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Our 3.5-year-old girl has no pacifier since her 3. birthday. Before that, she was really addicted to it, asking all the time if she could have it (although we had clear rules, only during sleep time etc.). She did not want to give away her pacifier voluntarily, so we decided to take it way when she turned 3. We communicated that several month before and spoke about it on a regular basis (and she more or less "agreed" with that). We explained to her that it's not good for her teeth, speech etc. We were really afraid that it would be very difficult for her without pacifier, especially during the night (she never slept without for the last 2.5 years), but to our astonishment, it ways not a big deal for her and after a couple of days, we all thought it's over.

But after some months, and especially after her (several months old) sibling got her own pacifiers, she startet again to ask if she could have again a pacifier. For the last 3 months now, she spoke about it several times a week, sometimes several times a day. Often, she takes the pacifier of her baby-doll in her mouth (just a hard plastic stick). For us, it is really hard to see her like this, she seems to suffer a lot, she wants one sooo badly.

After 6 months now I'm now very confused and uncertain what to do. Probably it was too early (or too late?) for her to give away her pacifier (apparently, she was not ready for it). I'm actually thinking of giving her again a pacifier to give her another chance to give it away when she is really ready for it. But I'm unsure if this is a really bad idea. So far, I forbid her to take the pacifier of her sibling. But more and more, I have lost the hope the situation will calm down by itself.

Any advice what to do?

  • Did/Do you offer her any alternatives (habits or devices) to calm down and/or comfort herself? If so, how did/does she respond to that? – Arsak Dec 11 '18 at 15:24
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    Just to clarify terms -soother = pacifier = thing that a baby/toddler sucks on? (Edit: Looks like it - Wikipedia clarifies it as a Canadian term for Pacifier (US) or Dummy (UK/AUS). ) – Joe Dec 11 '18 at 16:19
  • @Joe yes sorry for the confusion, thats what I meant (german "schnuller"), I changed soother to pacifier in the question – Raphael Roth Dec 11 '18 at 19:46
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It's not uncommon for a new infant to bring about "baby behavior" in their older siblings. This is partly due to the older child noticing that the younger one is getting a lot of attention - and they are suddenly not getting as much attention as they used to. They revert to bottles, diapers, or in your daughters case, her "soother".

I would suggest getting her one of her own that she can use whenever it's needed. When she's using it, remind her that's she's your baby too. When she isn't using the soother, praise her for being a big girl (not because she isn't using it, but because she did something else big girl-ish). It won't take very long for her to respond to the positive big girl reinforcement, but until then she will find it very comforting that you haven't forgotten that she was your first baby.

  • @ elbrant did you realize the OP meant pacifier when you answered the question? – Ossum's Mom Dec 15 '18 at 14:52
  • @Ossum'sMom I made that assumption, yes. My son (litterally) threw his away when he was done with it. – elbrant Dec 15 '18 at 15:45

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