How To Stop The Pacifier Habit

17+ months

Apr 8, 2020

Is your baby or toddler addicted to the pacifier? Are you convinced it’s a saving grace when it comes to sleep? I’m here to tell you it is absolutely causing problems in your child’s sleep. It’s gotta go, right away! Throw it in the trash right now! Let me explain.

That’s right, pacifiers belong in the trash can! Or stow them away for the next baby. Because, let’s just put this out right in front in the beginning of this video–I love the pacifier for newborns! Newborns are born with a strong sucking reflex. They need that pacifier to soothe and settle. So I love it until they get to be four months old, and then the pacifier does no good.

Before we go any further, please know if you do keep the pacifier and your child is sleeping great, then disregard this post. Sometimes that’s the rare case. Your child takes a pacifier and they’re sleeping 11-12 hours blissfully through the night. You never have to go in there and they’re a rock star napper. If that’s happening…Okay, awesome. Move on.

But if that is not happening and your child does take the pacifier along with sleeping issues… Boom! There’s your answer. So let me explain why the pacifier causes problems in your child’s sleep. The pacifier is a prop, and a sleep prop is simply something that your child depends on to fall asleep. Now, not all props are bad–white noise is a prop, and you know how much I love white noise machines! Darkness is a prop, and ya’ll know that I’m all about having a 100% dark room. Pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, those are props; however, what we want to be looking for is to avoid props that your baby is not in control of.

Now, let me explain a little bit further. As adults, as toddlers and preschoolers we can roll over, grab our blanket and go back to sleep, get comfortable on our pillow. For babies, they can self soothe by rolling around, sticking their fingers in their mouth, stick their baby booty up in the air laying on the crib. That is all self soothing!

The pacifier creates a dependency for baby to reply on something that is outside of themselves. And most horribly of all, it’s not a lifelong thing. Your kid cannot be in third grade with the pacifier.

But your kid can be in third grade and have a stuffed animal or favorite blanket to love on, right? Like that’s age appropriate. So the problem with the pacifier is that it is a prop that is not going to serve them for life, and it is not something that causes solid sleep for themselves.

Anyone guilty of implementing the “scatter technique”??  When my oldest daughter was little, I thought, well, maybe I’ll just put a bunch of pacifiers all over the crib so they are much more easy to find when I go in, or when she wakes. Your hope is that you or baby can quickly find a paci, okay, pop it back in their mouth, repeat ALL NIGHT LONG.  The biggest problem here is that your child is fully waking up out of their sleep and fully emerging from a sleep cycle. They need a pacifier to connect one sleep cycle to the next, so all throughout the night they’re waking up, searching around the crib- instead of using their attached pacifiers–their fingers! This does not interfere with their sleep cycles as abruptly.

Think about when you roll around or move your own position around throughout the night. Do you remember each of those times? Probably not! Same with your child. They will naturally wake throughout the night to find their fingers, roll around and soothe themselves back to sleep. Have faith in your little one. They can self soothe, they can do this.

Your baby simply does not need the pacifier after 4 months old. I know it’s scary. I know, but we’re all in this together.

I hope that cleared the air and you now understand a little bit more about why Little Z’s is anti-paci, why I ask you to get rid of it, and how you can do those steps to get started on sleep training.

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