Pacifier Weaning: When’s the Appropriate Time?

Many children are given a pacifier when they are quite young as a way to soothe them. Parents find a little peace and quiet when their child is using the pacifier as it keeps them occupied for a while and not screaming. Indeed, many parents allow their child to use a pacifier simply because they need a break from the noise for a while. However, there comes a time when it is appropriate to wean your child off of the pacifier entirely. Here at My Second Home Early Learning Center, we wanted to explore this question more deeply to see when the right time to take these steps really is. 

When Should a Child Wean Off Pacifiers?

Ask any parent that has tried to take their children off of a pacifier when the right time to do so is, and you are likely to get numerous answers from people who all believe that their way is the correct one. It is not terribly surprising that so many people feel strongly about this, given how important pacifiers are to the development process for many children. That said, it is important to understand that there is a time when it is a lot easier to wean your children from their pacifiers, and this should be recognized. 

The easiest time to do so is when your child is between six and seven months old. It is possible to get your child down from using the pacifier a few times a day to not at all in the matter of a few days when they are this age. Of course, this means that you will likely have to deal with some fussiness for some time to come, but that is a trade-off to make if you want to keep them safe and secure from the dangers of overusing their pacifier. 

How To Wean Your Child Off A Pacifier

To get your child weaned off of their pacifier, you will have to treat the pacifier just like anything else that someone might need to be weaned from. That is to say that you gradually take it away more and more until they are simply not using it at all anymore. It is a challenging thing to go through both for yourself and for your child, but you can certainly do it. You just have to push forward with the concept of self-discipline, even at any early age. 

You can help them overcome some of their anxiety about giving up the pacifier by trying to substitute in other means of keeping them calm and secure. You may consider giving them extra time with a blanket or stuffed animal that they love. The comfort that comes in with those choices can be useful for helping your child understand his or her limitations as far as the pacifier is concerned, and it may be useful to help get them off of the pacifier that they have relied on so heavily before.