I hear a lot of talk about dummies and how hard it can be to get children off them. Which is what prompted this post. I needed to share my experience with how I got the kids off the dummy.
The kiddies were huge fans of the dummy. They had the dummy from the newborn stage and took to it immediately. It worked for all of us back then. They were quite demanding as babies and the dummy helped soothe them. But when it came to getting rid of the dummy, they refused to stop! My son refused the dummy at 3 months, and took to his fingers instead (that is a story for a whole new post by the way). But my daughter fell helplessly in love with her pacifier and it was hard work getting her off it. She even had a name for her dummies. They were called “baby”. It was that serious.
I remember frantically googling up ways to get kids off the dummy and trying almost every trick in the book with no luck. I succeeded in getting her off it during the day quickly but nighttime was the tricky bit, as she was used to falling asleep sucking it. So I decided to think outside the box. Taking it away from her was pointless as she would just scream and cry until she had to back at night. I decided the only way to get her off the dummy successfully was to get her to reject it herself. I needed to make the pacifier not as “delicious” as she thought it was.
How to get your kids off the dummy/pacifier
Here are the steps I took to wean my daughter off her precious pacifier.
Get rid of all the dummies but one
I got rid of all the dummies and kept her least favourite one. I remember telling her the dummies were old and had to go, or something along those lines.
Make the pacifier unappealing
Once we were down to just one pacifier, I then had to make it unappealing. I needed her to reject it by herself and with no prompt from me. My daughter is very feisty. So I had to play dumb for this to work. I soak the pacifier in a lemon juice concentrate for a few hours before bedtime. And then when she asked for it, I gave her the lemon juice soaked pacifier. Her reaction was that of confusion at first, which then led to frustration. She couldn’t understand why her precious “baby” tasted different. It had a sour taste as you can imagine and she didn’t want any of it.
Just a quick note, she was 2 when I did this. I won’t recommend you do this if you have a younger child.
Get ready for the hard work
On the first night, my dear daughter woke up every few hours asking for her dummy, which I happily offered. Only for her to reject it again because of the sour taste. It worked like magic but the first two nights were hard because she kept waking asking for it, only to reject and ask for it in a few hours. I guess she kept thinking it would taste different every time. Or maybe she was too sleepy to recall the sour taste. On night no 3, I gave her the dummy first and she told me she didn’t want it anymore. She never asked for it again and went back to sleeping through the night.
I would recommend the lemon juice tip for any parent thinking of getting toddler (2 years and above) off the dummy/pacifier. It worked quickly for my daughter. And I am sure it would work great for many others as well.
Did you struggle to get your kids off the dummy/pacifier? Please share your experience in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading.