Raise your hand if you have played “pacifier ping pong”? Ohhh I remember it all so well, night after night, ALL NIGHT LONG!
If you don’t know what I’m taking about let me break it down for you.
I have a love-hate relationship with the pacifier. I LOVE that it can soothe a baby very quickly but I don’t like it when it becomes a sleep crutch.
Many babies can use a pacifier at the beginning of the their sleep and not need it throughout the rest of their nap or night sleep. But some babies rely on their pacifier to transition into their sleep cycles. This is when you start playing “PACIFIER PING PONG”. Constantly playing this game with your little one because they will not keep their soother in easy at the beginning of the night, but it is much more challenging playing this game at 3am.
When babies are not able to put their pacifier back in by themselves, they rely on their parents or caregiver to do it for them. This sleep crutch has to be replaced EVERY time the baby wakes. They constantly need someone to replace it.
I remember playing Pacifier Ping Pong with my son for months and I just couldn’t keep up anymore so I knew we needed to get rid of his pacifier dependency. He was 6 months old and could not sleep without it. I was loosing the game......and quickly. We asked our friends and family how to get rid if this dependency. The advice was - slowly pull it out before he falls into a deep sleep (how difficult is that right?), cut the tip off so it doesn't work anymore (uhmmm safety risk?) and go cold turkey - toss it out! Well, "fortunately" my son came down with a cold shortly after deciding to get rid of it and we jumped on the fact he was mouth breathing because he was so congested. He couldn't keep his soother in because he was so congested so he managed to figure out on his own, an new way to fall asleep. What would we have done if he did not come down with a cold? Cold turkey.
It was a few tough nights but he found another way to soothe himself back to sleep when he was transitioning through his sleep cycles- it was game over little man! I was so happy to say goodbye to the pacifier!