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The moment of removing the pacifier is the subject of an impressive display of tricks on the part of the parents to convince the child that, from that moment, we will no longer be able to count on him. The success of this difficult task of removing the pacifier lies in that we ourselves prepare for it and know how to persuade our children with the necessary motivation.
From the age of two or before the child enters school, most of us moms consider the need for our little one to permanently abandon the pacifier (if we have not taken it off before), much more seriously. although at this point he only asks us to sleep or after some painful mishap. At this age it is already much more difficult for the child to resort to thumb sucking as an alternative to the pacifier, since their need for sucking is much less, so we should not wait any longer.
It is true that many times we do not see the ideal moment to face the definitive abandonment of a habit that is deeply rooted in the child. Obviously, we do not want our child to interrupt his sleep and demand our attention at untimely hours or perhaps we fear that our initiative will not accept it, or perhaps the child faces situations, changes or family circumstances that require not let us increase tensions or remove privileges.
Once we are ready I can tell you that, from my experience, the best thing is to "burn the ships", not go back, hang on a bit and stand firm, and, above all, count on the complicity and collaboration of our son. We will help him, but he is the one who makes the final determination to do without his beloved pacifier. This is when our imaginations come into play to make up credible stories about the accidental loss of the pacifier or to follow preparatory rituals to take the big step. I've heard all kinds of stories that you might be able to use:
- Talk to the child to convince him that he is older. Other children his age, also older, no longer wear it and may think it is a baby.
- The pacifier can be given as an offering to Santa Claus, the Three Wise Men, the elves, the neighbor's cat, a bird ..., almost always in exchange for a gift, because he is older.
- Give it as a generous donation to a smaller baby who needs it more.
- Tell the child that he has been lost and we cannot find him anywhere, or that we have forgotten him after a trip outside our city (Or take advantage of a real situation in which this actually happens).
- On his birthday, as he is older, he himself decides to throw it away, as a ritual, in the trash (this is my favorite).
- Replace it with a stuffed animal that can lie next to him on his bed.
- There are also parents who turn the pacifier into an unpleasant object, by cutting the nipple or giving it an ugly appearance.
- Take advantage of a possible illness that affects your mouth or that, for any reason, makes you voluntarily reject the pacifier.
More or less fictionalized or fictitious, these measures fulfill their objective in the vast majority of cases, although we must always offer positive reinforcement by congratulating the child for the effort and resignation that he is leading. It may take a few days, but they will get used to it.
Patro Gabaldon. Editor of our site
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