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4 Year Olds and Pacifiers...

Any moms out there with kids around 4 or older that still have their pacifiers?

If your nearly 4 or older child has a pacifier, when do you plan to take it away or have them give it up? Any ideas for how you plan to do it?

And what are your reasons for allowing your child to have the pacifier to this point?

And for any of you who had 4+ kids with pacifiers that have since gotten rid of them, how did you do it? And how did it go? Any suggestions for a successful and non-traumatic way to do it?

My son is 4 1/2 and still has his pacifier. We have talked for some time now about him giving it up when he turns 5. And he talks like he is on board with that, but as his 5th birthday approaches (January), I see him dreading his birthday - which I DON'T want. I have told him that he doesn't need to worry about it, and we'll talk about it some more when he's 5. He says he wishes he could stay 4.

It doesn't help that pretty much EVERYONE in his life (except me and both of his grandmothers) tell him constantly that he's too big for a binky, or tell him to get rid of them. I wish people would just leave him alone until the decision is made to get rid of it. Until then, it's only torturing him to keep pestering him about it, and probably making him even more protective of it. It's counter-productive to say the least, but no one gets it.

Anyhow, I'm not looking for anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year. I had my reasons for allowing him to keep it. They are personal reasons, and I do not regret it one bit. His teeth are fine. I'm just looking for other moms who have 4+ year olds with binkys, and how/when you plan to take them away. Or IF you plan to take them away... and for those who already have, how you did it and how it went.

Thanks for any info you can share.

AGAIN, NOT asking for WHY I should have taken it away at 6 months, or WHY I should take it now. Just looking for stories from other moms who have 4+ year olds with pacifiers and their experiences. Thank you, Denise.

One last edit... we do limit it to sleep/relax time, and the car (where he often falls asleep). Rarely has it other times, but is VERY attached to it, and does not and has never showed any interest in simply handing it over.

Boy, people just really can't resist telling me he's too big for a binky... ??????????????????????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

So what do you say to your child after you've cut the tips off the binkys, and he discovers they're no longer 'suckable', and he tells you to buy new ones? I can see being at Walmart and having an all out war to get new binkys...

Every time someone says to cut the binky tips off, and the kids won't suck them and get rid of them on their own, I can't help but wonder why the kids aren't just asking for new ones! My kid definitely would!!

***ONE LAST EDIT***
I did talk with my son about not having to give up his binky on his 5th birthday. I could see that this was obviously something he was stressing over, saying all the time that he doesn't want to get big, he wants to stay little, he wishes he could be/stay 2, he doesn't want to have a #5 birthday, etc. So I asked him if he wanted to forget about giving his binky up on his 5th birthday, and of course he said yes. So I told him we could talk about another time that would be good to let his binky go, and he was ok with that. I feel better about it too. May be before his birthday, or maybe a little after, but I don't want him worried about the day he turns 5, and making that a big traumatic day for him.

Again, thank all of you for your thoughtful responses.

*******EDIT*******
I have to respectfully but VEHEMENTLY disagree with J L. Big shock, huh? I do have to say, that I answer a lot of questions on this site, and I NEVER feel the need to INSULT anyone, regardless of how much I disagree with them. Not sure why some people feel the need to do this. J L. could have said everything she said without insulting me and my son throughout the entire response. And this is not about me disagreeing with her position or about me not gettting all responses that say it's ok to let my son have his binky. I fully expected to have some responses telling me to just get rid of it. But there is no reason whatsoever in a forum like this to insult people in your response to them. Additionally, I would like to say that there are many parts of her response that are true in theory, but I must tell you that they don't describe my relationship with my son, or my attitude toward parenting. I understand that not having control of our children at a young age sets the stage for bigger and more difficult battles as they grow. But because I've not taken his binky, does not mean that he walks all over me, or he disrespects me, or that I don't have a spine. But I won't go into any further detail or argue her point by point as it's just not necessary. Again, while J L. makes some valid points about parenting, she is totally off the mark with regard to my relationship with my son and the way I parent. Be that what it may, I am most disgusted with the insulting tone of the response. Whatever J L.'s need is to post such a response and repeatedly insult me and my son throughout it is her need. Not for me to understand, I guess. To each her own.

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I had a friend who's son has a paci until he was almost 4. They ended up getting a helium balloon and tying the paci to it. They told their son it would just float away to someone who needed it more. Don't know what the person thought who had an old paci tied to a balloon land in their yard, but their son had fun watching it float away and was fine afterwards.

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Hmmm...I specifically remember reading that you DIDN'T want "anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year"!! Helllooooo? Do people actually read these posts? Sheesh.
L., I understand and agree that you don't want his bink removal negatively affecting his 5th birthday...
Christmas is right around the corner. What about a little good, old-fashioned bribery? Is there something he REALLY wants? If he hands over the bink, maybe he can get it....NOW?

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My daughter agreed to trade hers for some toys on her 2nd birthday. We put them ALL in a gallon size ziploc bag and went to the store. (It was actually the grocery store, where I had prearranged with the bakery clerk to let her trade them for some of the cute toppers they put on the kiddie cakes). SHE chose to trade the whole bag for a couple of plastic Winnie the Pooh/piglet on a seesaw and plastic Dora toys. She is 9 now, and thinks it is hysterical that she gave away her beloved paci's for some tacky "Dora" toys! lol

She felt SO grown up and proud of herself at the time. :)

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I dont have an answer for you, but I bet its gonna be hard, lol. It would be like someone taking my cigarettes away. Ask your pediatrician if they have a PATCH for that, haha.
I'm interested to see what other moms have done.
Mine both gave there's up on their own when they were close to three... it interfered with them wanting to talk so it just sort of morphed away on its own.
Rather than waiting for the birthday trauma deadline, it might be best that it just gets lost right now and after a few days, I'd guess 4 or 5, he'll realize the bink ain't comin back and it will soon be forgotten. Cold turkey is harsh, but it would only be a few days and he'll figure a different way to self soothe, honestly. Good luck
ADD ON:
Have him trade it for something.... and a deal is a deal. He would learn something from that transaction.

