The best way to get rid of a particular habit is to replace it with another. Pacifiers are used mostly by babies who are fond of sucking their thumbs, the pacifiers replace the thumbs.
But pacifier addiction is also as embarrassing as thumb sucking and therefore requires a replacement.
If you’ve been finding it difficult to stop your baby’s pacifier addiction, you may consider getting him gifts to replace pacifier in the same manner he uses them.
One known reason for Babies continuously sucking on a pacifier is boredom, therefore getting them gifts that will keep them engaged is a sure way to stop this addiction.
What is a Pacifier?
A pacifier is an object made in the form of a nipple. It is made of either rubber or plastic with a nipple and a handle.
It comes with an airbag to cushion the baby’s lips during sucking. Some pacifiers are rechargeable to enable all-night sucking.
Tips On To Help Wean Your Baby Off a Pacifier
If it’s time for your child to give up the pacifier, follow these steps to help her do so with fewer tantrums and tears:
1. It’s all about the Timing
It’s best not to begin weaning during a stressful event, such as the start of daycare, the arrival of a new sibling, a long car ride or a family vacation, or moving into a new house.
Your child will need to be able to self-soothe during these stressful situations, and it’s best not to take away their binky until these events are over.
2. Limit the use
Begin by limiting your child’s use of pacifiers during the day. You could limit its use by allowing your child to have it only when you are at home.
Work your way up to eliminating it during the day and only offering it at nap and bedtime. Once you’ve mastered that, you can gradually phase it out of naptime and then bedtime.
Nighttime always seems to be the most difficult, so establishing a new bedtime routine may be beneficial.
This could include a bath, a bedtime book, some singing, and rocking your child to sleep. Experiment with a few different approaches to see what works best for you.
3. Avoid using it as your first line of defense
During a meltdown, it’s all too easy to give in and give your child a pacifier. While there are many possible causes for your baby’s crying, try not to reach for the pacifier first.
Examine their diaper to see if they’re hungry. Hold your child, sing to or play soft music to them, read to them, rock them, or entertain them with toys or activities.
Keep your child busy and moving to keep them from thinking about their binky.
4. Offer Transitional Objects
In place of the binky, give your child a transitional object. A transitional object, similar to a pacifier, will relieve stress and assist your child in adjusting to new or challenging situations.
These are commonly referred to as security items and can include a new toy, stuffed animal, or a favorite blanket. You’ll want something they can safely sleep with so they can self-soothe at night.
We have a list of gifts to replace pacifier with here keep reading.
5. Make It Appear Unappealing
If your child is having difficulty giving up their pacifier, you could try to make it less appealing to them. You could make it taste bad by dipping it in white vinegar or lemon juice.
Your child will most likely spit it out and refuse to have anything to do with it.
There are some parents or caregivers who prefer cutting the tip-off or piercing the nipple to reduce the sucking urge, this works too but could potentially cause a choking hazard.
6. When Your Child Refuses To Use the Pacifier, Praise Them
When your child chooses not to use their pacifier, tell them how awesome they are.
Congratulate them by saying, “You’re getting so big!” as well as “I’m super proud of you!” Provide enjoyable small rewards, such as stickers, stamps, play dough, or a favorite healthy snack.
7. Organize a Formal Farewell Ceremony
When your child is finally ready to say goodbye to the binky for good, hold a special farewell ceremony. This is especially effective for older children.
Take your child shopping, let them choose a new toy, and let them “pay” for it with their pacifier.
You could also throw a bye-bye binky party complete with party hats, balloons, and delicious treats.
8. Go Cold Turkey
Cold turkey can be an effective method for some children, but it may require a little more patience, attention, and creativity on your part.
If you decide to use this method, explain to your child that pacifiers are only for babies and that it’s time to say goodbye to their binky because they’re growing up.
Continue the conversation by telling them about all of the exciting things that big kids get to do.
Related Post: Pacifiers Turning Yellow? Here is Why
Gifts To Replace Pacifier – 10 Best Gifts
Pacifiers provide a certain feeling of comfort and safety to babies who use them. It is the same feeling they get when sucking on a nipple.
