Much to the relief of a mother, a pacifier goes a long way to ease and calm down a fussy baby. Research also suggests that the incidence of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is relatively lower in babies who suck on a pacifier while sleeping. At times, sucking on the pacifier works as a great sleep inducer enabling the baby to fall asleep without much struggle. However, becoming over-dependent on the pacifier may not be a wise idea for your little munchkin. Thus, for all those parents who have been desperately trying to make their tiny tot give up the pacifier, here are a few tips to make things easier for you.
Be prepared for failures:
Seldom you will find a child willingly giving up the pacifier. For many parents, putting their child off the pacifier is nothing short of a nightmare. Thus, parents should take things easy. They need to give the child some time and slowly make an effort. There may be initial failures, but nothing to lose heart and don't give up on your resolution. You need to understand that for your child, the pacifier is more of an addiction and you cannot expect things to happen miraculously overnight. With time, your child will get used to a life sans the pacifier.
Don't give in to your child's demand:
At times you can see parents taking out the pacifier from the baby's mouth only to give it back to them after a few hours, all thanks to the baby's incessant crying. If you want your child to give up the pacifier for good, you have to be stern. If you have taken away the pacifier, do not give it back to them. You are doing this for your child's betterment and if need be, you have to be tough. They will cry or create a fuss once, twice, but will soon give up when they find you are not getting influenced by any of their antics.
Replace the pacifier with other means of comfort:
There is no denying the fact that most of the babies find it comforting to suck on the pacifier. You need to do a little research and look out for alternatives that may go a long way to soothe and comfort the baby in the absence of a pacifier. Cradling or rocking the baby, getting them their favourite toys, singing to them, to name a few, may work wonders to soothe a fussy or agitated baby.
You can also cover the tip of the pacifier with something bitter or unpleasant such as neem paste or bitter gourd juice and then give it to the baby. The next moment, you can expect the obvious, your child throwing off the pacifier for good (unless they are fond of the bitter taste). Repeat this at least for 2-3 days without any break for fruitful results.
Limit the use of the pacifier:
It also makes sense not to use a pacifier every time the child gets fussy. Using the pacifier daily is what turns it into an addiction that babies often find hard to part with. There is no harm in the occasional use of a pacifier though.
Good and bad fairy: Many babies believe in the fairytales. If yours is one such baby, you can come up with a story that if they continue using the pacifier, the bad fairy will come and take his/her mother away. While there is no guarantee of the success of the idea, there is no harm in trying either.