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Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Your 15-Day Strategy To Break The Pacifier Habit

Days 1 to 5: Explain to your child that as kids get bigger, they no longer use a pacifier. Point out other kids and people you might run into so they can see who has a soother and who doesn't. Depending on the age of the child, you can also talk to them about how a pacifier affects their teeth. 

Then slowly wean your child like you did for breastfeeding. Begin by only offering the pacifier in certain situations, like in the car, when they're hurt, in the crib at nap or bedtime (when it's truly needed for soothing vs. out of habit), then start taking it away one situation at at time. Your child will find comfort through other things, but going cold turkey will be hard on you and your tot.  You can come up with other ways to soothe your child such as reading a story, or rewarding them with stickers or an extra hug if they're able to go to sleep without the pacifier. 

Make sure everyone is on-board with this process! Ensure nannies, babysitters, and especially grandma know that you are trying to get rid of the pacifier.  It will do you no good to work hard and be the bad guy if grandma is slipping your child one whenever she watches him.

Day 5-15: Take away the pacifier during the day. Let your child know that pacifiers rest and are put to bed during the day. Also you can prick the pacifier with a tiny pinhole, as it will cause the pacifier to become useless. Your child will think it is broken and will not enjoy sucking on it anymore. 

You can ask the child to earn "pacifier time" if he or she must use it during the day. Use the pacifier as a reward for eating all his vegetables or using the potty. Depending on how old your child is, you can use it to encourage alone time or room cleaning. You'll be able to stop offering it eventually, and you'll have created some healthy habits in your child. 

Days 6-10: Tell your child it's okay to miss the pacifier but that there are other ways to feel comforted such as a hug or finding an activity he or she enjoys doing like coloring, reading, playing with toys, etc. Tell him or her that all big kids give up pacifiers.  Use your child's current role models (book, tv, video game characters) to demonstrate who doesn't have a pacifier.

Days 10-12: Make sure you have located all of the pacifiers in the house and ask your child  to say "goodbye" to some of them. Pull them out of your diaper bag, purse, and dishwasher, under the couch, bed, etc...One look at a pacifier and all your hard work is gone.

Days 11-15: Prepare for the final days of the last pacifier. Your child can also try sleeping without the pacifier at this point, although you may keep it close by just in case! 

Day 15: Today your child puts the last pacifier into an envelope and sends it to the Pacifier Fairy. Or, have the Pacifier Fairy visit in the middle of the night like the Tooth Fairy, where she takes the pacifier and leaves a gift (usually a stuffed animal or blankie - something that can bring comfort). You can do it one night only, or leave little things each night that your child is able to go without the pacifier.

About Difrax: 
Difrax pacifiers come in two distinct styles: Classic and Orthodontic. Each style has a 3-stage design to accommodate baby's growth and development.
  • 0-6 months is the perfect first pacifier for a preemie or newborn, as the size of the nipple and shield has been scaled down to accommodate their smaller features.  This design also has the softest nipple texture. 
  • 6-18 months is larger in size yet still suited to the baby's development.  The nipple is still soft, but a bit firmer than the newborn pacifier's nipple.  Not only does the pacifier soothe, it also stimulates the development of the palate, tongue, and jaw muscles. 
  • 18 months + is unique in its design.  The nipple is solid, which makes it less satisfying and prepares the child to be weaned from pacifier use.  The solid construction makes it almost indestructible when it comes to biting.
Each pacifier style has a butterfly shape that prevents the nose from being obstructed. The added holes in the design allow airflow to reduce skin irritation.  The Classic design features a round shaped nipple (sucking part) that is more suited to breastfeeding babies, as it has the likeness of a mother's breast.  This style is completely interchangeable; there is no right or wrong way to use.  The Orthodontic style's specific design has a rounded top side of the pacifier that rests against the baby's palate while the baby's tongue presses against the flat side. A culmination of years of research, development, and collaboration with the company's medical panel, the Difrax 3-stage pacifier system is truly unique in the US marketplace.

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