Are you struggling to get your baby to sleep through the night? Are you at your wit’s end trying to find a way to soothe them without using a pacifier? If you’re looking for a guide on how to get your baby to sleep without a pacifier, you’re in the right place. Read on for some tips that may help.
Why Is It Hard for Babies to Sleep Without Pacifier?
Sleeping is one of the essential parts of a baby’s day, but not all babies take to sleep like a duck to water. For many little ones, sleep only arrives with the help of external stimuli – like a pacifier.
Though it may seem as if pops and lullabies aren’t cutting it, there’s a more prominent reason why younger babies find it harder to go through their sleep cycles without their beloved pacifiers. Essentially, sucking on an object provides a natural way for babies to self-soothe themselves back into slumberland.
Researchers have even noticed that newborns naturally need sucking; infants establish eating routines around this ingrained behavior during their pacifier-weaning process. Eventually, fingers, thumbs, and random objects can become substitutes for the real thing.
In those cases where parents wish to phase out using pacifiers – the challenge will be devising ways for these sweet babes to relearn that same skill: re-establishing the ability to soothe oneself into restful slumbers.
Read more: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?
Pros of Using a Pacifier
- They bring a soothing feeling to babies and help them calm down
- Reduce your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Help reduce their anxiety and distress during medical procedures and shots
- Provide a pacifying effect for infants, which helps them fall asleep easier.
- They offer a distraction from teething pain.
Cons of Using a Pacifier
- It can lead to more ear infections;
- Can interfere with breastfeeding;
- May cause dental problems, such as malocclusion or misaligned teeth;
- It can lead to an increase in thumb-sucking.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Without A Pacifier
One of the most common struggles for parents is getting their baby to sleep without relying on a pacifier. It’s tricky and often stressful, but luckily there are a few tricks that can come in handy when trying to kick that paci habit! Here are some tips to try.
Establish a Solid Bedtime Routine
Start by giving your baby something to look forward to when it’s time for bed, like reading stories together or singing songs. Make the routine consistent so that your little one knows exactly what they can expect each night before falling asleep without a pacifier. Let them get used to the right time to lay in their bassinet. This will help prepare them for rest and establish healthy habits.
Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling your baby can help keep them calm, secure, and warm, making it easier to transition out of pacifier use. Make sure you use breathable fabric so they don’t overheat, and check in on them periodically throughout the night.
Provide Comforting Distractions
When your baby is trying to sleep without a pacifier, give them something else comforting that they can focus on instead. Try rubbing their back or stroking their hair gently as you talk softly with them, or provide a soft blanket or toy they can hold onto while they drift off through the sleep cycle. You could even try playing some soothing music too! Don’t forget to prepare a comfortable bassinet since the baby will feel safer.
It’s important to remember that this process will take some time, so take a deep breath and be patient with your little one. Keep in mind that it may take several weeks before they can sleep without their pacifier, and if you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a break for yourself! It can be helpful to talk with friends or family about your feelings. This will help avoid prolonged pacifier use by your kid.
Offer an Alternative
If your baby still struggles to sleep without their pacifier, you could offer them something else to help soothe them. For example, a lovey or security blanket may provide the same type of comfort that they’re used to from their pacifier. It’s important to remember that this process will take patience and understanding from both sides.
Replace the Pacifier With a Cuddle
If your baby has grown accustomed to having a pacifier in the baby’s mouth, it may be difficult for them to adjust suddenly. An excellent way to help them transition is by replacing the pacifier with a cuddle. Hold your baby close and rock or sway gently until they fall asleep. This will help them still get the extra security they need while also learning to self-soothe.
What Is the Right Age to Stop Using Pacifiers?
Deciding when to remove a pacifier can be a difficult decision for parents. After all, it’s a valuable tool for helping newborn babies self-soothe and allowing parents to get much-needed rest! Unfortunately, the older kids get with a pacifier, the less likely they will give it up. They just need gentle sleep training.
Finding the right time to remove the proverbial electronic “blankie” will vary from child to child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pacifiers not be used after six months to reduce the risk of ear infections. Still, generally speaking, most children will eventually outgrow their need for one around 18-24 months old.
Whether you ease your toddler into abstaining or go cold turkey, every child is different, and it’s up to each parent to decide when it’s time to stop using one.
What is the right age to stop using pacifiers?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pacifiers should not be used after six months of age, but most children will outgrow their need for one around 18-24 months old. Ultimately it will depend on each child, so parents should decide when it’s time to take away the pacifier.
What should I do if my baby struggles to sleep without their pacifier?
If your baby is having difficulty sleeping without a pacifier, you could offer an alternative, such as a security blanket that provides the same comfort. Remember to be patient and understanding during this process, as it may take time for them to adjust. If you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a break for yourself. Talking with friends or family can also be helpful.
Giving up a pacifier can be a complex process for babies and parents. It’s important to remember that it may take some time before your baby can sleep without it, so be patient with them! Offer an alternative, such as a security blanket, to provide the same comfort and replace the pacifier with plenty of cuddles until they fall asleep. Ultimately it will depend on each child when it’s time to stop using one, but generally speaking, most children will outgrow their need for one around 18-24 months old.