Love them or hate them, for many of us a pacifier is a necessity. It is estimated that between 75-85% of babies and toddlers have used a pacifier to soothe themselves at some point.
And this is understandable: the pacifier can be an excellent way to provide immediate relief and calm difficult and inconsolable babies or young children. (That's where we love them!)
But the problem is that pacifier use can quickly become a habit . Before you know it, offering a pacifier once in a while to comfort him turns into offering a pacifier constantly, so that your baby or toddler falls asleep.
And that can turn into repeated awakenings. Your baby wakes up at night and cries until you come to replace the pacifier that fell out of his mouth. (That's when we hate them!)
We've written about pacifiers and sleep before: check out this article on how and when to wean off the pacifier.
This article isn't about whether or not your child should use a pacifier, but rather how to stop him from dropping it in the middle of the floor every five minutes! This is a super smart tip that every parent with a pacifier-loving child at home should know.
I had some trouble with my son recently, and it made me think of a better way to keep the pacifier from falling out .
It was then that my friend told me about the technique that she, or rather her husband, had developed to prevent the baby from crying all night. Apparently it is he who takes care of the nocturnal awakenings of his children.
And with his permission, we present to you today the technique of "ninja lollipops"!
If you have a child under 3, this tip is for you!
The "Ninja Lollipops" technique - How did the idea come about?
Her husband explains:
After several nights of waking up multiple times during the night to replace a missing pacifier, I followed a trick mentioned in many sleep training books and "scattered" several pacifiers (usually about six) into the crib. when we said goodnight to our daughter. This "system", which made it easy for our daughter to grab a replacement pacifier in the middle of the night and go back to sleep without screaming, worked like a charm for about a month.
Then our little angel discovered our trick and thought it would be a fun game to throw all the pacifiers out of the crib as she settled in before falling asleep for the night. Every night we could hear the sound of lollipops bouncing on the floor one after another, and she again started waking up in the middle of the night screaming for us to come in and give her a lollipop.
And there was no doubt that she was doing it on purpose. One night we saw her on the video baby monitor pushing pacifiers through the holes in her crib on the floor and even getting up to throw a pacifier against her bedroom wall.
It was then that I had an idea.
The "Ninja Lollipops" technique - How does it work?
It works as follows:
Instead of putting all the pacifiers in our daughter's crib when we tucked her in and she's awake and aware of them, I now put two in the crib when she's awake (and she throws them out of the cradle as planned). Then, later that evening, when she is dreaming and falling asleep quickly, I tiptoe into her room and scatter the six lollipops all around her crib. That's why I called it the "ninja lollipops" technique.
If you decide to try this method, however, be careful not to accidentally wake your toddler when you sneak around the room to scatter the pacifiers! This is what happened once to her husband as he explains:
It's worked pretty well so far. The only exception: One night, I accidentally woke our daughter up trying to sneak into her room. Come to think of it, I probably walked in before our daughter was completely asleep.
So if there's one piece of advice I can share with other parents considering this new trick: wait at least an hour after your child has fallen asleep before coming back.
So if you are looking for a way to prevent your child from using a pacifier, or you think it is an obstacle to sleep.
For some families, it's enough to make sure the pacifier is out of reach during bedtime and nap time.
Other families, on the other hand, may find themselves in really dire straits when it comes to the pacifier. The association between pacifiers and sleep can be so strong for many children and babies that they cannot fall asleep without it. In this case, pacifier-related nocturnal awakenings may occur several times a night.
This problem can disrupt the sleeping habits of the whole family and is also harmful to the child's health and development. Indeed, they do not benefit from the deep and restorative sleep which they need.
I refer you to this article which explains how and when to help your child stop using the pacifier.
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