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I had a friend who's son has a paci until he was almost 4. They ended up getting a helium balloon and tying the paci to it. They told their son it would just float away to someone who needed it more. Don't know what the person thought who had an old paci tied to a balloon land in their yard, but their son had fun watching it float away and was fine afterwards.

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Hmmm...I specifically remember reading that you DIDN'T want "anyone to tell me that I should have gotten rid of the binky when my son was 6 months or a year"!! Helllooooo? Do people actually read these posts? Sheesh.
L., I understand and agree that you don't want his bink removal negatively affecting his 5th birthday...
Christmas is right around the corner. What about a little good, old-fashioned bribery? Is there something he REALLY wants? If he hands over the bink, maybe he can get it....NOW?

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I would get on those that give him a hard time about it. My son is a thumb sucker and I have people that pull his thumb out of his mouth! It puts the focus on the fact that he does it, that I don't want! I tell people that this isn't a big deal for us, and to leave him alone about it, don't mention it, or even comment on it.

Granted, my son is younger, and we seem to no longer have an issue after a mouth injury that hurt when he sucked his thumb. If it was me though (again, NO prior experience), I would do some of the thinks I have read on here - make a cut in the pacifiers that break the suction, maybe if they are phased out before his birthday, you can just say, "see what a big boy you are, I told you that you didn't need it after your birthday!" You can also have him only use it at night and naps so that he isn't dependent on it all day, and may end up forgetting about it during naps.

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My oldest two children kept their binky's until they were 5 and 4 (they are 11 months apart). My younger of those will always say that she had to give up her binky b/c her big brother took them all. When we really took note of the use of the binky at night, it started out in the mouth but when we checked on them later at night, they both just held them to their cheeks. Sweet vision in my mind now as they are 12 and 11.

I am the first to admit, it wasn't worth the fight. They wanted a binky and that was all it took to get them to bed? We were all for it. They slept and we slept.

I can't even tell you when the binky went away or how it happened. But those two are now in middle school and don't take their binky with them. I think that the oldest came home from Kindergarten and took his for a few minutes, but it was gone before he finished K.

Our younger son NEVER took a binky and life would have been much easier if he had. Our youngest daugther took one for about 12 months and broke herself of the habit on her own.

Good luck and I am sure others will post the horrors of the binky. You just have to do what works for you and yours. He's not going to go to college taking his binky.

A.

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My daughter is 10 now but she used a pacifier until she was 4. She had some serious health problems her first couple of years and that was her security object. I talked to her pediatric dentist about it when she was about 2 and I was getting pressure from family to take it away and he said "Give it time. Teeth are easier to fix than psyches." I'm so grateful to him for that advice. She's getting braces now, but I'm confident that she would have needed them anyway since both her dad and I did and we've been told since she was a baby that she has a small mouth. In any case, she was only allowed to have her binky in her bed (or occasionally on very long car trips). Then, a few months before she turned 4 we started telling her that 4 year olds don't use binkies. We let her keep it for a week or so after her birthday, then told her that when she was ready it would be time to let it go. She threw it out with great fanfare, feeling proud of herself and very grownup (of course, I retrieved it when she wasn't looking and kept it stashed in my dresser for months just in case). The first night or two she woke up a couple of times but it really was much easier than I had anticipated. You'll figure out what's right for you and your child. The heck with everyone else. It's very unlikely that he'll bring his binky to college! Good luck.

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mine worked out BEAUTIFULLY my daughter was on one til about 4. we were moving from a small house to a bigger one, and just told her we had to leave it there for the next baby that came in the house. it worked so well, she was EXCITED to leave it behind. i went in after getting her in her car seat, and "snuck" it out just in case. i revealed later that i had it, she wanted to make a special trip to the house we moved out of to get it to that baby...of course i threw it away in their trash can after visiting the new family that surprisingly had a baby while they preoccupied her.

never wanted or needed binki after that

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My daughter agreed to trade hers for some toys on her 2nd birthday. We put them ALL in a gallon size ziploc bag and went to the store. (It was actually the grocery store, where I had prearranged with the bakery clerk to let her trade them for some of the cute toppers they put on the kiddie cakes). SHE chose to trade the whole bag for a couple of plastic Winnie the Pooh/piglet on a seesaw and plastic Dora toys. She is 9 now, and thinks it is hysterical that she gave away her beloved paci's for some tacky "Dora" toys! lol

She felt SO grown up and proud of herself at the time. :)

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My daughter gave hers up last Christmas so she was 3.5. At that point I was only letting her use it at night for bedtime and at naptime. It was super "scary" if we couldn't find one when it was time to sleep. I had tried to take it away a few times before but to no avail. Then, we went to the dentist and he said not to worry about it. He said the pacifier is her security and taking that away from her could be worse than what it could do to her teeth (she did have a slight overbite). He also said that you never see grown people walking around with them. So, I didn't worry about it.

Then, a few days before Christmas we gave my daughter a doll. later that night I handed her the paci and she said "Why did you give me that? I'm a grown up now."

The next day we went out of town so of course I brought a paci with me. That night I handed to her and she looked at me funny and said "I don't need that!"

She never asked or used one after that. She gave it up all on her own just like the dentist said. Maybe you could just limit your son's paci use at night and at naptime if the comments are starting to get to you. Otherwise, don't worry about :-)

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My dd is only 2, but I can totally understand where you are coming from. As long as his teeth are ok, the timing doesn't need to be immediate. One thing I have learned from my daughter is that a lot of them have strong opinions and there are some wars that neither side can win. My girl still uses hers, but only at nap time, bed time and to sleep in the car on trips. We have worked out an agreement where she hands it over when she gets out of the crib in the am and after naps. I place it on the shelf and she knows when she gets it again, it is time for bed and even gets her own blanket...LOL. We just recently switched to drinking from bottles to sippy cups. I am of the mind that if life/schedule changes are occurring, it is not good to try to take away a comfort item. I am not sure when we will work on letting the pacifier go, but my dd let me know when she wanted to change from formula to milk, sleep in her own crib, and even walk and talk...so we will work it out at some point.
Don't let others opinions and criticisms get you down. You are doing what is best for your son. If he NEEDS it, then now isn't the time. When it is time, I have heard of several ideas that I like...placing the binky inside a build an animal (this is out for us though...I can see my dd ripping it open to get it...LOL), then there is the scenario of telling them that they need to give it up so that little babies can get their pacifiers (I like it, but not sure my dd won't catch on that I can get more at the store). I am leaning toward the pure bribery of a special toy or doll to replace it. Have to wait and see. Good luck and let us know how it goes when he finally chooses to let it go.

