did you suggest?
The goal is as with every transition
1: Have your child adjust slowly to changes
2: Role play it with her stuffed animals.
3: Removing it first during the day for a week or two then at night.
4: Prepare your child in advance even if you think she doesn’t understand it really does help them.
(And yes I hear you groaning this is too much work… but better to do the work with emotional intelligence skills then pay for therapy later on. It costs more and takes longer to undo a problem in therapy then to prevent it in the first place)
5: Have your child pick out a substitute stuffed animal to keep in the crib.
6: When you role play with dolls or stuffed animals play bye-bye pacey(using a real pacifier with the stuffed animals .)
7: Make it a song, making up the lyrics
8: You can sing “I’m a big girl now” ” I use my words to tell you how I feel instead of my Pacey”
9: Make Pacey a friend that she is saying goodbye too.
10: You might have a few hard days but the earlier you take it away the easier it is.
Learning new self soothing techniques can take a while, but they include talking about what your child is feeling when they ask for the Pacey.
You can say things like
“I know you miss it” I’m sorry “
Maybe you could tell me what’s on your mind ?
Are you disappointed or upset about something ?
Do you need a hug or kiss?
Kids don’t really know how they feel at this age and even if you child isn’t talking yet you can start.
It’s the beginning of teaching them emotional intelligence when they have a loss. Losing their pacifier is a loss for kids.
Also you are switching your child from a self soothing pacifier to talking about how one feels.
If your child is a little older you can buy an inexpensive bracelet as a transition so she could turn on her wrist when she misses the pacey and say goodbye.
As a child psychotherapist I help parents help their kids through transitions and developmental stages using feelings.
Here’s a song I wrote ” Gotta Find Out “ that’s great for kids to dance and sing to and have them learn the words.
Singing, dancing, playing and talking helps kids with their feelings. I’ve had many two-year-old learn all the words and ask for the song when they were upset about something.