Other times, boredom and hunger are the reasons for continuing to suckle on a pacifier. The only way to get rid of the pacifier is by providing the comfort and safety they get from sucking on the pacifier.
The following are some gifts to replace a pacifier in the same way they provide comfort to your baby.
1. Teething Rings
Teething rings are made like pacifiers, the only difference is, that they’re usually made of silicone instead of plastic.
They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors to captive your baby’s attention while also providing the same comfort as the pacifier. You can get one here!
Binkies are also made like pacifiers only with thinner material than the pacifiers and instead of having a handle attached to the nipple; a binky comes with a free nipple that can be attached to a baby’s upper lip.
They provide the same soothing feeling as the pacifiers, are easy to carry about, and have a clip that can be attached to a baby’s clothes to prevent losing it during a stroll.
Soothers are the best options when you think of gifts to replace a pacifier.
They’re made to look like a pacifier but they have holes on the sides which prevent the baby from sucking, and if your baby is addicted to a pacifier, it will gradually make him lose interest in sucking on it since the fun of it is not there anymore.
Soothers are mostly used by breastfeeding mothers to keep their babies distracted while they work and at the same time, prevent them from getting addicted to sucking.
This is a type of pacifier that is made of biodegradable material. They come with a teat to fit the baby’s mouth and an airbag to cushion the baby’s lips and prevent them from getting stuck.
They’re good for babies who have difficulty breathing while sleeping on their backs.
5. Crib Toys
This is another alternative to a pacifier. Crib toys are shaped like pacifiers and provide the same soothing feeling as a pacifier.
6. Bottle Teethers
They are made of silicone and are best for soothing the soreness of a growing tooth. They are shaped in the form of animals or random objects and come in different sizes.
7. Finger Pops
These are a type of pacifier that is made to look like plastic fingers. They come in different colors and can be used as a gift to replace pacifiers.
8. Finger Puppet
They’re made of soft clothes to look like pacifiers only that they do not have airbags and are made to fit a baby’s fingers. They’re safe to soothe a baby’s teeth without causing any injury to their gums.
9. Teething Keys
Teething keys come in different shapes and colors, some come with a music player to entertain the baby while soothing a sore tooth.
10. Non-toxic Crayons
These are silicone crayons that come with a clip that can be clipped to a baby’s pacifier. They can be used as an alternative to pacifiers or attached to a pacifier. You can get all these gift items here on Amazon!
Related Post: How To Keep Pacifier in Newborn Mouth
Risks Associated With Pacifier Addiction
Like every other addiction, a pacifier has its hazards associated with its addiction. These hazards may go a long way to affect your baby’s behavioral pattern and their self-esteem is left unattended to and they include.
Sucking on a pacifier may create a false feeling of fullness in the tummy and lead to loss of appetite.
Babies who are addicted to sucking on a pacifier may refuse to eat during mealtimes due to this and it’ll lead to a steady weight loss.
Teeth misalignment is another hazard associated with pacifier addiction. It hinders the growth of a baby’s teeth and may sometimes be extreme enough to require surgery to correct it.
Kids who weren’t taught to stop sucking on a pacifier may try to do so on their own and end up replacing the pacifier with another ugly habit of nail-biting just to maintain the comforting feeling they have when sucking on their pacifiers.
Thumb sucking is a common habit amongst babies who have been newly weaned.
Some parents introduce a pacifier to their babies immediately after they’re weaned.
When a child gets addicted to a pacifier, the only thing close to giving them that same feeling is thumb sucking, and they’d easily go back to thumb-sucking when they can’t get their hands on the pacifier.
Related Post: How To Stop Baby From Sucking Thumb
I hope this article has given in-depth to answer the question of gifts to replace pacifier. As you may know, helping your toddler stop pacifier addiction is quite easy.
Since using a pacifier itself is a mode of distraction from boredom or thumb sucking, all you’re required to do is to distract your baby with any of these gifts which have been listed in the article.
These gifts themselves act as a pacifier but are safer for the dental health of your child.
Things like tooth decay and teeth misalignment are common consequences of pacifier addiction which the gifts help to curb.