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I have not had experience, but my nephew was 4 years and 1 month old last Christmas. He, too, was limited to bed and naptime with his binky. They came to visit us for Christmas and my son was only a few months old so they told him for 1-2 months ahead of time that he has to give the binky's to my son for Christmas because he's too big for one. They cleaned them and gave them to us (I even asked if they wanted to keep one just incase). He gave them to my son, didn't cry or anything. He asked about them 1x that night and they said that they went to a baby who was small and needed it. That was it. He was SUPER attached to it too, but surprised them in being so okay with getting rid of it. I often think we as parents are more attached to the binky or the IDEA of our babies having to go through something so tramatic.

I suggest having him give it up at Christmas time. I would try (just a suggestion here!) telling him that Santa says he's a big boy and if he leaves his binky's on a plate for him to take to the other babies, he'll bring him a very special BIG BOY present. Make sure to have that "special" present a bigger one (maybe something he really wants) and have him leave them for Santa and in it's place, have the new toy. Even if he doesn't do well that night, the excitment and new toys on Christmas will get him through the next day and then he'll hopefully be so tired he won't fight you about going to bed without one Christmas night. You could even offer him something in place of that (new blanket, stuffed animal, etc).

Good luck! I know this is not easy!

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There was an episode of Supernanny where Jo had "the paci fairy" come and take a little girl's paci from her to give to a little child who needed it. What she did was she had the little girl put the pacifier in an envelope & then drop it in the mail box for "the paci fairy". The next morning, "the fairy" had a really great little gift in exchange for the pacifier, and the little girl couldn't have cared less about what happened to the pacifier since. It was kind of like a glorified tooth fairy situation. HTH....GL!

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My kids didn't have one at this age but if he is that attached, at any age, I would take it away cold turkey - no weaning, no months of anxiety producing warning. It may be tough for a little bit, or may not, but remember that he may be close to starting to lose teeth, and he really must not be using a pacifier when he starts getting adult teeth. Some kids lose their first tooth around their fifth bday. I know that may not exactly be what you are asking and I did not read other responses.
My oldest only had one for a bit the first few months. My younger was around 21 months when I stopped the binky's at night/nap time. I did it cold turkey and I thought it would be rough but to my surprise, he was fine! Sometimes we anticipate something being such a problem and then it's not, so don't be sure that your son will freak out when you get rid of them,.
Good luck and I hope you figure out a way to do it that's not too traumatic.
PS - I myself still had one at 4 years old for night time ( I am 43 now)

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As a mom of 5 I can say I thought this would not be an issue but I found myself approaching my 4th's 4th birthday and she still had her binky and I thought OMG what a horrible mother am I to let my child still have her binky at this age (mommy guilt sucks) so I took it one day and she did fine with not having it, it wasn't as horrible as I thought until now, she turned 4 in July...it is now November and she is awful...I mean downright awful. Her binky was her coping mechanisim and she doesn't have another, she has a blue bear but it is not the same. She loses it over the littlest things that she normally would be ok with, she has her fingers in her mouth almost constantly.
I wish I would have said to myself to heck with what the pc thing to do is, I know my child and she is not ready to let it go.

Listen to your gut, you know your child best and when it is time, it will just be time.

Good luck!

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Didn't read responses...

Well, I would say tell him that you can't/won't buy any more. This is one of those situations where I would say a little white lie wouldn't hurt (the store doesn't have any, the babies need them, or just don't go to that part of the store anymore, etc).

My son never had a bink, but *I* had one almost until I went to kindergarten.

I think my mom was more afraid of taking it away from me then I was not using it anymore. My grandparents dog ate mine so...it was gone.

I did have it tied to my bed for years after that. So I still had it for comfort, just couldn't suck on it anymore.

Is there something he wants? Maybe the binky fairy could come and replace the bink?

Good luck!

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I know you were asking for advice from people who had children that were a little older with a pacifier, but wanted to share what we did with my daughter in case it would help.

She was very attached to hers although we had managed to get down to limiting it just like you...naps, bedtime and in the car. We did the "nukkie fairy" thing with her. We started working on it a couple of months before her 3rd birthday. She "wrote" the fairy a letter asking the fairy to pass along her nuks to babies that need them and then asked for something special (in her case, a princess purse) in return. We put the letter on her dresser and each night would ask her if she was ready to give her nukkie to the fairy. (I should also add that there was an ultimatum. If she didn't give it up on her own by the time she was 3, we were just going to take it.) The letter probably sat on her dresser for a month. Nine days before her birthday she decided she was ready. We sealed up the nuks and the letter in a bigger envelope and she put them in the mail box. The first night was the worst, she was up for an extra couple hours crying and upset but once she fell asleep she was fine. She also didn't nap for about 3 days. By the end of the first week, we were totally fine. It was never an issue again. She's now almost 4 1/2.

My son 2 1/2 is very attached to his also. I'm not looking forward to taking it away, but I just keep trying to remember that the transition, while not all that pleasant, was relatively short.

Good luck!

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Not in this situation. But just saw that you had some great ideas. I do agree to take it away from being his Birthday dont want him bothered on a day that is supposed to be his special day. As far as getting insulting comments I will go back to when I was young and was taught " if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all"

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What a shame people are being so critical to you. Unsolicited advice drives me crazy!!

My son also used his pacifier until he was 4 (but only in his room). At that age, kids are old enough to reason with them. I don't remember the exact circumstances (I wasn't as creative as some of the others here), but he traded his in for some type of toy or trading cards. It wasn't easy, and I gave him lots of extra love and snuggle time, but eventually, he relented. I would not tie it in with your son's birthday...wouldn't want to put that stress on him.

