Has your baby become too attached to her pacifier during the nighttime? If yes, then it may be time to think about how to wean baby off pacifier at night. Here are a few tips for how to do it right.
Although pacifiers can help relax babies and make them feel secure, becoming too dependent on a pacifier to fall asleep can have a few downsides for both babies and parents.
In this article, I am sharing five tips on how to wean your baby off her pacifier.
What Does It Mean To Wean Baby Off Pacifier At Night?
A pacifier is a great source of comfort for your baby. It can be of great help when you are traveling and don’t need a cranky baby on your hands, among other benefits.
However, studies show that prolonged use of pacifiers does have its disadvantages. Using these excessively can make the child overly dependent, and weaning the baby off can take a great deal of time and effort.
But it’s not impossible.
In short, weaning is the process of removing the pacifier as a source of comfort for the baby, to reduce dependence and the associated health risks.
When she is between 3-12 months of age, you can start planning how to wean baby off pacifier at night. This helps develop your baby’s independent sleeping skills so you can enjoy a peaceful sleep at night as well.
Here are five tips for saying bye-bye to the pacifier at night:
Replace the Pacifier With Another Comfort Aid
Substituting the pacifier with another soft toy or a cozy blanket is a tried and tested way of how to wean baby off pacifier at night. However, if she has already gotten attached to it, she might still demand the pacifier by crying or throwing a tantrum. Avoid giving in to her demands. Persist with the soft toy or the snuggly blanket and try soothing her by singing or humming to her.
Remove the Pacifier From The Scene
One common method is going cold turkey. It means taking away the pacifier in a decisive moment. You will need to prepare yourself for bouts of crying and demands for her pacifier, once she realizes that it is not available.
This might be a good time to introduce the concept of self-soothing as well. With the help of sleep training, she will quickly grow out of this phase and will be less likely to ask for her pacifier back. Once you master the art of baby sleep training, your life will be more enjoyable.
Try Removing the Sucking Effect Of The Pacifier
To lessen the charm of the sucking effect of the pacifier, you can try cutting off its bulb. Once she finds that the satisfaction of sucking is no longer there, she is more likely to move on from using it.
Change the Taste Of The Pacifier
It is a proven fact that nail-biters are discouraged from biting their nails by applying something distasteful to their nails. In the same way, you can apply something sour or bitter to the pacifier to make it taste bad. Ask your baby’s doctor or your pharmacist about a baby-safe solution that can make the pacifier taste bad. Your baby will associate the bad taste with the pacifier and give it up fast.
Teach Her to Self-Soothe To Sleep
The Ferber method is another method for how to wean baby off her pacifier at night. To try this method, make sure your baby has no pre-existing medical conditions or negative sleep associations. Some helpful tips are given below:
- Have a consistent bedtime routine. It can be a bath followed by a bedtime story or singing to her.
- Put her into bed when she has gotten drowsy but is still not fully asleep. Let her be aware that she is in bed and needs to sleep. Doing this also helps in sleep training your little one to drift off to sleep easily.
- Leave the room. If she cries, go to her, but only after the prescribed time gap. Try soothing her by talking gently or by patting her to sleep, but do not pick her up. When you feel that she is getting sleepy, leave the room. If she cries again, repeat the process until she falls asleep.
- Be consistent with this method for all nap times, even during the day. Catnaps are an integral part of a baby’s daily routine and have to be taken seriously.
Remember, if your baby does not respond to this method within 3-4 days, you will need to change your method to help your baby sleep better. From rocking the crib to singing lullabies, you can always experiment with various methods until you find the one that works for your little one.
This Is A Step Toward An Independent Baby!
A pacifier is one of your baby’s greatest loves. The separation can be tough, but with little effort from your end, your child will learn how to be independent in no time. By using these tried-and-true tactics, you and your little one can manage to survive the pacifier weaning stage. Get ready for a few nights of crying, but whatever happens, don’t give in.