baby sleeping with pacifier

Ever had the pacifier played hide-and-seek during bedtime? We get it! This guide is all about what to do when the pacifier falls out during sleep training – a little bedtime puzzle for both you and your tiny explorer. 

If your sweet pea is under 7 months, they might not be the best at finding it yet. So, the responsibility falls on us sleepy parents.

But for the bigger kiddos, aged 7 months and up, we’ve got some tricks to keep that pacifier in check. 

Ready for a good night’s sleep? Let’s do this!

Wait and Observe

So, picture this: your little one is snoozing, and the pacifier takes a tumble. Before you jump into action, give it a few moments. 

Sometimes, babies can manage to drift back into dreamland without the pacifier. It’s like a little self-soothing magic they do.

Or maybe they will try to pick it up by themselves after crying for a brief time period.

Implement Gentle Pacifier Checks

If your baby starts to stir or fuss a bit, try doing a gentle check. 

Don’t go full ninja mode and wake them up entirely—just quietly slip the pacifier back in. 

Just keep it really, really quiet.

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Try Pacifier Clips

Pacifier clips are a game-changer during sleep training. When the pacifier takes a tumble in the dark, these nifty clips keep it close, preventing midnight scavenger hunts. 

Your baby can easily reach for the pacifier, promoting self-soothing without you having to intervene. 

It’s like a sleep-time security system, ensuring a smoother and more peaceful night for both you and your little one.

Babygoal Neutral Pacifier Clips are not only adorable with their gender-neutral designs but also a practical solution, keeping pacifiers within easy reach during sleep training, and making bedtime a breeze for both baby and parents.

Reconsider the size of the pacifier

Sometimes, the solution is as straightforward as finding the right fit. If your baby’s pacifier seems to take a nightly plunge, consider checking its size. 

It might be a bit too big for your little one’s tiny mouth. Opt for a size that snugly fits, ensuring a cozier and more secure snooze.

Explore Different Pacifier Shapes:

Babies can be picky! If the current pacifier isn’t doing the trick, experiment with different shapes or brands. Your baby might prefer a slightly different design that stays put more effectively.

Place Spare Pacifiers Within Reach

Scatter a couple of pacifiers around the crib. It’s like creating a treasure map but for pacifiers. If one goes missing, there’s always another one waiting to be discovered by your little explorer.

Teach Self-Retrieval

Babies are like tiny explorers learning the ropes. Encourage your little adventurer to fetch their pacifier and put it in their mouth. It’s a step towards independence, and trust me, it’s as cute as it sounds.

Teaching them this skill is simple:

  1. Hold the pacifier near their mouth.
  2. Gently guide their hand to grasp it.
  3. Encourage them to bring it to their mouth.
  4. Celebrate with smiles and praise when they give it a try.

With a little practice, your baby will be able to put it back. 

Offer Comfort Items as Substitutes:

This is for babies over 1 year old. 

Enter the cozy brigade—soft blankets and cuddly stuffed animals. They’re like the understudies for the pacifier, ready to step in if needed. Plus, they make the crib look like a little comfort haven.

Note that sleeping with a blanket or a stuffed animal is not recommended for babies less than a year old. 

Read more: How to pick a safe lovey for a baby to sleep with?

Set Nighttime Pacifier Bin

Think of it as your secret stash. Keep a small container of pacifiers near the crib for quick access. 

No fumbling around in the dark; just grab and go. Easy peasy!

This is suitable if the baby is over 8 months. 

Try Gradual Weaning:

Weaning from a pacifier can aid sleep training by promoting self-soothing skills. As babies learn to fall asleep without relying on the pacifier, they develop more independent sleep habits.

This can lead to longer, more restful stretches of sleep, making the transition to bedtime smoother for both baby and parents.

Now, if you’re on the weaning path, take it slow. 

Stretch the time between pacifier replacements. It’s like weaning off coffee; you do it one cup at a time. 

Your baby will learn to fall back asleep without the pacifier bit by bit.


Remember, parenting is an adventure, and sleep training is just one part of the journey. These tips are like little tools in your parenting toolbox, helping you navigate the sleep seas with your precious little one. Sweet dreams and happy parenting!

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