Anymore, MOST kids get braces. My daughter never used a pacifier and her teeth were worse than her brother's.

And btw, my son is now a normal 14 year old...you'll make it through this and so will he.

Good luck.

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I don't remember how old my son was when he finally gave up the pacifier... 3.5? 4? But I do know that just like you I didn't want it to be a traumatic event, so we went with it gradually. Just like you, early on I limited time with the pacifier to the bed. Then I stopped buying new ones. As each one wore out, we talked about how once they were all gone that would be it. Gradually, the old ones gave out and he only had two or three left. Being the child he is, he eventually chose to stop using the few he had left to "save" them for some emergency moment (which never came, thank goodness). After a month or two, I stashed them in the back of a drawer. After about a year, I finally -and discreetly- threw away the rest of them.

I'm not suggesting that my method will necessarily work for your child. As with everything else, each child is different and you need to come up with a plan that you believe will work for you and your child. The hard part is, once you've chosen the plan, you need to be committed to the plan. Kids -my kids anyway- can smell my doubt and wavering determination from a mile away and will take full advantage if I don't find a way to lose that doubt!

Given that he's 4.5, you might want to consider just sitting down with him and explain the situation: pacifiers aren't the best thing for kids once they have lots of teeth and the two of you need to agree on a way to get rid of the binky. I've done this with other things and found it to be an effective way to get through issues I've wracked my brain over trying to figure out how to deal with it. I'll pose the situation at hand and one of the kids will quickly blurt out an answer that will work for them. Normally, their idea works out for me too!

Hopefully you'll find a solution that works for both you and your son. I wish you the best of luck!

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my niece had hers until she was 4, and she was very attached and they thought it would be horrible on her to get rid of it, but they made a big deal of putting it in an envelope and sending it the "paci" fairy for the new little babies being born and in the morning she did get a great gift left for her from the fairy. She was fine, no troubles at all, everyone was surprised but she was old enough to understand. she now gets water in a sippy at bedtime which seems to make up for it but she isn't allowed to keep sipping on it all night.

with my youngest son at age 2 we just slowly "lost" them all. One night the blue one was "missing" and we couldn't find it anywhere, the next night the red one was "missing", I was very surprised myself that it worked, but we only had a couple nights of requesting it, not miserable at all. I think since he thought it was out of our hands that it wasn't us taking it from him, he was more okay about it.

good luck.

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I haven't read what was posted below. I was in the same boat as you a few yrs ago. My son stopped using his at 4 and was a bear.

I have heard people using the "nuk fairy" like the tooth fairy. And that has had some really good responses for them. You may want to look into that. Pick a day and plan a "pick up" from the nuk fairy.

Good luck...and let the negative comments just fall as they may...you will always find the "supermoms" telling you how to do things for you kids.

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I've heard from other moms that cutting the nipples off of the pacifiers and not replacing them will force the toddler to wean himself off of them. If they have nothing to suck on, then they'll lose interest. However since he's older, he may cause more of a fuss because he's so used to it. Good luck!

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K my kids never took a binky so I can't give any advise on that but all I would like to say is yes I agree with you that it is time for him to let it go. His teeth may still be fine right now but if he keeps sucking on it they won't stay that way forever. I was a dental assistant and worked for an Orthodontist before becoming a sahm and we saw this often. Kids with dental problems due to thumb sucking or still on a binky. So yes you are right for wanting him to be done with it now. This is kinda funny but my Mother said that she had a binky until she was 5. She said she remembered the Mother telling her one day, "Ok Shelli you are starting school next week so no more binky." And she took it and threw it in the garbage. My mom said she wanted it back and would ask for it often for another week or so but she never cried about it and go over it pretty fast. It's just funny she was old enough to remember the day her binky was taken away from her haha. So i'm sure some moms on here will have great ideas on how to make this easier on your son but I just wanted to say that yes you are right in feeling that it is time for him to move on from this. Good luck.

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Wow - he's way to big for a binky! haha, just kidding....

I told my then two year old daughter that her grandpa needed her paci one morning when she woke up and that he was going to take it home with him. I then reminded her at nap time that the paci went home with grandpa. The next day she asked for it and I said - oh, no, it's with Grandpa. He needed it. And she said oh yeah and went to sleep. So some sort of similar little white lie might work.

You can also try losing all but one. Then, tell him that it looks like a bug made a poop on his paci. Ewww. And it won't come off. Better throw it away. Next night - oh, we never got a chance to get a new one. Oh well, you're a big boy and you'll be fine. Etc.

Good luck.

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This is a hard one for me due to my own personal experience! I have a son very close in age to yours, and I can say that I would be dismayed if he still used a paci. However, since he's only using it at night and in the car I wouldn't feel so bad about it. This is where it gets sticky for me:

I sucked my thumb for A LONG TIME (so long I'm still embarrassed to admit it!). It was my "deep dark secret" and I only did it at night or when watching tv or something and only if my parents were around -no one else. It was incredibly relaxing, and I wish I could replicate the feeling it gave me now! However, it's exactly that reason that I think you DO need to do something soon. I think it gave me a life-long oral fixation. I have had issues with binge-eating and bulimia that are now, thankfully, under control, but plagued me for much of my adult life. I also smoked for about 15 years "full time" and continue to smoke when I drink anything alcoholic. Quite honestly the only way I could give it up all the time was to tell myself I could still smoke when drinking (this allowed me to get through my pregnancies without going nuts because I wasn't drinking!). I'm REALLY trying to clear that hurdle now, because of course any smoking is terrible for you. I'm not saying this will happen to your son, but I really do think the prolonged effect of using thumb sucking as my relaxation technique did it to me!

