Many parents are at their wits’ end trying to think of ways to get their baby to take a pacifier. The truth is, pacifiers can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first. That’s because your baby will either love it or hate it. Babies prefer to suck on something. Whether it is a finger, fist, thumb, or a teether. But, not all babies are the same. Some are reluctant on taking a pacifier or a dummy, and they will flat-out refuse it. If you are looking for a solution to your pacifier use problem, then you are in for a treat! Here, you can learn everything about pacifiers and the right way to get your baby to take one. So, let’s jump right in!
Getting the Baby to Take a Pacifier – Simple Technique
Soothing fussy babies will be your top priority. That’s where a pacifier makes for a practical choice. According to experts, breastfeeding mothers can introduce a pacifier when the baby is 3 to 4 weeks old. This is the time when the child has already grown accustomed to the nursing routine. To begin teaching pacifier use in young babies, wait for your little munchkin to settle down and feel at ease. If babies are cranky, they are most likely to push your hand away from the mouth. To counter that, touch the item to their cheek. This prompts the child’s natural reflex to suck.
- Tip: Don’t try to beat the clock. Let the child set the pace. If babies grow dependent on it, then the pacifiers could cause dental problems.
Why Does a Fussy Baby Need to Take a Pacifier?
The reason why so many parents and caregivers are using a dummy is that pacifiers can be a lifesaver during nap time. They ensure a self-soothing experience, which helps keep the baby content. The distraction it creates calms the general fussiness at a young age.
What To Do If the Baby Refuses a Pacifier?
Don’t force it. It’s OK even if the baby isn’t interested in it. Instead, be a little sneaky. Try the bait and switch technique. The baby will associate the pacifier with feed or breasts. After feeding, replace the breast with the pacifier in a quick motion. This tactic can really come in handy. But, if you need to take the game to the next level, then reverse psychology can do the trick. A sharp mind can calm the reluctant little munchkin and get them to take the pacifier. Reverse psychology triggers the natural instinct of the baby. After doing the bait and switch, pull the pacifier gently out of the baby’s mouth, as if you are trying to steal it.
- Tip: Have a couple of different pacifiers at hand. The baby can grow accustomed to a single color, shape, or style of a pacifier. They can either love it or reject it. We recommend purchasing a couple of different designs to see what makes the happiest baby.
Other Simple Tricks to Try
Parents tend to feel overwhelmed if their little one ends up spitting the pacifier. Especially if the child keeps crying through the night. To tackle issues such as these, try the following ways to get them to suck a pacifier.
Coat the Surface With Some Breast Milk
Don’t dip it in sugar, honey, or chocolate syrup when introducing the dummy. Although babies suck the sugar, it can damage the baby’s teeth and gums. Besides, giving the baby something sweet right before bed will be your worst nightmare. So, cut yourself some slack and use milk instead. Like after breastfeeding, for instance. Do have in mind that the dummy has germs. Therefore, it is in your best interest to wash the artificial nipple frequently. Exposing the newborn to potential pathogens is wrong.
- Tip: Baby rejects broken pacifiers. The dummy falls apart with time. Some pacifiers feature an expiration date. Check if the one you are using has expired, torn, or has changed color. If so, it’s best to get a new one.
Devise a Distraction
Stroke their little nose after breastfeeding, to promote their natural sucking instinct. Then, tap the pacifier to take their attention. This may keep breastfed babies from immediately sliding the dummy out of their mouth and back into your hand. Also, try getting them to laugh with their favorite stuffed animal.
- Tip: Avoid tying the pacifier to the crib or around the baby’s hand or neck. This is extremely dangerous for a newborn baby since they can hurt themselves when trying to reach for it and start sucking. Distractions such as these are a recipe for disaster.
Cool or Heat the Dummy Without Going Overboard
Take a pacifier and cool it in the fridge or dip it in some hot water to create a comfy sucking. As well as ease some of the discomfort in the gums.
- Tip: Choose a dummy that can handle the dishwasher. Besides, lengthy durability means that the baby can use it for a very long time.
Wait for the Right Moment
When the baby feels sleepy, they tend to drop their guard. This is the perfect opportunity for you mom and dad, to make a move. Right when you see them dozing off after breastfeeding, and are getting ready to sleep, introduce a pacifier. This nipple confusion will get the babies to start sucking.
Take a Break
When nothing works and the baby resists taking the best pacifier after breastfeeding, give them a few days. Maybe even a few weeks. Your baby might change their mind. Of course, as babies grow older, most will stop using the dummy by the age of 2 or 4. Others require the proper boost to learn how to break that habit. When the time comes, praise your kid for choosing not to take the pacifier.
Remember, a little bit of encouragement for a baby comes a long way. If you don’t think you can handle the weaning all by yourself, it’s best to contact your doctor for more information. They can let you in on some practical ways to get it right.
It’s normal to feel on edge if this is your first baby. After all, getting a baby to take a pacifier is no easy feat. As a new mom or dad, introducing a pacifier can feel downright exhausting. But, now that you know the right methods for making the happiest baby, you can feel calm knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to get the baby to take it. Plus, you can sleep in peace. Baby products like these are here to offer comfort and security. The trick for the happiest baby is to promote their natural sucking reflex and inspire the child to use the pacifier after they feed. Remember, it can take some trial and error. But this is a time well-spent. Did you find our guide useful? What sort of tricks did you try? Share your thoughts in the comments below.