How Kate gave up her pacifier

Like many new parents, we tried not to give #1 and #2 the pacifier. However, they ended up sucking their fingers. That was much worse as they had access to it anytime of the day, and would pop it in their mouths whenever they felt sleepy. Yikes, the germs! It was also very tough to get them to stop sucking their thumbs.

We made sure the rest of the kids did not suck their thumbs, and had to resort to using the pacifier. I know there are many mums who manage without the pacifier or allowing them to suck their thumbs, and I don’t know how you do it!

For us, it was hard enough to manage so many kids, and I used the pacifier to help them fall asleep by themselves.

Her last photo with a pacifier!

When #3 was around 2 years old, we told her it was time to get rid of her pacifier, and threw all of them away. She cried for a few nights, and seemed fine after that.

However, little did we know that it bothered her so much. When she was about 6 and had her own pocket money, she bought herself a pacifier! I guess we should not have done it in such a harsh and abrupt manner as she must have been rather attached to it.

With Kate, we gave her a pacifier but ensured she only used it at bedtime and nap time. She had two to rotate, and when one had a tear in it, I did not replace it and made it known to her that she was down to the last one.

A few months before her third birthday, we felt it was time she gave it up. We explained to her that pacifiers were for babies to help them to sleep and she doesn’t need one now as she is no longer a baby.

She fluctuated between being ready to give it up and being adamant that she needed it. When she saw her baby cousin, she would fetch her pacifier and offer it to the baby. She even whispered to the baby that she is now a big girl and doesn’t need it anymore (so adorable hearing her try to convince herself). However at bedtime, she would change her mind.

We prepped her for many weeks, and told her that we would throw it away on her 3rd birthday. We talked about the lovely party that she was so looking forwards to, and the presents she would receive.

I intended to keep aside a couple of the presents unopened, and when she whined for her pacifier, I would whip out one present per night to wean her off it smoothly.

A few days before her 3rd birthday, her pacifier had a slight tear in it, and she didn’t want to suck it. She asked for a new one, but I told her no. She thought about it, then walked to the dustbin and threw it in herself.

That was it! No fuss, no crying. I was quite surprised, really. No need for my sneaky plan.

It took her about 30 minutes longer to fall asleep, and when she woke up in the middle of the night, she lay in bed for a long time before falling asleep.

The next day, she asked for it at nap time and at bed time, but did not make a fuss when I reminded her that she had thrown it away.

After that, she had no problems falling asleep without it.

The end šŸ™‚

Do share with us if you had managed to wean your child off at a younger age, and what method you used as many new parents are keen to find out.

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~