I think at his age, the only way to go about it without it being too traumatic, ruining his birthday or causing too much anxiety would be to remove the "5 year old" date from his quitting and focus on some item or experience he is DYING for but isn't already going to get. If there's not one right now, go ahead and wait several months -trust me -something will come along. Maybe he really wants to go to the beach or an amusement park or something you don't normally do. Maybe he wants to play a sport or join some type of group or play an instrument and you haven't been so gung-ho on him doing it at this age. Maybe he wants an expensive item you could afford or save up a bit for. Make it something really big -either experience or item! Tell him once he has gotten rid of all the pacifiers and doesn't use them any longer -it's his. At least with the pacifier you CAN get rid of them, so you shouldn't have relapse issues -you can't get rid of a thumb!

OH -one word on teeth. I sucked my thumb practically from birth and far beyond getting all of my permanent adult teeth. I never had any speech, dental or teeth issues from it. I guess it can happen, but it's not necessarily a given. My dentist also told my mother that the way your teeth look and "come in" are determined by genetics, which makes sense to me. The only issues I ever had were genetic (space between front teeth like several aunts and grandma).

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I have two ideas.... First, I know it will be hard because when children are sleepy they are not as rational as when you are having a regular conversation with them. But, maybe you could approach getting rid of the binky as a health benefit-- tell him how bad having a binky is for his teeth and that it will start making his teeth stick out, therefore making it hard to chew and also that other kids might make fun of him...? If that doesn't work-- my neighbor had a problem getting her 3 year old to stop nursing, so she put a little mustard on her breasts right before each feeding. It might sound weird, but if you put just the tiniest amount of somethiing that he doesn't like the taste of on the binky without him knowing, maybe he won't like it anymore. Then it will be HIS decision to stop using it. Good luck!

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Well I know you dont want to hear this but you should have taken it away at about 6 months old. Now it is a part of him. I couldnt do that to a kid but you will have to find something to take its place. Something he really loves, a popcycle! he will still be sucking and it will taste good. Good luck....

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My son is 5 will be 6 in Feb and still has his binky do i plan on taking it away NO when he is ready he will give it up he has it only at night. I had read once from a dentist who said teeth can be fixed a childs psych cant. For some reason he feels he needs it and if it brings him comfort who am i to argue. I dont care what other people think he is my son and if that makes me a terrible mom then i will take the title.

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OK I will not give you a hard time as long as you don't give me a hard time about my daughter having a binky until she was 4! HA! I have to give you kudos for posting this question but everyone has given you such support and great advice. YAY!

Just wanted to tell you that my daughter is now 13 and does not use the binky anymore. There is hope! LOL

Honestly I know someone here said that at 4 cutting off the tips may not work since he is accustomed to it, but it did for my daughter. After I cut all of hers off she insisted on going to Walgreens to get a new one! Well I told her that they don’t make a binky for her age but she was insistent. We went and she picked one out but I wouldn’t really let her look at it. I paid for it and sneaky me I had a pair of scissors in the car. I took it out of the package as she is strapping herself into her car seat, cut off a piece of the tip and handed it over. She gladly took it, put it in her mouth and immediately took it back out. She said “Oh Mommy this one is broken too!” I told her that at her age they don’t make binkies for her age anymore and all of big ones have holes. Believe it or not she wanted one of her infant ones back but it was too small for her mouth and she didn’t like it.

Next thing I did was take her to Toys R US and let her pick out a couple of new toys, not just one.

That was it. She just came to terms with it!

Hope one of the suggestions you got here helped. I remember thinking that she was going to be in 3rd grade and STILL using a binky!

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I don't have a child who used one for that long, but I do have a suggestion when you are ready to get rid of it. If you cut the end off of the nipple on the binky, they usually stop using them. I've seen this work with friends' kids and nieces & nephews. They usually say it's broken and throw it away themselves. None of them have ever had a really hard time with it when they did it this way.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

Just edited to add that you can do this all at once, or one binky at a time until they are all gone.

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My daughter got rid of hers because she lost it on a family vacation. We only took one with us (we were usually pretty good at keeping up with it... lol). Well the first night there, she lost it! We searched for it the whole time (3 days) and never found it!

She was younger, but she understood "all gone." So we just kept telling her she lost it, it's all gone! Then we never looked back :) (She was too young to ask for a new one in the stores.... lol)

I think someone mentioned bribing him. Perhaps if you made him feel like it was *his* choice, rather than yours? Sometimes that helps! You could offer him a new toy in exchange for the paci.

Good luck!

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I had my paci until I was 4. Then, one day, my mother sat me down and explained that it was time to give them up. She says I had a couple of rough days, and then that was the end of it. So she tells me. The good news is that I have no memory of any of this, so even if I acted traumatized at the time (I don't know that I did, but perhaps), it didn't affect me long-term. I think in your case, the anxiety of anticipating the disappearing binky is a lot more stressful than just taking them away. However, it sounds like YOU may not be ready just yet, either. If your pediatrician and dentist are aware of the binky issue and neither is concerned, I would go ahead and do things at your own pace. If either is concerned, however, it may be time to bite the bullet and just throw them all out. I wouldn't wean such as old child, because you'll just prolong the misery.

P.S. Good luck! I luckily haven't had to do this with my son yet, and I am not looking forward to it!

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humm that is hard, my DD is going to be 2 in Dec and I know some plp think she should not have it, also she is the last of her friends her age to have it too. she just loves it though! I do agree that things should be done at their own pace if possiable so I feel you there. we have worked on limiits: but I see you said you do that too. I have cut some of hers off and she sometimes is okay w/ just holding them as they are her 'blankie' other times she gets mad and wants to suck. I am at the point now where it is just bed and car too. I tell her if she wants it, bc she asks a lot for it, that she has to lay in bed w/ it and she gets in bed, sucks and gets out. ANYWAYS. I would continue to limit it as much as you can for example I would nix it in the car next, it is only for bed, when he is okay w/ that I would nix it for nap, it is only for night and go from there. that is the route I am going to follow. her aunt is having a baby in Jan and I have thought about the idea of gifting them to her bc she needs them bc she is a baby, but I worry that might be a bad idea. good luck! xo

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Don't worry about it. He will just not want it anymore one day. As for giving him something else, like a blanket, he can use instead of the binky will NOT cut the mental attachment to it. It will just replace one attachment with another, which is a clear sign, that this is a need, not a want. Some kids grow out of it sooner and some later. Don't let people stress this. I'd go so far and tell them to get out. My son still nurses at nappy time or when he's hurt and he's 3 years and two months now. I honestly think, he will grow out of this, too. Another thing to think about is, that when this need is NOT fullfilled (i.e. taking it away too soon), that it is THEN, that he will find something else to be attached to. For example that famos security blanket, the thumb, or even smoking later. There are a lot of adult people, who smoke, where I'm thinking: Sheesh, your mom should have let you keep your paci a little longer.

