Soothing Remedies

After the pacifier is gone or the thumb isn't in the mouth, your child may need a replacement method to soothe. Try some of these sensory activities to get your family through the transition.

  • Suck yogurt through a straw!
    • A pacifier would certainly get in the way!
  • Blow bubbles into milk with a straw!
    • Is there a more pleasing sound?
  • Play a recorder or kazoo!
    • Maybe in their own room?
  • BEAR HUGS!
    • Compression is the key here to fulfill the sensory need.
  • Back massage!
    • Same as with a hug, the pressure will help, especially right before bedtime.
  • Squeezy toys such as stress balls, silly putty or playdough!
    • Squish that little ball to relieve pent up feelings.
  • Rocking chair cuddles!
    • The rocking motion is soothing to little ones who are upset.
  • Body pillows!
    • Great for bedtime or for squeezing.
  • A weighted blanket!
    • For children who are especially anxious about giving up their pacifier.
  • Chewy snacks!
    • What better way to occupy the mouth muscles that are accustomed to sucking.
  • Apply lip balm to lips!
    • Some habits replace others, and one of those can be lip licking or picking. Keep those lips smooth and provide a sensory experience with chapstick.
  • Baths!
    • There's that water thing again. Water not only gets them clean, but creates a new environment in your own home and is a great distraction for bad moods (created by loss of pacifier or just a hard day).
  • Settle Me jars or snow globes!
    • Shake it up and let it fall, allowing your child time to center and calm themselves.
  • Fish tanks or an aquarium video!
    • There are many apps or streaming channels have these lulling scenes to watch when your child is on sensory overload.
  • Yoga or breathing exercises!
    • Even just taking a few deep breaths can settle a riled child.
  • Light up/lullaby toys!
    • If falling asleep at night is hard without a pacifier, try one of these toys.
  • White noise machines or apps!
    • Softly playing white noise can calm your anxious child or help them fall asleep.
  • Yardwork!
    • Great for working gross motor skills and tuckering them out.
  • Stretching and tense/relax exercises!
    • Squeezing and releasing muscles will help reset your child's brain when they're overstimulated.
  • Animal walks!
    • Your child won't be able to think about a pacifier while they're walking on all fours and roaring like a lion.
  • Care for a pet!
    • Taking care of another living being reminds children to think about others and shifts the focus away from their own thoughts for a little while.
  • Take a stack of books out of the library!
    • This isn't just shameless promotion, I promise. Carrying heavy objects can satisfy sensory needs.
  • Blanket burrito!
    • Try not to nom on those yummy toes while providing compression.
  • Spin like an airplane!
    • Just please don't get too dizzy.
  • Wall pushups!
    • Pushing away from the wall can expel energy when you don't have any other outlets at hand.

I'm sure many more ways exist, so please share! I found many of these by searching for sensory and calming activities.

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