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Home for the Holidays: Pacifier Weaning

By Abbe Herman

Most of us are hunkering down for lots of time at home for the holidays. There is no better way to make good use of the extra time than to help your child with some tough transitions.  We pulled some top tips from our BCB Experts to help set you off in the right direction if you’re looking to wean your little one off their pacifier this holiday season.   

  • When you are weaning the pacifier, it is also important to have discontinued bottle use. I recommend 12 months for discontinuation of bottles and then by 15 months discontinuation of pacifiers. This is to prevent changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and tooth alignment. Prolonged pacifier and bottle use also increases the incidence of acute otitis media (ear infections). At 12 months I recommend either throwing all bottles away and using straw cups with whole milk (or milk of your choice). Alternatively, you can stop all midday bottles, and keep morning and night bottle feeds and then wean those over 2 weeks one at a time.
  • I recommend starting to use the pacifier only at times of sleep between 9-12 months.  This will make the process of weaning much easier.
  • Try not to stress about sleep. Caregivers are afraid their baby won’t sleep like they have been and they are terrified of losing that consistency and that sleep for themselves and their babies. I tell families: I PROMISE they will sleep again.
  • When it is 15 months, take all pacifiers and throw them away. Do not let your child find another or see another. They will forget, but every day you wait after 15 months it gets harder and harder for your child to separate from the pacifier.
  • If another baby is coming or here when the first is 15 months, I suggest getting rid of the pacifier at 9 months.
  • Start weaning around 9 months
  • limit to certain places only – crib, car seat, etc. Find what works for you.
  • When you’re ready, you can either:
    • Remove the pacifier completely – Don’t be alarmed if some tears are shed! You can provide another small & safe object to replace it
    • Put a small slit in the end of the pacifier that goes it their mouth; This will cause them to suck in air and they’ll usually stop using it on their own!

Thank you to Dr. Payal Adhikari, Dr. Ann Giese, and Dr. Courtney Weems for sharing your pro-tips with us!  We remind you all that you know your child best so be sure to follow their cues.  Always reach out to your pediatrician for further guidance.

THE CONVERSATION NEVER STOPS AT BUMP CLUB AND BEYOND! Not only are we here to help you get through COVID-19, but we’re also helping you to navigate our first (and hopefully only!) pandemic holiday season. Want more ideas to pass the time at home for the holidays?  Check out a list of our partners with Winter Break programming.  

Make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook  for more ideas as we navigate both COVID-19 AND parenthood together. Looking for more from BCB?  Join the BCB Community (it’s FREE!) for access to exclusive discounts, webinar replays, free samples and so much more!  Information can be found here.


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