I do NOT think, it affects the teeth. I know people, who never had binkies and their teeth are crooked. I had binkies until I was 4 or 5, I can't remember the cut off date. All I remember is, that my dad (ok, stepdad, but I didn't know that at the time) and I took a "treasure chest", put them all in and then I grabbed the "treasure chest" and he grabbed a shovel and off to the forest we went. We looked for a special place to bury my "treasure". I can't really remember, but I think, I never wanted them back either. I still remember this to this day though. My thought on this is, that I think, I would have negatively remembered it, if I wouldn't have been ready for this. You will know, when your son is ready and as of what it sounds, that time is not now. Don't let other people talk you into something, that can damage your son and your family. You (and the two grandmas) will know best.

I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you and your family, Steph

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just a thought...those moms telling you to cut the tip off probably weren't dealing with a four year old - that's why their children didn't tell them to go buy more. this whole situation is complicated by his age.

so...my four year old gets told "no" all the time- it's part of life. if you want my opinion (altho you've got plenty here lol) i would tell him that it's time for binky to be put away - regardless of his birthday. have a backup plan though - take him to walmart and explain that he may pick out a stuffed animal or a blanket to have instead. you can try to talk it up (and leave his birthday out of it), maybe he'll get behind it. or maybe do like a binky fairy and have the binky fairy replace the binkies with something. you know your child. i have a feeling you may not want to ask his permission, because he'll never say ok. you may just have to bite the bullet and do it. good luck.

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My son was a thumb sucker, so it is a little different. My logical brain knew it was a habit that needed to end, but my emotional side was sad to give it up and worried about how upset he would be. He'll be five next month. We were able to break the habit for the most part three months ago; he spent about another month sucking his thumb in his sleep, but we couldn't hold him accountable for something he was doing while unconscious. I WISH it were a binky, because we could have just taken it away. First we had to give up the security blanket. When he had that, the thumb sucking was MUCH worse. This was so hard for me. He left it in my room, so I simply hid it when he wasn't around. His "ganget" was "lost". We had one rough day and a few mentions that he missed it, but it was no where near the hysterics I thought we'd have. He carried that thing everywhere. He was VERY attached. It was something he used since six months of age. I was sad to have to do "tough love", but also sad I didn't have that crutch to d fall back on. We found a thumb guard that worked, when he wore it. Since he kept taking it off, I am sorry to say we bribed him. He wanted a set of smaller legos, so we told him after 2 weeks of no thumb sucking we'd get him the set. We tried to stay positive. We never chastised him about it. When he had a slip up we simply told him we knew it was hard, but it needed to be done and that he could try again.

I think some of the issue with your son may be the build up. That pacifier is very important to him. It's comfort and security and habit and in his brain, he turns five and that all goes away. I would simply pick a day (preferable the weekend, so you have more time to devote to bedtime) and let him know that today's the day. I would never tell him that he was too old or too big or anything like that. I would simply explain to him that now that his is older, the binky is bad for his teeth. With our son, we just explained how his thumb could make his teeth get a little crooked when he got older if we didn't quit. His Uncle is his dentist. ( I had to be careful about my wording...the idea of HAVING to see Uncle X would be incentive to continue in his little brain.)

I recently found out that a dear friend of mine allowed her daughter to have her pacifier at night until she was well past 5yo. I was a little surprised, I had no idea. She was VERY concerned with the idea of taking it away. They went to see a new dentist. Her daughter opened her mouth and the dentist immediately said "The pacifier needs to go, now." (her husband is a doctor, she KNEW it should have been gone a long time ago, she just didn't want to upset her baby). Her daughter was teary eyed over the idea and my friend was choked up too, because she could see how this idea upset her daughter. She tried the binky fairy idea, but her daughter was too old and called her on it. "Why would some fairy give away binkies? I know you and Aunt Z buy them. I was there.". So they changed tactics. They ceremoniously threw away a pacifier together. My friend knew there were pacifiers stashed all over the house, so she allowed her daughter to think she was getting away with something. She just started throwing the extras away when the kids weren't around. When the last one was gone, she said it took everything she had not to run to the grocery store and get a new one. Her daughter cried and searched frantically for an hour. She said the next day it was two hours of crying and "I can't sleep". At one point my friend's husband hid the car keys to keep her from replacing it. By the third night she was sad, but no longer hysterical. Then suddenly, it was a non issue.

I don't know if any of this helped. I know you got some great advice from others who have been in your exact same spot. As parents sometimes we have to do some very difficult things in the best interest of our children, no matter how hard. He'll be upset, it will be tough, but this too shall pass. Good luck to you!

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Hi, L.,
No worries. There's gonna be some trauma. But you knew that when deciding to push back the deadline. My daughter is almost 5 and STILL sucks her 2 fingers and I WISH I could go cold turkey somehow on those! Her teeth are showing signs of trouble. ANYWAY. Tell him he won't lose his bink on his birthday. The impending doom is stressing him out even though giving a warning seemed the nicest thing to do.
"Accidentally" lose the binky before or after the birthday. Don't replace it. Let him detox. He won't be scarred for life. Waiting for an absolutely smooth day for it to go with him graciously handing it over won't happen. The good news is he won't ever come back to you at 11 or 15 or 20 and say, "I can't believe you took my binky away mom, how could you??!!!"
Just get it done and good luck and hang in there!

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A co-worker used the "Binkie Fairy".She had her son leave his binkies on the front porch one night before he went to bed. The next day when he woke up he ran downstairs to look on the porch. The "Binkie Fairy" took the binkies and left a book, some stickers, and some goldfish crackers. The little guy was really excited to find the cool gifts. He never asked for the binkie again!

