Are their pacifiers causing night wars?
Babies have a natural need to suck. (Not suck as in make our lives miserable, although that can be true at 3 o’clock in the morning. Lol. I mean suck as in draw into the mouth).
Pacifiers satisfy the suck reflex and can even help prevent SIDS. Pacifiers can calm babies and give them a sense of security. However, sometimes that very instrument of comfort causes tremendous issues during sleep. That is because when pacifiers fall from the baby’s mouth, it make them wake up and scream demands that caregivers give them back that cozy comfort that they can’t do without.
Pacies are not a problem for sleep per se, the problem arises from the need to have the pacies handed to babies by adults.
At 5 months babies are capable of learning to handle their own pacifiers and we, as the caregivers, should not do something for them that they can do themselves. Why? Because doing so causes dependency which negatively impacts baby sleep.
Our role is to teach babies how to grab the pacie and put it in their mouth without help.
We can do that by stimulating hand grab and mouth placement during the day. You can spread pacies in the playyard and watch how they find the pacies and learn to take them to their mouths.
We can gently help guide that route where the arms and hands find the mouth, they will slowly learn that they can place the pacie into the mouth. You’ll see the tremendous satisfaction they will feel when they manage to do it all by themselves. Such an accomplishment!
Our advise is to never put the pacie directly into the babies mouth. Doing so is what generates that dependency that harms babies’ sleep and prevents them from completing the action they are capable of doing alone. You can, instead, gently place pacies on their hands and let them do the work of placing the pacie in the mouth.
If they expect the adult to put the pacie in their mouth they will wake up and cry for help every single time they lose thei rpacies during sleep (which can be often!)
It is helpful to create a ‘pacie corner’ in the crib and show the baby where they can find pacies should he need them. From there, they’ll find their pacie, grab it and place it in their mouths barely waking up. It becomes a mechanical movement.
That way you can guarantee progress into uninterrupted nights with independent baby sleep!
For more sleep related help contact Gabi, she learnt it the hard way!