Simple steps to wean your child off their dummy

Simple suggestions to make transition to being dummy-free as smooth and pain-free as possible.

As a new parent you may have struggled with the decision to let your baby take a soother.
There is no denying that a pacifier is brilliant for soothing your fussy baby. However suddenly you become to realise that it has become your child's best friend. When you decide that it is time to make the move and remove the dummy, it can be difficult to know how to go about it.
Here are some simple suggestions to make the transition to being dummy-free as smooth and pain-free as possible.
Understand why your child needs a soother. 
It is important to understand why your child uses a soother. Is it to help them get to sleep, used when they are upset or both? Once you can see when your baby seems to need their soother, you can look to replacing it with a teddy to comfort or by changing up their bedtime routine.
Timing is everything
Taking a dummy away sooner than later is the most effective method. Before a child hits one year old is an ideal time to lose it. After this, children begin to understand more and the option of just removing it without notice may not go down quite as well.
It is important that there are no other big changes happening in your childs life when you decide to remove their soother. If you are moving house, have a new baby, or just moved your child to a bed consider holding off for a couple of months until life settles back down for them.
Deciding your approach:
Are you going to go cold turkey or perhaps a gentler method might suit you better. The former is much quicker however, be warned in advance, you need a lot of patience and determination. Is it what it says on the tin. 
  • Cold turkey. You remove the soother and no matter what, it is not produced again. It can result in lots of tantrums and meltdowns however in a matter of 2 weeks you can live a dodi free life.
  • Slow wean approach means that you encourage your child to be without their soother for longer periods of time each day until eventually they will not require it anymore. Start with ‘zero stress’ situations and gradually add in restrictions like:
  • The soother doesn’t leave the car
  • The soother doesn’t leave the house
  • The soother doesn’t leave your bed
In advance, rid the house of all soothers. If you decide to keep an ‘emergency’ one. Make sure it is well out of sight.
For the first couple of days, try to pre empt times that your child would normally use their soother and have another distraction ready for them eg. A game or toy.
Give it away/trade up
If your child is old enough to understand the idea, giving the soother away or trading it for something special like a new toy might help to end the addiction.
Chill out
If your attempts at weaning your child off their soother are unsuccessful, don’t stress about it. It is no reflection on your parenting skills and your child has done nothing wrong. Eventually you will be able to be soother free. By school going age children have given up their soother. So if it hasn’t worked, give yourself a break and try again. 


{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us