Top Tips For Weaning Off A Soother
Your baby’s soother has no doubt been a bit of a sanity-saver for you. The idea of parting with it might be more upsetting for you than for your child!
A soother is an incredibly helpful tool for when your baby is being fussy or a toddler is mid-meltdown. As your child gets older you will inevitably start thinking about the “when” and the “how” for weaning them off their soothers or pacifiers.
After all, they cannot keep using them forever.
So how do you go about doing it the right way without causing your little one (and yourself) too much trauma?
Let’s take a look at our top tips for weaning your child off a soother.
Top Tips For Weaning Off A Soother...
When To Wean
Many children between the ages of 2 and 4 years will wean themselves without any help. Experts recommend weaning before 1 year old, as ongoing use from this age can potentially cause dental problems in the future.
You might decide to start the weaning process at this age to to reduce these possible risks. You can also do it at this time to minimise a growing dependency and make weaning quicker and easier.
Having said all of this, every child is different and only you will know when the best time is to start the weaning process.
Here are our top tips for weaning baby off their soother or pacifier:
Phase Out The Use
Going cold turkey works for some children, but most will need a slower and more staggered approach. You can start by limiting the use of the soother throughout the day. The aim is to eventually allow it only for naps or at bedtime.
You can then work on eliminating the use altogether (using the below tactics!).
Provide An Alternative
You can try introducing something new as an alternative to the pacifier. A new soft toy or blanky might bring that bit of extra comfort that makes dealing with the loss of a pacifier a bit easier. If your child is used to snuggling with their Gobstopperz, then you can offer it without the soother attached as a familiar and comforting item.
A “Trade In”
When you are presenting your child with their awesome new comforter, you could do a swap and take the old soother a way as a trade for the new toy. You could also approach it as using the old soother to exchange for something new. This way, the child understands that the soother is gone and is voluntarily parting with it.
Oh No, It’s “Broken”!
Soothers can fracture and break over time. When a soother has passed it’s best, you can explain the your child that it is no longer safe to use and have them watch you throw it away. You can hurry the process along with this tactic if you like. While your child is not looking, pull the pacifier art away from the plastic a little, or if it won't budge you can cut off the end before showing it to your child.
A Bad Taste In Their Mouths
If your child is hesitant to give up their soother, you can make it unpleasant to use by dipping it in a bit of white vinegar. Some pharmacies also have safe, natural solutions for making pacifiers taste bad. This will soon discourage your child from using it.
A Proper Farewell
Some children, especially if they are a bit older, might benefit from having a special “ceremony” to officially and finally say goodbye to their pacifier. You could make a day of it and combine a few of the techniques above. Perhaps go toy shopping for the new toy, do the trade for the old pacifier, before it goes in the trash.
Lots of support and encouragement also goes a long way in helping your child feel secure without their old soother.
Gobstopperz are a versatile accessory that your child can use with or without a soother. Check out the range now if you are in the market for a new comforter or cuddly!