Weaning from the pacifier can be a tough transition for parents and toddlers. It was a stage I had been dreading, which is why I put it off for months. I was most nervous about my son’s sleeping habits changing so I kept telling myself “we’ll try taking it away next month”. Finally, after my son’s first visit to the dentist, I decided to take the plunge.
The dentist had confirmed what my husband and I already knew and that was that J’s pacifier was causing one his front teeth to stick out quite a bit more than the others. When he broke the news that the pacifier had to go as soon as possible, my heart sunk because I knew it was my fault for holding on. That night my husband and I made a pact to work on phasing out his pacifier right away.
So, just like everything else— swaddling, breastfeeding, and the bottle, I decided to slowly wean my 2 and a half year old from his Wubanub pacifier and within 2 weeks he said bye-bye to his paci. Feeling like my baby had officially moved out of the “baby” phase, his accomplishment was a tad bittersweet for momma.
Related: 11 Must-Have Potty Training Tools to Make the Process Easier
Here’s how I was able to Slowly Wean from the Pacifier:
Pierce (with a needle) a small hole in the tip of the nipple and let your little one use it like normal. The hole in the nipple will slightly disrupt the sucking sensation and your tot will not get the same satisfaction. Some may abandon the pacifier all-together at this stage.
Day 8 & 9
Cut just the tip of the nipple off. This is where it’s gonna get messy. If your child is fully dependent on their pacifier to fall asleep, which mine was, then this is going to be the toughest day/night for everyone. When bedtime came and my son realized that his “guy” (a name my husband called J’s Wubanub pacifiers and somehow got it to stick) was broken, all hell broke loose. He cried for his guy for over an hour until he eventually passed out. It felt like the longest hour of my life and I laid in bed crying, watching him on the monitor.
Nap and bedtime the second night were a bit easier but still a lot of crying from a boy that normally went straight to bed without a fight.
Related: DIY WubbaNub Nipple Replacement
Cut off the entire nipple off the Wubanub animal and let your little one keep it as a “lovey”.
The next few days and nights were followed by lots of questions regarding what happened to his guy. Sleep time got a little easier but only because this is where “the talk” came in.
My husband sat down with J just before bedtime and had a serious conversation regarding his guy (a.k.a. the pacifier). He explained to him that he was a big boy now and that he didn’t need his guy anymore. He told J that he could keep his guy but only as a friend. He cut right to the point and told him that only babies use guys. J seemed to agree that this was true, and he said he didn’t need his guy because he was big.
He lied down and with a little less crying he again eventually fell asleep with just the stuffed animal part of the Wabunub.
It took a few more days of restless sleep but eventually, J became less dependent on his pacifier and learned to soothe himself to sleep with just his blanket and stuffed animals.
My advice is to stick with it no matter how tough it gets. After a few days, the pacifier will be nothing but a distant memory for all of you.
What’s your pacifier weaning plan? How many times did you abort the mission? I’d love to hear your stories. Please share in the comments below.
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.