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I have a 3 year old, and I have no plans to take the paci from him anytime soon. He only gets it at bed time, and I believe, as someone said below, that teeth are easier to fix than psyches. My husband and I both had braces and my son probably will too. We ask kids to grow up so fast, in this one way, I will let him decide when he's ready to give it up.

I brought up the idea of the Binky Fairy and my son was absolutely horrified and didn't want to go to sleep. So we backed off. My attitude is that no kid walks down the aisle with their paci, so he'll get rid of it when he's ready. :-)

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Using the paci as currency to get something new can work really well, especially with an older kid who understands what is going on. Take him to the toy store and let him pick out any toy he wants, then he pays the cashier with his paci (and you slip the credit card when your son isn't looking).

You can do the same thing with a paci fairy, as others mentioned. Works just like a tooth fairy but you get a much bigger prize. Your son doesn't actually see the pacis go away with this method though, which might be a plus for some kids but a negative for others. He may need to be actively involved in handing it over. Paci fairies usually give the pacis to new babies who need them most.

Except there to be a lot of crying for the first few days at bedtime, but it WILL get better. And once you do it, go cold turkey. Get rid of ALL of them - don't keep any around for "just in case" because if you give in once, you'll have a much harder time getting rid of it again.

My son was 2.5 when we got rid of his and he actually did pretty well. He was sad and cried a bit at bedtime, but wasn't specifically asking for his paci. Good luck!

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I won't respond to your last sentence of the post.

My son had Binky and there were several around the house and at the daycare center. Little by little they began to shrink in number. He went down for a nap one afternoon and I couldn't figure out what all the crying was about until I went into the bedroom and the nipple had come off of Binky and fell on the floor. He was pointing to the nipple and I said with a very serious face, "Oh my, Binky died, all gone." It took about three nights before he was comfortable sleeping without it. His age was about 3.

Good luck with Binky going bye bye. My daughter had her thumb and that's another story.

The other S.

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My kids aren't that old yet, but this is what my mom told me about getting rid of my sister'sand my pacis...

At 4 they are old enough to understand the concept of "lost." She would slow get rid of them and say they were lost, and when the last one got lost she reminded us of it when we asked. I guess it worked pretty well for her.

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my son was 3 and 1/2 ..we put the binky in an envelope on christmas eve with a letter to santa saying im trading my baby binky for big boy toys..please giva a baby in need my old binky, im too old for it now..and we left the envelope out with the milk and cookies, christmas morning, no more binky and lots of favorite big boy toys and a letter from santa thanking him for being a big boy and giving his binky to a baby, that was very nice of you, in return i have left you big boy toys under the tree!..then just remind him of that!

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I was the 5 year old child (almost 6) that still sucked the paci and remember it clearly, so I can post from that point of view. My parents had problems for years, and finally divorced when I was 5, so my parents didn't think it was a good idea to try and take it away from me. (Why they never tried before, I don't know.) I don't think any tricks or trades would have made me give it up on my own easily. Finally, an uncle stepped in and put Texas Pete on it. I popped that thing in my mouth and it burned my mouth up. He told me that all my pacis would be like that from now on and I should just go ahead and throw them away, so I did. I recall that first night was tough, but afterward, it was fine. Kids are way more resilient than we are. I agree that HE has to be the one to do it, but it may take creative measures, (not necessarily Texas Pete...lol) I think that creative measure is specific to the child- you know him best.
I must say that it's a little embarrassing now to look back at pictures of me with that thing in my mouth at the age I was, and I do remember my little friends picking on me back then. We were looking at pictures of me as a kid a few weeks ago and my 4 yo said "You have a paci! That's silly, mommy!" Other than that, no long lasting effects. :)

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From what I have seen, taking it all at once is best (at this age anyway). Talking about it is causing him anxiety, so don't. Just take them one night and let them be gone in the morning.

He really is too big for it but I guess you have your reasons. Good luck.

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I love when people have no experience with something and yet need to give their two cents about what you are doing wrong and how terrible it is. They must be the perfect mom and I could only wish to be like them:)
My 3 1/2 year old was very attached to her binky. It was a source of comfort to her. Not wanting to traumatize her we started with only allowing it at bed times and when one would be lost we wouldn't replace it with another (there were many). One night, I told her about the Binky Fairy and how she comes to take your binky from under your pillow in the middle of the night. I explained to her that if she leaves her binky under her pillow the Fairy will take it, but replace it with the most wonderful gift. After a little coaching and a few more sucks my daughter agreed to it. When she awoke in the morning the binky was gone and she had a wonderful present under her pillow. I also attached a note addressed to her from the fairy. Surprisingly this worked great! No more binky. She's never mentioned it again. I think the key to our success was doing it when we knew she was ready. Only you, as mom, know what's best for your child. Hope it helps and works for you too. Best wishes.

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You could offer him a neat toy for quitting? What does your pediatrician say? What about taking him and talking to the dentist? They have ortho binkies too so his jaw and natural bite don't change over time. My only concern would be that the more he has his binky in his mouth, the less time he is spending talking and learning new words and formulating sentences. You are the new mom and know what is best. Trust your gut and best wishes!

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If kids need to suck what do those people expect him to suck? Fingers are much harder to take away and then they suck on them for years and cause serious dental/mouth damage. Tell them to leave him alone. He will get done with it when he is ready.

Kids that need to suck still need to suck. They will find something to suck on, it is a need not a choice. It is like the urge to suck in a newborn. They have to suck to eat or they will starve, sometimes that urge stays around for a while.

