Ok I need to start this post with a disclaimer: Neither of my babies have ever taken a bottle or a pacifier so I don't have firsthand experience with the weaning process. I do, however, have a lot of mom friends that have gone through this, asked an online mommy group for their best tricks and done some research and gathered some great tips if you need to wean your baby or toddler from the baby bottle or pacifier! So, here we go, friends!
Weaning from the pacifier:
1. Cold Turkey.
It of course depends on the child but it seems some moms have had a lot of success with this approach. There may be a couple rough nights and naps at the beginning but hopefully it won't last too long.
2. Snip the Tip.
A lot of moms suggested cutting the tip of the binky off. They say the baby will lose the suction they crave and hopefully just lose interest.
3. Awkward Tie.
This is one I have never heard before but it brilliant! You tie the pacifier to their crib at a short length so you are still giving them the binky (therefore eliminating the power struggle) but because it would be an awkward and uncomfortable angle for them to suck it, they will hopefully, like the above tip, just lose interest eventually.
4. The Trade In.
I love this idea for an older toddler who understands it a bit more. You bring your child to the toy store and let them pick out a new toy and then you have all their pacifiers in a bag from home. They then 'pay' the cashier with their bag of binkies (you obviously actually pay after) and hopefully they see that as a fair trade for their new shiny toy!
One of my best friends had a paci-addict toddler and she brought him to Build-a-Bear, had him pick out a stuffie and when they went to stuff it, he put in his favorite binky and they stuffed it inside his new bear and sewed it up. She explained to him that it was time for the pacifiers to be all done but he could still cuddle it and keep it in his new bear. This worked great for them.
Weaning from the Bottle:
1. Straight to Sippy.
A lot of moms have had luck with switching their baby to a sippy cup that is similar in feel to the bottle they use. Make it a big deal to go pick out a new special cup for them at the store and maybe decorate it with stickers or something.
2. Replace with food.
One mom said she just started giving it to her daughter less and less. In the morning instead of a bottle she would just give her lots of yummy breakfast and now when she is hungry, she wants food instead of a bottle.
3. Cold Turkey.
Again, this seemed to be a popular option for a lot of my friends! Just like cold turkey with the pacifier though, you are in for a couple rough days but it was easier for some of my friends than dragging out the process of weaning. You can talk to your child about it and explain that you know it will be hard but maybe offer a small reward or treat at the end of a hard day without it.
Someone suggested diluting the milk in their bottle with lots of water but have the full 'good stuff' in a cup or sippy cup so that it becomes more desirable than the bottle!
5. Consistency is Key.
Sounds cliche but of course it is important to stick to your guns and even though they may be begging for it in the middle of the night and you know they will go back to sleep if you give in, in the long run, you will just be prolonging the process and there will be more rough nights ahead.
I hope these tips and tricks are helpful, I would love to hear if any of you mamas have any other tried and true methods?