Here is some information to help solve this exhausting nightly pacifier run!!
Does your baby have you up all hours of the night to replace the pacifier as they have lost it? Does your little one intentionally loose the pacifier because they know you will go in to replace it?
Pacifiers are a lifesaver for some families and can be used without any problem for the first few months however, as babies get older it can sometimes cause more issues for sleep instead of being a positive sleep association. If you find your little one falls asleep and is only managing short catnaps, wakes after one sleep cycle or wakes every few hours through the night, the pacifier may be contributing to this.
Your little one has an attachment to the pacifier and loves it, this means that when they go to sleep with it in and wake up without it being there, they expect it to still be there and want it back but cannot do this by themselves.
At what age can we teach a baby to find and replace a pacifier and how can we do this?
From between 6-8 months you can teach your little one to find and replace the pacifier. (In some cases you could start at 5 months but this would be the earliest I would recommend however, do not feel discouraged if it did not work, just try again when your baby is closer to 6-8 months)
Chicco Pocket Buddies is available to help with the process and allows your little one to have a lovey/attachment as well as the pacifier, it also helps teach them to find the item rather than a small pacifier that could easily fall out of the crib. If you choose to attach the pacifier to another item, this needs to be something breathable and no bigger than the size of your hand for safe sleep practices.
The following steps are listed below on how to teach your little one to find and replace the pacifier.
- Put the pacifier in your little ones hand and guide it to their mouth for approximately 2-3 days.
- Put the pacifier in your little ones hand to allow them to put it in their mouth, do this for another 2-3 days.
- Put the pacifier on the mattress next to your little one and pat where it is to allow your little one to reach and grab the pacifier themselves.
Ensure you use this method for all naps and overnight sleep. This includes throughout the night if your little one wakes you for the pacifier.
If you are still struggling with sleep problems or need some more advice, I would be happy to help you with a 15 minute free no obligation phone consultation. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram @babysleepconsultancy page for further sleep tips!
Author: Sarah Oliver – Founder and Pediatric Sleep Consultant