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I have a five and a half year old who still uses hers. My 2 year old never took to one. He used it occasionally as an infant, but that was it. But my daughter said she would give it up when she turned five. She had stomach aches for two weeks leading up to her birthday and got sick on her birthday and I wonder if it was in part the stress of it all. She did not want to give it up in the end and now says maybe when she is 6. She still uses at bedtime and car as well as during the day at home and even out sometimes. Yes, I am sure we all get looks from people who disapprove and yes it has ruined her mouth and teeth. Especially over the last year her teeth have begun protruding really far, her bottom teeth are pushed in, she has hit her two top teeth so many times and broken them and had decay. she now caps on her two front teeth and they may need to be removed soon. I know this is all from the paci, but teeth can be fixed, even if not perfect, at least to make them better. I have tried cutting the tips off. she just asked to go buy new ones. I could have refused but that would have been very traumatic. She is not 1 or 2 and can understand that it is simple to go to the store and go get new ones. I still am at a loss as to how to take it away without it being traumatic. Her dentist hates me I think, and gives me looks and tells me I am basically a bad mother mother for not taking it away. I can't switch dentists, but the orthodontist has been a bit more sympathetic saying to wean her off more slowly. I have been trying but it is tough. Since I have no advice for you I am just writing to say you are not alone in this. But for my daughter the sucking is a real need. She nursed til she was 4 and I think she would be still nursing if I had not forcefully weaned her and the paci played a big part in making the weaning from breast possible. Some kids obviously need more sucking than others. My 2year old has almost weaned himself from nursing at this point and i am guessin he will be done shortly after he turns 3. Where she had to be forcefully weaned at over 4. Kids are all just different. Good luck!!!!

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I didn't read all the responses here but the people who were all negative and putting you down are wrong. I have a 2 year old and I didn't want him to have one period but he had issues sucking when he was born so the hospital gave it to him without my knowledge. The reason I didn't want him to have one was because my nephew and niece also had them and were extremely attached! My nephew was 4 and my sister had me watch the kids for a week while she went on vacation. I took it from my nephew (Who used two one in each hand at all times or one in the mouth and one in hand) I told him "Aunt kimmie doesn't allow that. And when mommy comes home you can have it back. After a week without it he didn't ever ask again with my niece I got her also off it when she was 5 (vacation for a week again) but she is a different child and needed it done differently. With her I said lily if you want to be a baby we'll just put you back in diapers and you can take naps again and go to bed early like a baby does and all you're big girl toys you can't use because they're for big girls. Then I walked away. 15 minutes later she walked up to me and gave it to me and said I don't like diapers and I love my dollhouse aunt kimmie. I gave her a hug and we put it in a box and burried it outside (closure) she did ask her mom when she seen her (once) if she could have one i told my sis I'm not doing it again so it's you're choice (she didn't give it back to her) and that was the end of it. Same issue with sippy cups and my niece and nephew bottle too...... Aunt kimmie broke them of it all..... So my son was off the bottle a week after his 1rst bday off the binky (D) at 3 months and off the sippy cup at 14 months..... Don't worry about it. You know your son try different techniques or have a family member try. Kids always listen to other people better than mommy or daddy. Thats the only reason I had success with my sisters kids. Because I wasn't mommy. Good luck and if you need any ideas or help brain storming just message me and we can talk...

Kimmie

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I agree with going cold turkey. There is no other solution. Cutting tips, hiding them, going away parties are great for a baby or very young toddler. He's at an age where he is old enough to reason and understand why the binky is ridiculous because it serves no purpose as he is too old, and most important it's not socially unacceptible when he's the age he is. He is afterall now school aged, and he's going to suffer social repercussions if he is encouraged to indulge in selfish and immature behaviors such as this.

From what you describe, I don't think he has the problem. I think the challenge here is that *you* are allowing him to emotionally blackmail you and call the shots on what he will and will not do. If you continue to be afraid of how he'll react if you get tough on him by tossinbg out the binkies, you're only ensuring yourself future power-struggles situation over more serious issues than whether he's too big to suck on a pacifier.You are setting bad precedent that will be problematic for you as a parent in the future. Plain and simple by not putting your foot down, you're allowing him to disrespect you and your will as his parent. This is spoiling of the worst kind as it serves no purpose...just encourages self indulgence and selfishness on everyone's part.

Clearly, there are some psychological issues at play between the two of you that in the long run could prove unhealthy. Did you ever consider that allowing him to self-soothe with a pacifier is tantamount to encouraging him to have an oral fixation such as a lifelong habit of smoking, drug or alcohol issues later? Furthermore, you seem to be having problems encouraging the boy to grow up and act his age, perhaps because you are trying to keep him baby-like for your own personal needs? You have admitted you have allowed this for personal reasons. Sorry, but this is selfish and you as an adult have to know that when your son starts school and begins to make friends with peers his own age, encouraging activities like this will cause him undue pain later. Let the boy grow up.

If the personal reasons are because you can't bear to see him have a tantrum, remember this...you will one day wake up to a grown attitudinal teen- not a cherub faced toddler- who doesn't respect your authority, and will manipulate you to get whatever he wants (because he knows he can)...Even if it's not good for him you won't be able to stop him because you didn't establish your parental authority when he was young. Giving in to his wishes and desires that are counterproductive to his well being sets you up for a pattern where you will be too afraid to parent because you don't want him to be angry at you. Bearable now while he is small...horrifying when he's 5'11, has facial hair, and raging hormones.

Face it. Your kid is going to get angry at you. And probably alot before your parenting years are over. Especially if you're doing what you should be as a parent.

The way I see it, you're not doing yourself or him any favors coddling this behavior. Get a spine, remember who you are (his parent) and who he is (your kid) and take the pacifiers. No one else has the authority to tell him something is wrong or unacceptible...only you as the parent can do this.

Get resolve to steer him right, and tell him no. If he tantrums, so what? He'll live, and probably thank you for it. If you let him continue with the pacifier, he's going to have a real ugly day in his future when friends find out and never let him forget it.

There were a lot of good suggestions on the other question recently about why take a paci away :). If you look up that post you'll find some ones that may help for older kids.

Not going to comment on anything else-I would only tell you that unless he has his permanent teeth in (which is highly unlikely) you DO NOT know if his teeth are fine. The damage that occurs from a pacifier is in the permanent teeth.

I don't understand what the problem is? He is 4, you are the mom. Take it away--end of story. Why do we feel the need to reason and explain ourselves to our children? You are the parent and you call the shots.

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